Photo Courtesy of www.laweekly.com
It hurts me to my country music loving core to say that I think the genre as a whole has been getting a little cliché lately. It feels like country has turned into a contest of who can squeeze the most “pickup trucks” or “dirt roads” into their songs . But Kacey Musgraves manages to take everything good about country and add her own blunt, sarcastic twist. Months ago, I saw Kacey was coming to Kansas City while scrolling through Instagram, and I just had to get my hands on some tickets.
When March 5 finally arrived, I got all dolled up in my cowgirl boots and denim shirt and headed to the Midland two hours before the show started. My friends and I ended up close to the front of the line, and scored spots in the second row when we got inside.
The opening act was a band called John and Jacob. Though I didn’t know any of their songs, their energy still had me swaying along to the music. They were pretty good, so I made a mental note to look them up on Spotify the next day. To end their set they brought out their newest band member, a puppy. Let me tell you, if you’re ever a singing at a concert and you don’t know what to do next, the answer is always puppies. The audience erupted into “awwwwws,” but we were all eager to see Kacey.
After another half hour of waiting, the curtain finally opened for Kacey and I was blown away by the set and outfits. Kacey’s band was dressed in bubblegum pink tuxedos covered in little lights. Pink tinsel and rhinestones covered the stage along with three light-up cacti. Her outfit had head-to-toe glitter, literally. Her dress, tights and even the heels of her shoes shimmered. She was practically blinding while she sang “Pageant Material” at her rhinestoned microphone.
Her set list included her classics and new songs. The crowd flipped during her covers of Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” and TLC’s “No Scrubs.” She also sang Roger Miller’s “Kansas City Star” as a special treat.
Kacey’s sass and boldness lit up the stage even more than her band’s suits. Her edgy, uncensored music is usually excluded from the country that you hear on the radio. She believes in being true to yourself, even if you’re a little messed up. Her lyrics “When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight,” and “I ain’t exactly Miss Congenial,” reflect everything that she’s about (and the reason I love her music).
She also had some surprises up her rhinestoned sleeves. In the middle of the concert, her band put on a little talent show, which included juggling and balloon animals. Before she sang “Good ol’ Boys Club” someone in the front row tried to give back a harmonica that their mom’s friend took during her last concert. She let them keep it, but not before yelling “F— your mom’s friend!” at the owner of the stolen harmonica.
After the show ended, the crowd kept chanting Kacey’s name until she came out for an encore in a new outfit with even more glitter than the last one (if that was even possible). Her cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “These [light-up cowgirl] Boots are Made for Walkin” had the audience in a frenzy, including the end, when she brought out, and inevitably destroyed, a pony piñata. John and Jacob came back out with their puppy and threw the candy at us. The curtain closed leaving me in shock of the utter perfection that I just saw.
The concert was one of the best (correction: the best) I’d ever seen, from the harmonica thievery to the surprise puppy to the truly honest country music. It was definitely worth the 2-hour wait. If her arrow ever points her back to Kansas City, you better believe I’ll be singing along in the crowd. To top it all off, I got a high five from John (of John and Jacob) in the lobby of the theater.