By Ciara Bains
Miranda Lambert is country music's resident bad-ass bitch, and boy did she show us why during her Nissan Stadium set at CMA Fest 2023.
It was a night full of high octane performances and a seemingly endless batch of extra special guests - HARDY performing with Lainey Wilson and Lauren Alaina; Cody Johnson bringing out the one and only Reba McEntire; Lainey Wilson welcoming Tanya Tucker and Elle King to the stage - and it's safe to say that Miranda certainly got the memo for her set, too.
After she kicked things off with opener 'Bluebird' (arguably a slightly mellow start for a stadium show), Lambert introduced Leon Bridges to perform their 2023 song 'If You Were Mine'. The Texas contingent was out in full force, Miranda and Leon alongside CoJo reaffirming the Lone Star State's ever-strong musical talent.
Following 'If You Were Mine', the boss attitude she's loved for really came to the fore, as she rolled into 'Mama's Broken Heart' and 'Little Red' CMA Fest host Elle King then made yet another appearance on stage to perform their Holler favourite hit euphoric hit 'Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home).
But the wildest moment of the set came in the form of one of the most unexpected guests. "There's been a lot of girl power out on this stage tonight", she announced as she paced the stage. "And I think I know the exact person I would invite out here to make more badass happen right now. Y'all welcome my new bestie, Miss Avril Lavigne to the stage!".
Understandably, the crowd proceeded to lose their minds, as the two closed the set on Avril's noughties anthem 'Sk8er Boi'.
Lambert has established an unfaltering rock set, appearing utterly under control and rather nonchalant throughout. It's a noticeably different brand of rock to that of earlier performer Lainey Wilson, whose sound is far more 70s inspired and country-centric. She incorporates flavours of multiple genres to almost achieve a sound that transcends one particular label, other than perhaps a general descriptor of 'feminist bangers'.
Her performance is also refreshingly void of the increasingly cliché "I'm proof that all your dreams can come true" spiel. In fact, there's very little chat at all between her songs, but that's not to say that she gives of an impression of being ungrateful.
Rather, Lambert is just a performer who knows her shit and has grafted hard to reach the top for years, and it's a demeanour that perfectly matches the message of her music. We don't need the soppy moments from our no-fucks-given queen.
Miranda Lambert - Setlist
From her set at the Nissan Stadium Main Stage at CMA Fest 2023 on Friday, June 9, 2023.
For more coverage of CMA Fest, see below: