Kacey Musgraves: Masterful in NYC

Kacey Musgraves
Same Trailer Different Tour
featuring Brandy Clark
Bowery Ballroom, NYC
September 19, 2013

In an era where country radio is dominated by male artists, two of the genre’s very best females took to the Bowery Ballroom stage in Downtown New York City on Thursday night.  A sold out crowd shoved their way into the intimate venue to catch a glimpse of the highly nominated sensation that is Kacey Musgraves.  She brought along as her opening support, the less well known, Brandy Clark.  Both put forth performances that were as impressive as they were refreshing. 

Brandy Clark took to the stage at 9:00 p.m., and sang songs that were remarkably authentic.  Brandy sang about crazy girls, death, drugs, and broken hearts.  She was dressed in all black and backed by only one guitarist, yet her delivery and lyrics painted a picture in the minds of all who were in attendance. 


Not many really knew what to expect from the opening act, but by the time she finished she clearly had won over everyone in the building.  The song “Broke” has all the potential to be a radio hit and her current single, “Stripes”, has a dark yet humorous approach that plays unusually well together.  She also sang The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” which she wrote and she stated that Kacey had “sung the shit out of” on the demo.  She stated her solo album will be released on October 22nd.  I plan on buying it and looking for more from a woman who has a real authenticity and is dripping with talent to become a star. 

Speaking of star power, the headliner, Kacey Musgraves, is already on her way to stardom.  Her album, Same Trailer Different Park, debuted #1 on the Billboard All Genre charts and she just wrapped up Kenny Chesney’s Stadium Tour where she served as the opening act and a duet partner with Kenny on most nights.  Furthermore, she was the most nominated artist for the upcoming CMA Awards and this was the first night of her tour, which happened to be a sell out crowd in New York City.  Not so bad for a female playing in what has been dubbed the frat boy party era of country music.  And her performance served to be just as impressive as her resume.

Kacey looked absolutely stunning as she took to the stage with her acoustic guitar and hippy looking band behind her.  She combined a setlist of songs off of her album, with impressive covers from artists in other genres, as well as new songs and songs she had written for other artists.  All of the songs, such as “Blowin’ Smoke”, “Merry Go ‘Round”, “Silver Lining” and the such were sing a longs as the NYC crowd was extremely familiar with her album cuts.  “Mama’s Broken Heart”, recorded by Miranda Lambert and written by Kacey, was easily the most explosive song in the set as the energy from what was mostly a mellow crowd seemed to amp up a few notches.  The real highlight of her set was the Caribbean styled mash-up of “Step Off” with Bob Marley’s legendary classic “Three Little Birds”.  Kacey danced all over the stage and seemed to really be soaking it all in. 

 Kacey’s encore was truly unique as she sang three songs that were completely different from each other.  First, was a new song called “Rainbow” which she performed acoustically without her band.  It gave goosebumps to just about everyone as it has #1 written all over it.  The lyrics are absolutely stunning and her delivery of the solemn tune was breathtaking.  She followed that up with the party pop anthem “Lovefool” by the Cardigans which had everyone dancing along as a bubble machine began to fill the room with bubbles.  She finished off her impressive set with “Follow Your Arrow” which she prefaced with the fact that she loves New York City so much because it was so open to all kinds of people.  Kacey masterfully executed an impressive set which showcased why she is a true future star, not only in country, but in the overall music world.  I look forward to watching this talented woman rise to the top.  Because if you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere. 


