The crowd assembled at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre outside of Chicago on the night of July 29 had already fallen in love all over again with Miranda Lambert. Her 90-minute set had already given them all the songs they wanted to hear and all the emotion they have come to expect from the girl from Longview, Texas.
Yet, as the show began to wind down, Miranda decided to come back onstage to give them something no one expected.
Joined by just her guitar player, Miranda stepped out on the dark stage with something special in mind. “I know things were a little weird tonight,” she told the adoring crowd, seemingly referring to a couple musical missteps that her true fans had already forgotten. “I just felt so at home being my normal self tonight.”
Indeed, as recent years have thrust Miranda into a spotlight that perhaps she still feels uncomfortable in, Friday night’s show showed vulnerability, a sweetness, and just an overall sense of contentment that Miranda fans might have missed in recent years.
But it was back, especially as she tore into a stripped-down version of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” It wasn’t a new cover of Miranda – in fact, she used to perform it in her early days playing Joe’s Bar just a handful of miles from the big amphitheater she found herself onstage at Friday night.
But on this night, her vocals seemed to soar like never before on the country classic. On this night, the lyrics seemed to fall into her lap like they were meant to be there. On this night, the crowd fell under a trance by her incredible delivery, her stage presence and the way she made us feel that no matter what happens in our lives, there is always a way to stand back up again.
On this night, we fell in love all over again.
And it felt damn good.