Ashley Monroe Displays Elegance, Heartbreak at Nashville Show

Ashley Monroe (R) joined onstage by Jessi Alexander. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Ashley Monroe (R) joined onstage by Jessi Alexander. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

It was a sizable night for Crush management’s Ashley Monroe and young duo, Striking Matches at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley, yesterday evening (Mar. 7). The 26-year-old Monroe performed with the confidence of a time-honored Opry veteran throughout her first Nashville show since Warner Nashville’s Like A Rose release on Tuesday (March 5).

Before Monroe took the stage, talented duo, Striking Matches, warmed the crowd. The young couple displayed topnotch songwriting and instrumentals on titles including “Tell Me So” and “When the Right One Comes Along,” a track featured in ABC’s Nashville.

All ears and eyes were to the stage when John Grady introduced “the bell of the ball,” Monroe. The Warner recording artist stepped before the sold-out crowd like country music royalty, donning a nude asymmetrical flapper dress adorned with a shimmering necklace and heels, which she confessed belonged to her Pistol Annies’ bandmate Miranda Lambert.

Bearing the torch for country music, Monroe sold the crowd from the first note. She continued to play through album tracks including the realistic “Two Weeks Late,” triumphant “Like A Rose,” mournful “Morning After” and hopeful “Used,” in addition to an updated old favorite, “Satisfied” and a rendition of Lambert’s No. 1 single, “Heart Like Mine,” which Monroe co-wrote.

With the backing of just four musicians, Monroe invited songwriting couple Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall to bolster background vocals on “You Got Me Now,” and “She’s Driving Me Out Of Your Mind.” Monroe’s Pistol Annies bandmate Angaleena Presley joined her onstage for “Weed Instead of Roses.” The set’s closing number, “Monroe Suede,” had some in the audience dancing between aisles.

As expected, the illustrious concert was over all too soon, leaving the crowd longing for more of Monroe’s ornamental voice and heartbreaking lyrics. Perhaps some even wondered if it might not be too early for the old-soul to be inducted in the Hall of Fame.

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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