Live Review: Kacey Musgraves – ‘Oh What a World’ Tour at Express LIVE, Jan. 29

By Devon Hannan, Editorial Director
[Photo by Devon Hannan, Editorial Director]

There are only so many concerts worth standing in single-digit temperatures for; this is one of them. It’s funny how after so many punk shows, you kind of expect a live concert to sound, and look, like absolute shit. However, the first five minutes of Kacey Musgraves’ Columbus stop on the Oh What A World tour was enough to make even the least production-savvy listener understand the beauty of a superbly formulated and well-performed production. While Musgraves gave a stellar vocal performance, the tour’s awe-inspiring lighting and set-up made the country artist share the stage in the most symbiotic of ways.

Read more: Album Review: Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

Kicking off the evening was Liza Anne, an indie-rock, riot grrrl-esque artist hailing from Nashville, Tenessee. Anne’s lyrical components seamlessly bridged any skepticism left-wing rockers may have initially had about the country crossover. While Anne may not have been the stereotypical country opener, her powerful, yet sincere croons emulated fellow alternative front-runners like Angel Olsen and Mitski.

After Anne’s set and two 24-ounce Miller Lites, Musgraves appeared front and center in a foggy silhouette, opening with “Slow Burn”. As the stage gently grew brighter from the illumination of a giant neon fan, Musgraves transcended into other beautiful Golden Hour odes such as “Butterflies”, “Lonely Weekend” and “Happy & Sad”.

With minimal breaks between songs, Musgraves only broke the concert’s ever-encapsulating aura to talk about family, love and weed — which in Musgraves’ world, could all mean the same thing.

As Musgraves floated across the stage, she even dug up old classics from her debut Same Trailer, Different Park, including every LGBT country kid’s coming-out anthem “Follow Your Arrow”.

Backed by an incredible full band, sonically, the show was purely grounding and rootsy at its worst; and at its best, Musgraves and co. made listeners feel atmospheric, out-of-body and blissfully at peace.

As the end of her set neared, “Space Cowboy” saw not a single dry eye. However, Musgraves’ cover of “I Will Survive” revived the party just in time to end with the country-disco banger of the century, “High Horse”. As bright-colored beach balls bounced over the audience’s heads, Musgraves’ all-inclusive celebration came to a fulfilling close.

That said, one of the most incredible things Musgraves is able to do is bring listeners from every corner of the Earth a little bit closer together — for even just a fleeting moment, we can all escape to a part of Kacey’s magical world.

You can see Kacey Musgraves at one of her remaining dates here.

You can listen to Golden Hour below.


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