Brandy Clark:

  1. Crazy Women
  2. Pray to Jesus and Play the Lotto
  3. Real Good Time to Hold My Hand
  4. Broke
  5. Better Dig Two (The Band Perry Cover)
  6. Come Over But Can’t Get In (Craig Campbell Cover)
  7. Only Way to Get By To get High
  8. Take a Little Pill
  9. Stripes

Kacey Musgraves

  1. The Trailer Song
  2. Stupid
  3. Silver Lining
  4. Island In The Sun (Weezer Cover)
  5. I Miss You
  6. Blowin’ Smoke
  7. Keep It To Yourself
  8. I Put A Spell On You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Cover)
  9. Mama’s Broken Heart (Miranda Lambert Cover)
  10. Hard Time
  11. Back on the Map
  12. It Is What It Is
  13. Step Off
  14. Three Little Birds (Bob Marley Cover)
  15. Merry Go ‘Round
  16. My House
  17. Rainbow (ENCORE)
  18. Lovefool (ENCORE) (The Cardigans Cover)
  19. Follow Your Arrow (ENCORE)

Kenny Chesney & Eric Church Ignite the No Shoes Nation in Philly

Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation Tour
with Special Guest Eric Church
featuring Kacey Musgraves and the Eli Young Band
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
June 8, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013 marked the No Shoes Nation Tour stop at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA.  It was a day that started off with rain and dark skies, but as soon as I made my way towards the football stadium the sun shined bright and all rain stopped.  It seemed very fitting that the great weather pushed itself through for a Kenny Chesney concert as the theme of the night soon became that of the summertime.  

As we drove into the Stadium’s vicinity, I was very disappointed in the Stadium’s parking situation.  Despite getting there over four hours before the first act, we were not allowed into any lots anywhere near the Stadium and we directed almost a mile away on the other side of the baseball stadium.  On top of that, we were not allowed into most of the entrances because we had floor level seats.  We had to walk around almost the entire stadium to get onto the field.  It was more of a hassle to get into than any Stadium I’ve ever been in.  That being said, that was the only real disappointment of the night. 

Due to the hassle, we were only able to catch a few songs from Kacey Musgraves.  I have loved her music since the release of Same Trailer, Different Park.  She brings a new sense of music that is equal parts gritty, racy, and real, with a touch of sexy.  She sounded excellent live as well.  Her songs “Follow Your Arrow” and “Merry Go Round” are perfect examples of how much different she is than the regular pop country female singers out there.  She touches on topics that are out of the normal comfort zones, but does so with such ease.  I look forward to seeing a full set from her in the future, as she will undoubtedly have a huge career. 

Up next was the Eli Young Band.  I’ve seen them live a few times now and while they never bring much flash or excitement to the stage, they are a very talented group.  They did well picking their setlist as they had most of the Stadium engaged.  Songs such as “Always The Love Songs” and their set ending “Crazy Girl” were full on sing-a-longs.  But, the highlight of their set was the combination of “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly”.  The song mash-up flowed perfectly and had everyone out of their seats.  Their Lynyrd Skynyrd cover of “Gimme Three Steps” seemed a bit forced, but overall the Eli Young Band was solid. 

By 7:00 p.m., the Stadium became a capacity crowd and the energy jumped to its maximum level.  Smoke filled the stage and country music’s newest star and rebel, Eric Church, appeared on the stage to the infectious “Creepin'”.  What followed was a bombastic set that showcased exactly why Eric Church is one of the biggest names in the country music genre right now. 

He is a one of a kind performer, who delivers with such passion and extreme feeling.  He sings into the microphone with reserved spirit and follows it up with fist pumps and chest slams as he has the crowd in the absolute palm of his hand.  For most of his set he kept things up beat.  He had everyone partying along with him to “Drink In My Hand”, “Keep On” and “Smoke a Little Smoke”.  Yet, surprisingly, it was the two times that he slowed things down a bit, that he shined brightest. 

At one point, he sang a free flowing, acoustic version of his newest single, “Like Jesus Does” and followed it up with a one of a kind love ballad, “Love Your Love the Most”.  The two songs paired up perfectly into what was otherwise an energetic and aggressive set.  He threw in a little of Hank Jr.’s “Country Boy Can Survive” before “Homeboy” and came out to an encore with a cowboy boot in his hand as he projected “These Boots” to the Philly crowd. 

