Lambert keeps things country with fast-paced fun

from Saint Louis Post-Dispatch on

With the dearth of pure country female singers touring these days, Miranda Lambert is making her presence felt.

She launched the second part of her "Revolution" tour -- fittingly dubbed "Revolution Continues" -- on Thursday night to an appreciative crowd at the Chaifetz Arena.

Fresh off this month's Grammy win for best female country performance, Lambert raced onto stage in a black T-shirt, black jeans and thigh-high black boots to "Only Prettier."

Not even two minutes into the performance, the heel on one boot broke. The Texas singer didn't miss a beat as the boot got repaired on stage and she noted the wonders of duct tape.

Lambert lauded her five-piece band and introduced them throughout her 19-song, 90-minute show. They did stellar work, especially Alex Weeden on lead guitar.

And nothing against Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift -- both of whom get big crowds and sold-out shows -- they also rely heavily on crossover appeal.

Lambert sticks hard and fast to her country roots, playing her pink guitar on many of her songs.  She delivered up-tempo favorites like "Kerosene" and "Famous in a Small Town" with ease and slowed nicely on ballads like "Dead Flowers" and "Love Song," a piece she wrote for her fiance, fellow country singer Blake Shelton.

When she launched into her Grammy-winning "The House That Built Me," the video screen on her mostly simple set showed a series of photos of Lambert as a little girl at home with her parents and brother. It was a welcome peek at the childhood of a singer with so much potential ahead of her.

She followed "House" with "White Liar," another fun tune that she thanked fans for making her first No. 1 song. And she sang her newest single, "Heart Like Mine," already moving up the charts.

Lambert ended her main set with the fiery "Gunpowder and Lead," a take-no prisoners tune about a woman who fights back against an abusive partner. That fired up the crowd nicely as they screamed for the encore, and Lambert obliged with a nice take on Merle Haggard's classic "Silver Wings." The band took a break for that one, and it gave Lambert a chance to show off her powerful voice and strong guitar work.

She also came out drinking from a mug that said "The Boss" and noted, to much applause, that "I'm the boss of my fiance."

She wrapped with the Led Zeppelin classic "Rock and Roll," and, as she should, left the audience wanting more.

Lambert got solid opening support from Justin Moore, whose 11-song set included his two biggest hits, "Backwoods" and "Smalltown USA." He also benefited from enthusiastic fans who applauded his every statement on being

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