By Beth Casteel
The lights dimmed as the band walked on to the stage. The crowd began to yell their excitement as the opening chords of Miranda Lambert’s 2009 rendition of John Prine’s “That’s the Way the World Goes’ Round,” filled the main arena of the Wolstein Center on Saturday March 3.
“That’s the way that the world goes ‘round. You’re up one day, the next you’re down,” was a fitting opening to the beginning of the night. Over the course of the night, Lambert took the crowd of concert goers on an emotional journey of ups and downs as she sang some of the songs that made the country singer a fan favorite.
The singer didn’t miss a beat going into the next couple of songs and not a single person could be found sitting in their seats. Between the crowds on the floor, to the people in the stands, everyone in the room could be seen dancing around in their cowboy boots, singing some the singer’s most upbeat country songs.
Between those lively songs were a few emotional hits that cut deep. Lambert didn’t speak much in the way of introducing those songs, rather she let the songs speak for themselves. With an emotional delivery of “The House That Built Me,” to a soul wrenching performance of “Over You,” these songs brought out deep emotions for both Lambert and the crowd.
While the night held some heartbreaking moments, Lambert didn’t let that ruin the fun for the audience. With a sweet, yet sassy, stage presence, she would soon move onto some of her bigger hits that brought the energy of the night back up.
To enhance the performances, the stage had a screen backdrop that showcased certain aspects of each song that Lambert sang. Between b-roll footage of life on the road to illustrated maps, the images that appeared on the screen helped further tell Lambert’s stories.
If her graceful stage presence and the stage setup didn’t translate with the audience, Lambert’s denim skirt, black shirt with frills and cowboy boots helped convey that this show was a real-deal country concert.
For those in attendance who may not have gone to a country show prior to seeing Lambert, this tour was a fantastic introduction to what the inner workings of a country show would be.
While country may not be a genre of music that resonates with many people, this was a show that spoke to everyone in attendance — fan of country music or not.
Lambert wasn’t alone in delivering this fun-filled night. In addition to her performance, Jon Pardi and The Steel Woods also graced the stage. Both bands brought an additional real country feel to the overall energy of the night, making this tour feel as close to a country hoedown that one could get in a city like Cleveland.
Lambert’s “Livin’ Like Hippies” tour brought a country flare into the city of Cleveland. She was a force to be reckoned with, and she commanded the stage with a grace that left a mark on everyone that was in attendance.