There certainly were a lot of rednecks in
the house as Miranda Lambert noted this past Saturday night. She and Dierks
Bentley brought their Locked & Reloaded Tour to a packed house at the Nassau
Coliseum. Miranda and Dierks are good friends who have toured before back in
2006 on the original Locked & Loaded Tour. This time around they brought
Randy Houser as their special guest.
When the lights went down at exactly 730pm, Randy Houser stepped on stage to a half full arena. No matter, he played like it was a full house. I have seen Randy before in a much smaller venue and he is
definitely a live performer you don’t want to miss. He sings like his life depends on it. His voice is definitely one of the most powerful male voices in country music today. His set was short, only 5 songs, but the crowd loved him. He had everyone singing “Boots On” and his current rising single “Runnin’ Outta
Moonlight”. But the biggest cheers and sing along came with the closing number,
his very first number one single “How Country Feels”. Randy and his band
definitely got the crowd pumped for Dierks and Miranda. His band sounds great,
and they all seem to have their own unique style. His steel guitar player rocks
shades, a top hat and a pipe on the right while his keyboard player has the 70s
suit and shades look down to a tee on the left. And his drummer? He, like Chris
Thompson of EYB, has the best facial expressions while he’s playing. Keep an eye
on these guys during the show!
Dierks Bentley has got to be one of the most underappreciated artists out there in country music today.
You want to see a true entertainer in concert…then go to one of his shows. He loves his fans,
performing and music and this is evident throughout his show. He can do fun
songs like “5-1-5-0” and then segue into the sexy, slow numbers like “Come A
Little Closer”. One of my favorite parts from the show is when he performs “Up
On The Ridge”. He and the boys are on a riser with smoke and a woodsy backdrop.
Dan on fiddle and Brian on mandolin are playing and magic is captured right
there! The crowd, as evidenced by their cheers, loved it too. Another standout
moment is when he brings the band to the edge of the catwalk, introduces them
with great photos from their youth and plays a blue-grassified version of
“Settle for A Slowdown”. Dierks has a fantastic energy and interacts with the
crowd like no one else. He runs from side to side, high fives, and sits at the
end of the catwalk to interact with his fans. During Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do,
Dierks pulls up “whoever is having the most fun” on stage to “play” guitar. He
concludes his portion of the show with “HOME”, American flag on the screen, cell
phones up in the air and chants of “USA” from the crowd. At the end of his set,
Dierks has also been giving an autographed guitar away. The guy is a class act.
My only complaint is that his set is too short, but looking forward to next year
when he will be once again headlining his own tour.
Miranda Lambert came out to cheers and screams and went right into “Fastest Girl in Town”. I have to say, I have grown to really enjoy her live shows. She is sexy, sassy and spunky. She does not have
as much crowd interaction as her tour mate, but she is definitely high energy,
jumping and twirling around. Like Dierks, she keeps the visuals to a minimum
except for the use of video screens, but her feisty attitude and performance are
the real draws here anyway. Her band sounded great. That night her drummer’s
wife was having a baby, so Dierks’ drummer, Steve, subbed for him the entire
weekend. That man deserves major kudos for playing 3 hours every night, he did
an amazing job! Miranda played all of her hits from “Only Prettier” to
“Gunpowder and Lead”. She received strong emotional reactions when she sang both
“Over You” and “The House That Built Me”; many women in the audience were
crying. Other songs included in her set were “New Strings”, a cover of
“Mississippi Queen” and “Get Back” as she too introduced her band via video
screen images. She concluded her set with “White Liar” pointing to one
unsuspecting “liar” in the audience who she gifted with a pick.
After, two stools were set center stage. Dierks and Miranda dueted on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and “King of the Road”. Behind them were their entire bands and even some crew. It seemed
like we were let in on something really special: just watching friends sit around and sing in a small club rather than an arena. It was the perfect ending to a fantastic show. Don’t miss this tour, catch it when it comes to your town or travel to another town….it’s that good.