Miranda Lambert Delivers Electric Career-Spanning Set at Las Vegas Residency Opening

Those who have followed her country music career for more than two decades know there isn’t anything that Miranda Lambert can’t and won’t conquer. From winning more Academy of Country Music Awards than any other artist in history to three Grammy statues and eight studio albums, the queen of modern country reigns supreme.

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Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert

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09/24/2022

When her Velvet Rodeo residency rolled into Las Vegas’ Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Friday (Sept. 23) for the first of 24 dates, Lambert ticked another major career box — packing a Sin City venue with a career-spanning repertoire of hits, many of which came from recent albums Palomino and The Marfa Tapes.

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The girls-weekend crowd came ready to party and the audience — primarily composed of women a lot like Lambert — packed in with rhinestone cowgirl boots and hats, sequin-and-fringe jackets, denim cutoffs, flannel shirts and trucker hats.

The stage screen, fixed on a graphic similar to Lambert’s pistols and angel wings tattoo, let Lambert fans know they had come to the right place to rock.

As the stage lights rose, the queen appeared center stage in a blue-and-gold mini dress with fringe accents and of course, a sparkly hat. For 90-minutes she rolled through her hits, both new and established, just like the rodeo, from 2022’s “Actin’” Up to 2005’s “Kerosene,” complete with a storm of pyrotechnics. Lambert deftly bounced between albums with almost all represented, showcasing her signature velvety vocal grit. Grabbing the guitar on “Fastest Girl in Town,” she whipped her hair back and forth with ecstatic energy.

For many it was their first time hearing songs from 2022’s Palomino and the 2021’s Marfa Tapes live. Strange showed up as an instant classic. To guide the audience, the visuals closely matched the lyrics, with montages of dancing cowboys hats, a small-town theater marquee and starry desert nights.

Noticeable here, Lambert eschewed the Las Vegas residency format. Outside of the standard stage greetings, Lambert kept to the songs, with no long-format storytelling around the music. She also limited it to one outfit with a few modifications, unlike her country-music residency counterparts, such as Carrie Underwood and Shania Twain, whose shows offered multiple looks.

Asking if there are any “cowgirls in the house?” yielded a thunderous response and she also thanked the swarm “for spending your hard earned money on some country music … this is a reminder to be yourself always no matter what … because you might end up on a stage in Vegas with bright lights, who knows?”

During 2009’s “House that Built Me,” Lambert mustered up a sing-along from the crowd as did “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).” A roar ripped through the room on 2022’s “Geraldene” with the razor sharp line, “You’re too late baby, I’m the only b—- in the band.” “Tin Man,” from the collaborative, raw album Marfa Tapes, was especially beautiful with its pinpoint spotlights rising high above Lambert like a galaxy of heavenly bodies. On “Gunpowder and Lead,” her jacket shot flames. The show closed with a stream of confetti and an audience of Lambert fans well satiated.

The evening capped off with a Velvet Rodeo afterparty, where invited guests drank Pretty Bitchin’ Jack Daniels signature cocktails and feasted on taco and churros. Lambert, dressed in a gold leopard mini dress hung close to the bar with husband Brendan McLoughlin before taking the stage while being presented with a cake topped with a disco ball in a cowgirl hat, presented by Live Nation’s senior vp of Las Vegas residencies Amanda Moore-Saunders.

Pre-show, Lambert peeled back the curtain for her Instagram followers, showing the routine leading up to taking the stage and also the very lucrative marketing and branding opportunities that exist for Las Vegas headliners. Her beloved pups in tow, Lambert showed them riding to the theater, and then posted a thank you to Caesars Entertainment and Live Nation for their donation to her MuttNation Foundation.

Lambert’s residency continues on Saturday (Sept. 24) and has dates scheduled through early April.

Additional reporting by Jennifer Avison Smith.

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