It was a Nashville night in Jacksonville, FL as Miranda Lambert brought her Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour to the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. A lineup full of powerhouse women, fans also enjoyed the evening with supporting artists Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris and Pistol Annies. Did I mention that all of these incredible musicians are also Grammy nominees?
The arena was full of fans ready to party and dance the night away. Some attendees were in full country glam, some were in flannel with boots and many were rocking homemade t-shirts in support of their favorite artist. The bass rumbled as the lights went out making way for Ashley McBryde to take the stage. McBryde just won a CMA award for New Artist of the Year and we can see why. Fans came early to see McBryde and sing along to songs such as, "A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega" and "One Night Standards." McBryde joined Lambert for a handful of dates opening the last few shows of the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars 2019 tour. Early next year, she will be hitting the road with the one and only Luke Combs!
Opening her set with gorgeous backlighting, Maren Morris appeared as a silhouette as the chords to "GIRL" began. "GIRL" is the title track to Maren's sophomore album and an absolute anthem to female empowerment since it's release in January. GIRL also just won a CMA for Album of the Year. The arena exploded with applause followed by a sea of voices singing every lyric. If you haven't seen the music video yet I highly recommend it as we are presented with real images of real women in real situations that many of us, if not all, can relate to. Continuing her set, Morris performed a number of fan favorites such as, "Rich," "The Middle," "My Church" and "Bones" which reflects her journey and relationship with husband Ryan Hurd.
Have we had enough girl power yet? Absolutely not is the correct answer. Miranda Lambert hit the stage full force with "Locomotive." I could hear nothing but screams and singing as for many, their idol was finally before them. Dawned in pink leopard print, metallic pink, knee-high boots, fishnets and purple, glittery eyeshadow, Lambert blessed us with some of my absolute favorite songs. We belted "White Liar," "Gunpowder and Lead," "Mama's Broken Heart" and "Little Red Wagon." We swayed and raised a light for "The House That Built Me" and "Tin Man." There really was a song for every era of Miranda, including one of her recent hits, "It All Comes Out In the Wash." The stage transitioned from rich, cool, blues and purples to vibrant, firey, red and orange tones.
The Pistol Annies, comprised of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley, joined to perform a handful of songs. These included a cover of Elvis' "Love Me" among their own hits such as "Taking Pills," "Interstate Gospel" and my favorite, "Got My Name Changed Back." I also highly recommend watching this music video if you haven't as it celebrates a woman's strength and independence.
To close out an incredible night, all artists reunited on stage to sing farewell with a cover of Elvin Bishop's, "Fooled Around and Fell In Love." As I took in the gorgeous harmonies of so many amazing voices united, I looked around the arena to see faces of pure joy and fellowship. Isn't that what music is all about? As Maren put it, this is my church. Go support your women in music, buy their albums and attend their concerts. What an honor to attend the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour to cover these amazing award nominees and winners.