When: Sat., May 19, 7:30 p.m. 2012
Playing an arena is a damn hard thing to do well. The usual approach is to dial things up to 10 in hopes that the sheer volume and theatrical energy of a performance will make it all the way back to the people in the nose-bleed section. Miranda Lambert is the rare act in country, or any genre for that matter, who has found a way to translate the warmth and fierceness of her personality into such an oversized, anonymous setting. She gets the crowd behind her by strutting the stage when she’s singing songs that show her rough-and-rowdy side, getting vulnerable when she means to, and talking to everybody in the building like real live human beings. Something else that makes this a notable show: It’s the rare chance since a sneak peek during last summer’s CMA Fest to see Pistol Annies, who so far have managed to do things that matter to both rock critics and country fans, and to attract the thoroughly high-concept T Bone Burnett as a producer.