The country superstar delivers The Ultimate Vegas Party at first-ever residency
Miranda Lambert sparkled in a Rhinestone-studded aqua Nudie-style shirt and skirt laced with fringe. Her show at Zappos Theater inside Planet Hollywood is perhaps the most appropriate residency in Vegas for this week where cowboys and cowgirls descend upon Sin City. During the day on Thursday (Dec 8th), the dirt arena ruled, but at night they all cut lose at Miranda Lambert: Velvet Rodeo The Las Vegas Residency, which has recently been extended.
As expected of any Vegas residency, the production is over-the-top and opulent. Crystalline graphics shown on Zappos’ state-of-the-art 8K OLED screens. The oval screen displayed cactuses, old west towns, and houses full of memory, all with the clarity and depth of a real window into these worlds.
It’s hard to understate how traditional Miranda Lambert sounds. The lineage of her style can be traced back to Patsy, Tammy, even Loretta. All were women unafraid to put their raw emotion into song. Case in point: “White Liar,” a 2009 hit for Miranda with a jaunty melody that betrays a scathing message to a deceitful lover.
Nostalgic “The House That Built Me” and “Automatic” are made all the more poignant by the emotion and longing with which Miranda’s vocals imbue them.
“Famous in a Small Town” transported Vegas to Middle America, where everybody’s worth is celebrated. It’s clear that Miranda may have left her native Longview, TX, but that Texas has not left her.
Though, the number most revealing of her personality may be “Heart Like Mine.” A song in which the main character details various relationships and how she feels a bit misunderstood except by Jesus. Not necessarily a religious song, it speaks to the desire to live an authentic life regardless of who “gets it.” Miranda certainly has done that in her life and career.
It is this traditional sound that makes the more modern, rocking numbers a stark contrast. That’s been the dichotomy of her career: take the tenderness of “Tin Man” and contrast it with the fiery fury of “Kerosene.” “Geraldine” from her latest studio album, Palomino, is a mid-set showstopper that continues the tradition of Miranda’s trademark sass as found on “Little Red Wagon” and “Mama’s Broken Heart.”
Caesars Entertainment has been investing greatly in country music over the last decade. Miranda is the latest in a long line of legends to grace their stages including Reba, Brooks and Dunn, and Shania, among others. The latter even had two residencies at Caesars properties, one at the Colosseum, and one at Zappos. Garth Brooks will join the Caesars family of country stars when his residency begins in May 2023. TMU will be on-hand for opening night.
Miranda did not leave the stage throughout most of the show. Perhaps this is a metaphor. Miranda rose to prominence in an era defined by the so-called pop-influenced “bro country” sound. This led her to be one of the few mainstream artists to carry on a more traditional sound through the 2010s.
Notice that I only referred to her by one name? That’s because like Patsy, Tammy, and Reba before her, this Vegas residency proves she has more than earned the mononym.