It was a long 14 hour bus ride to East Rutherford, New Jersey this weekend to see Miranda Lambert‘s “ON FIRE” tour. Coming in from Canada, I had quite a bit of expectations for the new superstar’s tour stop. She wasted no time showing what she was all about – female empowerment – with her video montage to Beyonce’s “Girls (Run The World).” The montage featured shots of Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn, Lady GaGa, and even Kate Middleton. She set the IZOD Center on fire with her opening of “Fastest Girl In Town” and “Kerosene.” Fans were wondering if it would be a sombre night for the Texas singer-songwriter, who has tragically lost both her father-in-law and good friend in a span of two weeks, but Miranda was excited and full of energy all night long.
The sold-out show was packed with fans eager to see the songwriter, who is hotter than ever with her new headlining tour. She gave a shout-out to her “new friends” from Law & Order: SVU who were in attendance at the show supporting their latest guest star. Her episode on the program that she “owns every DVD of” airs in February.
Miranda had full control of the stage all night, thanking the crowd multiple times for her first-ever number one hit in “White Liar,” and for the touching “The House That Built Me.” “Thank you for giving me my first number one single EVER, EVER, EVER!” she told the crowd at the end of “White Liar”.
It was an explosive night: not just for her own brand of revenge songs, but for her personality which she showcased. Miranda’s confident now in who she is as a vocalist and a performer and it shows: some of her vocals on the night were the strongest she’s ever had live. She even tried her hand at a “white girl’s version” of an Aretha Franklin cover in her encore. She wasn’t afraid to use a Victorian-style couch during her live version of “Fine Tune” for a Carrie Underwood-esque performance. It was different and something that you wouldn’t have seen her doing two years ago, but Miranda is pushing her own limits as well as the genre’s. She’s one-of-a-kind.
Miranda isn’t all about the set-your-car-on-fire revenge songs, and she proved that with her performance of “More Like Her” where she kneeled down on the end of the catwalk to get up close and personal with her fans in the pit. The most touching moment of the night was during her introduction of her new single “Over You” in which she dedicated to her father-in-law Dick Shelton and her best friend from childhood. “They would be upset with me if I didn’t come here to perform for ya’ll” she shared before going into the single. It was a humble moment from the star, who had the help of her fans to get her through to the last note. She didn’t only show her sensitive side on the night as she had the full-house rocking out to “Mama’s Broken Heart” and “Only Pretter” – reminding everyone how much of a rock star she can be.
It was a special night all around for Miranda, who not only had her mother in attendance, but the team from Law & Order: SVU. “I had seven whole lines and I was so good. I was just amazing. I’m a television star now,” she teased her fans and the SVU team.
Her openers Jerrod Niemann and Chris Young were stellar in their sets and re-joined Miranda for a version of “Honky Tonk Heroes” at the end of the encore. She explained her choice to bring two men on tour for “eye candy for the ladies” but don’t worry Blake Shelton – “I’m married, so I can’t touch but I can still look.”
Miranda proved that country music is still alive and well in New Jersey with her “ON FIRE” concert stop in East Rutherford. She did just that – set the state on fire.
We’ll have a gallery of pictures from the night up later this week on our Facebook page. Stay tuned for those!