Music

Miranda Lambert

December 5, Golden Nugget

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Photo: Iris Dumuk

Less than two months ago, Miranda Lambert played the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, co-headlining with fellow country singer Blake Shelton, to a predominantly young, female, energetic audience, and proved herself capable of connecting even in such a large, impersonal venue. This past weekend in the Golden Nugget’s showroom, she played to a very different audience; it took a little longer for her to connect, but she eventually had the older post-NFR crowd nearly as enthusiastic as the teen-girl fans who held up signs in Primm.

Only three numbers into her 19-song, 80-minute set, Lambert admonished the audience, “Good lord, you better wake up,” but that didn’t inspire anyone in the Nugget’s intimate showroom to get out of their seats. Lambert made up for the crowd’s lack of energy, though, ripping her way through nearly every track from fantastic second album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, along with several older tunes and a series of covers that showcased her love for classic rock.

Miranda Lambert.

Miranda Lambert.

Lambert’s take-no-shit persona got a nice illustration in her new mic-stand, a birthday present from her bus drivers, which was made out of a real shotgun, and which she marveled at throughout the show. “We ain’t back in the game yet,” she said by way of excuse when the cool prop failed to bend properly for the seated acoustic portion of the show, but other than Lambert bungling a line or two, the band was a well-oiled machine, emphasizing the more rockin’ side of her sound and minimizing traditional country instrumentation.

“Y’all need to stand up and act like you’re havin’ fun,” Lambert insisted before the ode to booze “Dry Town,” and the audience finally complied. For the last few songs, the worn-out rodeo fans were on their feet and even dancing in the aisles. Lambert just has that effect on people.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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