The second the lights on Mane Stage went out and the clock struck 8:30 p.m., the crowd at the Stagecoach country music festival simultaneously threw their beers in the air and shouted “MAREN!” at the top of their lungs.
A well-deserved welcome for the current queen of country music.
Yes, I know that’s a pretty bold statement. But having seen Maren Morris three times in the past five years, I’ve watched her go from a little-known opener for Sam Hunt far below to a place far from headlining one of the most major festivals in the country, and I decided that this title was deserved.
Morris strutted onto the Mane stage with her acoustic guitar strapped to her fringed lime green floral dress on Friday night, and she opened the set with the radio hit “Circles Around This Town,” the lead single from her latest album, “HumbleQuest”. The upbeat poppy jam is an ode to Morris’ early days in Nashville trying to become a songwriter, and it was the perfect way to open his Stagecoach 2022 set – which took place exactly five years to the day when he made his Stagecoach debut.
“It’s kind of the first time we’ve really tried these new ones on the road,” Morris alerted the crowd, who responded with more cheers.
The singer then sang one of her first hits, “80s Mercedes,” the first of three songs she sang on her 2016 debut album “Hero.” The other two were “I Could Use A Love Song” and the equally beloved “My Church”, the latter of which everyone in the crowd seemed to be singing in unison.
It wasn’t until she sang the pop hit “The Middle” (without DJ Zedd and electronic duo Grey), however, that the crowd hit their energy peak, screaming at the top of their voices when Morris called on them. asked to sing the chorus again. his.
“Oh shit!” she laughed in response, so startled by the loudness of the crowd’s screams that she admitted to forgetting a few words at the time.
Morris also treated fans to a few songs from her second album, “Girl,” including the title track as well as “All My Favorite People,” which festival performer (and hubby) Ryan Hurd came up to sing instead of the songs. collaborators. on the song, Brothers Osborne (who will be on the Mane Stage on Saturday night).
Although all of the songs on her new album were beautifully sung – especially “Background Music,” which she jokingly called a “morbid love song” about how she’ll always have her husband even when they’re broke. -beens – the highlight of the night was undoubtedly when Morris closed the set with “The Bones”. She told the crowd that the song held a special place in her heart because of how it rose to the top of the national charts at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many fans sent her a message online saying she spoke to them during the distress. weather.
As she sang the opening lines “We’re in the home stretch of the highlights, we’ve taken a left turn, but it’s alright”, I felt a collective sigh of relief as the crowd swayed around of me.
It was as if my neighboring festival-goers were also thinking of their loved ones at the time – just like I was of my best friend, who once told me that “The Bones” had helped her through the darkest time. most difficult of his family.
But Morris is right, I thought. We are well. Especially after a jolt of tears like that.