Last Night: Miranda Lambert At RodeoHouston

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Photo courtesy of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Miranda Lambert
Reliant Stadium
March 16, 2011

Shucks, ma. Our lil' ol' East Texas gal done all growed up.

Sugar and spice and definitely everything nice, unless you piss her off, Miranda Lambert is a different kind of crossover act. A rocker at heart and pop singer by trade, Lambert makes her material more country by the sheer force of her personality.

Wednesday night in front of 73-something thousand people at the Rodeo, she was the small-town girl done good.

"I've been playing bars since I was 17 years old," she told the crowd. "I played the Firehouse Saloon to seven people. This lil' Texas girl has come a long way - what do y'all think?"

Where she excels, though, is the slice-of-life stories the Lindale native has adopted as her birthright, whether the 3A high-school yearbook set to a brisk country-rock clip that is "Famous In a Small Town" which dovetailed perfectly into a cover of Hal Ketchum's "Small Town Saturday Night" - the simple pleasures of a humble musician ("New Strings"), or finding kinship with our Lord and Savior in her cups in "Heart Like Mine."

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Photo courtesy of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
When Lambert slows down, she doesn't lose steam, either. "Dead Flowers" was not the Stones cover Aftermath was hoping for when we saw it on the mixing-board set list, but turned out to be a wispy ballad with hints of Explosions In the Sky's Friday Night Lights soundtrack. "The House That Built Me," the forlorn ballad from 2009's Revolution that won her a Grammy last month, has the wisdom of someone who has come to grips with her past without getting trapped there.

Although it's got to be harder for her to get away with acting the underdog, especially after that Grammy, Lambert can still play the part (for now). Torchy piano tune "More Like Her" reminded Aftermath quite a bit of Dolly Parton, minus about 80 percent of the cornball schtick. We adjusted that to minus 60 percent after the Firehouse speech, but still.

Location Info

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NRG Stadium

2 Reliant Park, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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