However, it was his final song, that showcased Eric Church’s star power most as he delivered a spirited version of his biggest single to date, “Springsteen”.  The ten minute version he performed a snippet of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” in the middle of it.  He told the crowd how he wanted the song and that night to connect a melody to a memory.  No disrespect to the great Kenny Chesney, but this song was easiest the biggest highlight of the entire night.  The ohh ohh ohho’s from the tens of thousands of fans sung in unison was truly epic. 

By the time Kenny Chesney hit the stage, the sky was black and the stage was fully illuminated with multiple screens and laser light show that rivals any act in music.  Instead of his usual entrance of flying in on some sort of swing or trapeze, he simply walked on stage and immediately ripped in “Feel Like a Rockstar”.  Kenny Chesney has been recently dubbed the “King of the Road” and it’s very easy to see why.  He draws crowds like only a few acts in  music can.  His ticket sales over the past few years have outnumbered Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, U2, Paul McCartney and anyone else you want to bring up.  It truly is an amazing feat. 

And it’s no wonder.  He packs in hit after hit in his setlist which touch upon the free thinking, islandy feel that fits into a summer stadium show perfectly.  Whether it be “Anything But Mine”, “I Go Back”, “Summertime”, or “Beer in Mexico”, each song is performed with masterful execution backed by a stadium full of fans who know each and every word to the summer anthems. 

He performed “Pirate Flag” and sped it up to an added flavor of hip-hop and got his reggae on to “Everyone Wants to Go To Heaven”.  He had the women squirming to “Come Over” and “You & Tequila”.  And he even brought a dozen or so Philadelphia Eagles on stage during “Boys of Fall”.  A true showman who knows how to up the ante on each song.  Kenny is hardly every stationary as he runs, jumps, and flies around the large catwalk that extends out into the crowd.  It really is a sight to behold. 

And one thing that Kenny always seems to do is collaborate with the other artists he brings on tour with him.  That night was no exception as Eric Church took to the stage as their shared verses on the newest single off Life on a Rock, “When I See This Bar”.  Kenny and Eric were all smiles as they went back and forth on what’s sure to be yet another smash hit.  It’s always fun for the fans to see two stars collaborate and, at the same time, seem like they are truly enjoying it.  (See video below)

All in all, it was what I have come to expect from a Kenny Chesney set.  There were far less surprises than in years past and I would have loved for Kacey Musgraves to come out and sing with Kenny.  But alas, I hope that he continues to do this large stadium tours for years to come because his shows bring about such a feel nostalgia.  I do not know what my summer concert series would be without a Kenny Chesney show. 


Kenny Chesney

  1. Feels Like a Rockstar
  2. Reality
  3. Beer in Mexico
  4. Pirate Flag
  5. Summertime
  6. No Shirts, No Shoes, No Problem
  7. Somewhere With You
  8. I Go Back
  9. You & Tequila
  10. Living in Fast Forward
  11. Young
  12. How Forever Feels
  13. Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven
  14. Big Star
  15. Come Over
  16. Never Wanted Nothing More
  17. Anything But Mine
  18. When I See This Bar (with Eric Church)
  19. Out Last Night
  20. Boys of Fall (with the Philadelphia Eagles)
  21. She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy (Encore)

Eric Church

  1. Creepin’
  2. How Bout You
  3. Over When It’s Over
  4. I’m Gettin’ Stoned
  5. Keep On
  6. Jack Daniels
  7. Living Part of Life
  8. Like Jesus Does
  9. Love Your Love the Most
  10. Drink In My Hand
  11. Guys Like Me
  12. Lotta Boot Left to Fill
  13. Country Boy Can Survive (Hank Williams Jr. Cover)
  14. Homeboy
  15. Smoke a Little Smoke
  16. These Boots (Encore)
  17. Springsteen (Encore with Snippet of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run)


When I See This Bar

Pirate Flag
Anything But Mine
Love Your Love The Most