Music & Nightlife

Review: Miranda Lambert’s ‘Keeper of the Flame’ show lights up night

Blake, who?

Even before Miranda Lambert stepped on stage at PNC Music Pavilion, she made it clear that Saturday night was going to be all about girl power.

With a video montage of iconic women like Lucy Lawless and Dolly Parton and a back-up track of Beyoncé’s “Run The World (Girls),” Lambert stepped on stage with equal fierceness and jumped into “Fastest Girl in Town.”

The sassy country music star with the sunny smile and the smouldering eyes then segued into “Baggage Claim” and “Kerosene.”

Dressed in a brown skirt with a huge buckled belt, a red bandana and a black shirt that read “Pretty Good at Bad Decisions,” Lambert seemed completely in her element as she strutted on stage, heel-clicked her brown boots and spun around in circles.

The only hint of discomfort came from her wiping her face throughout the concert because of the heat and humidity.

“Good Lord. Thank y’all for coming out in this heat,” she said to the crowd early on.

Lambert then picked up her blinged out pink guitar (complete with rhinestone-studded strap) and began belting the lyrics to “Heart Like Mine.”

The native Texan commanded the stage throughout her performance, which included hits like “Momma’s Broken Heart,” a cheeky rendition of “Little Red Wagon” and a smooth-as-molasses cover of “Slow Ride.”

Lambert also dedicated one of her songs to Christina Grimmie, a former contestant on “The Voice.” Grimmie was fatally shot on Friday while signing autographs after her performance at The Plaza Live in Orlando.

“I just want to send this up to her because she went home today,” said Lambert as she began to play “The House That Built Me.”

Throughout the night, Lambert also bantered a bit with the crowd in between songs. But her soft-spoken voice combined with the roar of the crowd tended to drown out some of her words.

And despite the Keeper of the Flame Tour being her first tour since her highly-publicized split with Blake Shelton last summer, she steered clear of discussing any details with the crowd.

Earlier, opening acts Kip Moore and Brothers Osborne started the night off strong with solid performances.

Kip Moore, who seems more redneck than country, had plenty of swagger as he dabbed a-la Cam Newton during “Come and Get It,” raised an entire whiskey bottle during “That’s Alright With Me” and sat down and worked the dozens of camera phones in the pit during “Hey Pretty Girl.”

And Brothers Osborne, who played a quality seven-song set that included “21 Summer” and “Down Home,” garnered plenty of cheers when they addressed HB2 and said they planned to donate all the money they made to Equality NC.

As Lambert closed out her main set around 10:40 p.m. with “Gunpowder and Lead,” Lambert proved why she’s been such a mainstay on the country music charts since debuting with her 2005 Kerosene album.

With her candid lyrics, rich voice and undeniable (and seemingly effortless) stage presence, Lambert is a country music force.

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