Maren Morris wrapped up her “Humble Quest Tour” by making her headlining debut at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Friday night (Dec. 2).
Britteny Spencer and Ruston Kelly served as support and kicked off the show, giving all of us audience members the first tasting of the immense talent we would continue to consume throughout the evening.
Spencer’s soothing vocals cleansed our palates musically with her performance, including a beautiful rendition of “one of [her] favorite songs” that “brought [her] to country music,” The Chicks’ “Cowboy Take Me Away,” which is featured on her recently released EP If I Ever Get There: A Day At Blackbird Studio. Kelly then took the stage, accompanied by his band, which included both his sister Abigail and his father Tim. Kelly’s band warmed up the arena with his alternative country sound through songs such as “Mockingbird,” a teaser for his yet-to-be-released record, and acoustic versions of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” and Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.”
The beginning notes of “The Furthest Thing” echoed through the iconic venue as Morris’ band walked parallel to the greenery sprouting horizontally across center stage. Bright sunset-colored lights beamed down the middle, shining on the left and right trees nestled within the greens as Morris made her entrance. She grabbed her brown guitar to perform her record-breaking single “Circles Around This Town,” pumping everyone up with the head-bopping tune. Her husband, singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd, then joined her for “I Can’t Love You Anymore.” The couple put their pure love on full display, jamming out and gazing into each others’ eyes while Morris jingled a tambourine.
“This is truly just astounding to me. I’ve been in this room many times and I’ve sat at a bar across the street from this room many times. I’ve performed in here, I’ve opened for people in here, I’ve won awards, I’ve lost awards [in Bridgestone]. Today was the first time I got to walk in here and know that it was my stage. I can’t tell you what that means to me and for you to be here,” shared Morris.
“This is the last show of the tour, so it felt appropriate to end it here at my doorstep. Next month, I will have lived in Nashville for 10 years, and I was just telling my family and team backstage that we really didn’t skip any milestones. I went from playing rounds at Belcourt Taps, to little bars, to The Basement East, The Ryman, Ascend [Amphitheater], and now, here. It’s been so rewarding to see you every step of the way.”
The crowd sang and swayed alongside the country-pop star during “80s Mercedes,” and continued to do so as she performed “I Wish I Was,” and strummed her gleaming white guitar for “Girl.” Morris gave all of us the mic, pointing it toward the audience for the first chorus-verse of her six-time Platinum hit “The Middle” with Zedd. She called Hurd back to the stage for the couple’s No. 1 duet “Chasing After You,” showcasing their genuine connection once again.
“Motherhood is humbling. The pandemic humbled us,” Morris stated. “This [arena] is a place of love. Everything about the last few years, few weeks, few months, whatever it may be, was humbling. Thank you guys for meeting me at the station each time. This song is about that,” she continued as she began to perform tour- and album-title track “Humble Quest.” She followed with another Humble Quest track, “Background Music,” proving her extensive vocal range as she chanted the lyrics.
She welcomed fellow Highwomen members Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby, while acknowledging the absence of group member Brandi Carlile. Spencer returned to the stage alongside Sheryl Crow to join the group for their track “Redesigning Women,” their voices blending together to powerfully project the song and its message.
“After the pandemic, let’s all be grateful we can be in a crowded room together,” said Hemby as the group as eased into “Crowded Table.”
Morris threw it back with her Gold-certified single and one of her first No. 1 hits “I Could Use A Love Song,” the stands matching her volume as they sang along. Returning to recent work, she humorously introduced track “Tall Guys,” which fully exhibited not only her lovely vocal stylings but those of her background singers as well. She followed by rewinding again, but did it solo this time. With just her and her guitar, she serenaded the crowd with “Once,” a song she co-wrote and produced with the late Busbee.
Morris then came back to her latest project, reuniting with her band for “Detour,” referring to it as “one of [her] favorites on [Humble Quest].” Pausing in the middle of “Rich,” Morris introduced each of her skilled band members, including bass player Annie Clements who is nine-months pregnant.
The special guest appearances continued as Morris melted into a glittery harmony with Kristin Chenoweth during Wicked duet “For Good.” Following her performance of “Good Friends,” she united with Hozier for “The Bones.”
“It’s been so great watching [Morris] from the side—watching somebody this young, this talented, and this gracious tonight. I’m proud of her,” exclaimed Chenoweth.
“I know there’s a lot of aspiring songwriters in the crowd tonight. I’ve been to many shows here, and I just want to say that there’s so many talent people in this room, in this town, and in line ahead of you that it’s okay to just wait. The waiting makes the fruit so much sweeter,” advised Morris
Morris went out with a bang, giving an exhilarating performance of “My Church,” as well as an encore consisting of “What Would This World Do?” alongside Hurd.
“Thank you Nashville, thank you so so much. I’m going to go write more songs so we can do this again,” stated a teary-eyed Morris in closing.
- James Barker Band Makes Grand Ole Opry Debut - March 1, 2024
- Range Media Partners Signs Tanya Tucker & Opens Nashville Office - March 1, 2024
- MCA Nashville Elevates Shannon Hogan To Director Of Promotion, Southeast - February 29, 2024