“Well don’t you know I’ll blaze a trail, but hell, you can come with me,” Miranda Lambert sang to Knoxville’s packed Thompson-Boling arena on Friday night (Jan. 23)—the lyric from “Platinum” representing how she led fans through hit after remarkable hit. On her Certified Platinum tour, the blonde superstar is blazing a cross-country trail of country music artistry at its finest.
Onstage she offered poignant sincerity, particularly on her most personal songs “Over You” and “The House That Built Me.” She was equally confident, energetic and fun while showcasing her feisty side on “Baggage Claim,” “Little Red Wagon,” and “Mama’s Broken Heart.”
She sang “Kerosene,” reminding us that she’s been lighting fires since the early stage of her career. As she’s grown artistically, she’s ventured full-throttle into other kinds of trail blazing, such as her ode to open-mindedness, “All Kinds of Kinds.”
Lambert is the leader of female country artists today, managing to walk the tightrope of commercial success and creative envelope-pushing. Platinum, one of the best country albums of 2014, is proof of her ability to explore a range of sub-genres and sounds with a cohesive result. She offered plenty of material from that album on Friday, including the fondly reminiscent “Smokin’ And Drinkin’.” As she performed “Platinum,” black and white images of one of history’s most iconic platinum blondes, Marilyn Monroe, flashed on the video screen.
Lambert continued toasting those who blazed trails before her, offering The Dixie Chicks’ “Cowboy Take Me Away” with help from RaeLynn and Carolyn Dawn Johnson. Other covers included ZZ Top’s “Tush” and Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour.”
“Thank you for giving us the jobs of our dreams,” Lambert said gratefully.
Justin Moore and RaeLynn opened the concert. Moore’s set was packed with radio hits, including “Til My Last Day,” “Bait A Hook,” “Small Town Throwdown,” “Backwoods,” and “Small Town USA.” He performed “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” amid a sea of swaying lighters and glowing cell phones. He sincerely thanked fans for buying concert tickets, saying “it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
RaeLynn brought feminine spunk to her opening slot. Sporting hot pink Doc Martens and a turquoise guitar, her bubbly set included “Kissin’ Frogs,” breakthrough hit “God Made Girls,” and a cover of friend Meghan Trainor’s smash “All About That Bass.”