Guest Review: Miranda Lambert
Submitted by: Monica (Bergkamp) Leiker
The old adage “The third time’s a charm” isn’t only true for Hollywood superficial elite and their marriage count, but also rings accurate for this Harvey County farmer’s daughter and my track record for seeing Miranda Lambert live. My first experience with this hell raiser and heart breaker was INTRUST Bank Arena’s inaugural concert January 2010, with Brad Paisley and Justin Moore. Being an obsessive true country music fan, I naturally signed up and increased my nerd status to high alert, by joining her RanFan Club, for the sole purpose of first dibs on concert tickets. That show was insane and spoiled me into never seating in the “not VIP” section ever again. This go around, my childhood close friend fell on the sword and purchased a RanFan membership the second it was announced that this Texas cutie was heading to the ICT. While driving from my now-home in Holly, Colorado to Colwich on Friday, my vocal cords were belting out every tune on “Four the Record” just to make sure I could check off “Raised eyebrow from obese trucker” on my Bucket List. I knew there was no way ML would disappoint come Saturday, April 14. Below are my top 3 moments from the Miranda Lambert show, featuring Kansas-born Jerrod Niemann and Chris Young.
3) Has to go to Jerrod for his written song “Yellow Brick Road.” Hands down, this Liberal Redskin’s written (oh my lord, an artist who WRITES their own stuff. Nothing like being a true artist) song struck my heart chords like the feeling of finally getting stick shift on an old farm pickup. His references to dirt roads, pump jacks, Friday football lights, tumbleweeds, wheat fields, and cruising Main on Saturday nights idealize my experience growing up on our family farm near Halstead, Kansas. Literally, my girlfriend and I had big ol tears welling up in our eyes. There’s smoothing about hearing lyrics like that, that were your life that gets a person every time. Again, these were words that Jerrod wrote somewhere that reminded him of growing up in southwest Kansas. I cannot stress to you how amazing and inspiring it is hearing a singer sing the words that they wrote, and not some city slicker acting like they know what it’s like out here. Fabulous work, sir. And thank you. I am a huge follower of what’s called Texas County (Jason Boland, Wade Bowen, Reckless Kelly, to name a few) and Jerrod’s performance had the passion of many of those guys.
2) My second favorite memory of the night was the second Miranda owned the stage with “Fastest Girl in Town” (I called it). Talk about the fire and passion of a Texas tornado sprinkled with fabulous fashion. After standing in the GA pit since 7, it was a nice work out for me jumping up and down, like a crazed lunatic. This woman, I cannot begin to get across how passionate she is with her work. Even though she performed that same song the previous night, you could never tell. She pours her heart and soul and herself into every show. It’s almost like an honor to be there, experiencing that with her. Miranda Lambert was the fastest girl in town Saturday, April 14 and she left no doubt. Amen.
1) The story that I’ll tell for years when someone asks me about my experiences seeing Miranda Lambert live, will always include my top memory from this night. When she came back on stage after the storm suspension, rocking those curvy Kansas State purple skinny jeans and black cowboy boots and Jerrod Niemann’s “Real Women Drink Beer” (Amen, again) shirt, she treated us to the best rendition of “House That Built Me”, that I will ever experience. She first dedicated that song to all whose homes may have been destroyed in the wake of the tornadoes that dotted the Midwest plains that night. Commenting that if anything happened to her childhood home, she would be devastated, she attempted to continue with her show. Before the lyrics started, it was clearly evident that this hell raiser had reached a sensitive subject. She was crying and it was the kind of cry that you cannot help but get the tingly feeling as your arm hair raises up. The crowd serenaded her, as she seemed to be in a humble stance, for the first half of the song. After gathering her emotions, she finished the song. Then she was very insistent to her band to not repeat what just happened. So, I’ll probably end up buried in a ditch for repeating this to you. It’s a risk I’ll take. In that moment, that woman has never appeared more human to me. Talk about a connection. An amazing connection that everyone in that arena will have forever.