Miranda Lambert is bringing her 'best tour in a long, long time' to Des Moines
Country music star Miranda Lambert, through her organization MuttNation, helps find homes for adoptable dogs. With seven dogs at her home, Lambert shared her tip on how to make them all get along: “Commands with cuss words.” (June 15) AP
Miranda Lambert’s not afraid of a little work.
Naysayers seeking proof need listen no further than the Texas native’s latest studio effort, “The Weight of These Wings,” a double longplay that — at 24 tracks and 94 minutes — takes listeners through Lambert’s tales of heartbreak, hardly sober nights and emotional headway.
“I took the absolute hardest path I could take by doing a double record, in the state of music,” Lambert, 34, told the Register via phone. “But I didn’t have a choice. I just knew it was right.”
It paid off.
A commercial and critical success,“Weight” led the six-time Country Music Association female vocalist of the year to top-five spots on year-end lists in 2016 published by Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Variety. And the success continued in 2017: “Weight” earned platinum status last July, her sixth full-length to reach the milestone.
Now, the “Little Red Wagon” star returns to Wells Fargo Arena on March 15 for a night of the “Livin’ Like Hippies” tour, her first show in Iowa’s capital city since 2012. Jon Pardi and Ashley McBryde open the gig.
MORE MUSIC NEWS
- Here are 10 must-see concerts coming to Des Moines this March
- Des Moines duo scores deal with prominent British record label
- Big Country Bash announces 4 acts, completes this summer’s lineup
“It’s actually been the best tour I’ve been on in a long, long time,” Lambert said. “I don’t know what changed or what makes it better than any other one, but I think it’s just my band and crew ... we have this excitement and energy we haven’t had in a minute.”
The latest record is one that’s emotional, brave and transparent; she sings “Happiness ain’t prison but there's freedom in a broken heart” on “Runnin’ Just In Case,” the opening number — a sentiment that resonates from start to finish, creating intimacy with Lambert and her listeners.
“The day it came out, I was going, ‘What have we done?’” she laughed. “But I was still confident. It took longer than it has for my other records for people to get in and dive in, but they did … I feel humbled by it because my story their story and their story’s my story and we can share that on a human level.”
The new album comes sprinkled in the “”Livin’ Like Hippies” setlist (after all, she points out, the name of the tour comes from the “Weight” track “Highway Vagabonds”), but there’s still plenty of room, Lambert said, to dig into staple songs from the last decade-plus. You probably won't leave without hearing "Kerosene" or "The House That Built Me."
Fans could hear a cover or two, as well — including a rocky mountain jam made famous by another songwriter appearing at Wells Fargo Arena in March.
“I love throwin’ in a cover that we love,” she said. “That keeps it fun for us, because we play my songs every night.”
Each of the first opening slots on Lambert’s tour come hand-picked by the Grammy-winning songwriter; on this run so far, she’s tapped Turnpike Troubadours, Brent Cobb and Lucie Silvas.
Des Moines sees Arkansas-raised troubadour Ashley McBryde in that spot.
“She’s just a country singer and I love that,” Lambert explained. “She’s got tattoos, and she drinks beer and sings the truth. We’re sisters in that way.”
She added: “And she’s a female in this business. We have to really stick together and lift each other up.”
As with the entertainment industry abroad, inclusivity proves a pivotal country music topic in 2018. A quick look at Billboard’s Country Airplay 2017 year-end chart shows that four out of last year’s top 50 songs were released by solo women.
What could change the imbalance? “Persistence. As long as women keep delivering, they’re not going to be able to ignore that forever. If it’s great music, you cannot ignore it forever.”
Great music — that’s just a little of what Iowans can expect when Lambert returns this month.
“You can find kindred spirits everywhere in this country,” she said. “(This tour’s) all of us kindred spirits getting in one room together to celebrate music and that’s so special to me.”
Miranda Lambert in Des Moines
What: The "Livin' Like Hippies" tour with Jon Pardi and Ashley McBryde
When: 7 p.m., March 15
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, 233 Center St.
More information: iowaeventscenter.com