Miranda Lambert returned Friday to Tulsa’s BOK Center and, often in concert reviews, you can find lots of grandiose words and phrases to describe what just transpired.
But let’s not overthink this.
It’s this simple: Miranda. Lambert. Is. Fun.
The country music superstar seems to have a ball on stage. And, if you see her show, you’re going to get dragged along for a joy ride by, if not a tractor beam, her little red wagon.
Lambert postponed two recent tour stops because she wasn’t feeling up to par. But, in her second show since resuming the Wildcard Tour, she looked like she was having a heck of a time performing songs like “Little Red Wagon” (it rocks) and covering songs that debuted before she was born — ZZ Top’s “Tush,” John Prine’s “That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round” and “Fleetwood Mac’s “Say You Love Me.” (Keep on rocking Christine McVie, but if Fleetwood Mac ever needs a sub, maybe give Lambert a call, just like the Eagles gave Vince Gill a call.)
Speaking of the Eagles, the legendary rock band and Lambert are part of BOK Center history.
The first act to headline a show at BOK Center was the Eagles on Sept. 6, 2008. The Eagles did not have an opening act.
Four days later, Lambert became the first opening act in arena history. She was summoned to open for Kenny Chesney after LeAnn Rimes, who was supposed to open the show, cancelled due to tonsil trouble.
Lambert has returned to headline five times at BOK Center since, including a co-headliner gig with Dierks Bentley.
“I see a lot of familiar faces in here, so thank you for coming back all these years,” Lambert told the crowd during Friday’s performance.
The set list included material from Lambert’s seven consecutive No. 1 country albums.
At most concerts, performers blaze through two or three songs to set the mood before making introductory remarks to the crowd. Lambert used a different playbook.
The former Oklahoma resident (Lambert lived here while married to Blake Shelton) was seven songs into the show — “White Trash,” “Kerosene,” “Mess With My Head,” “Famous in a Small Town,” “It All Comes Out in the Wash,” “Vice” and “Bluebird” — before stepping to the microphone to say a few words. And, when she did, she said she was happy to be back in Oklahoma.
“I am an honorary Okie as you all know,” she said, giving props to an Oklahoma City tattoo artist who inked her arm.
“I want to say thank you for all the love for all the years I spent here. I love you and I’m glad to back on the stage tonight.”
Lambert then tore back into the show with “Heart Like Mine,” “The House That Built Me” and “We Should Be Friends” before tackling the Prine and Fleetwood Mac covers. There was sort of another cover because, while performing “Baggage,” Lambert and her band mates sprinkled in some “Feelin’ Alright,” a song recorded by the band Traffic before Joe Cocker charted with it in 1969.
Lambert rounded out the show with “Only Prettier,” “Gunpowder & Lead,” “Mama’s Broken Heart,” “All Kinds of Kinds,” “Tequila Does,” “Tush,” “Automatic,” “White Liar,” “Little Red Wagon” and “Pretty Bitchin.’”
The support acts were Parker McCollum, who made his arena debut one night earlier in Kansas City, and the Randy Rogers Band, Through words or apparel, Cain’s Ballroom got a shout-out from both opening acts. One of Lambert’s band members wore a Cain’s Ballroom shirt and another wore a shirt with words that said “Listen to Woody Guthrie.”
Lambert didn’t do the costume change thing. She walked on stage wearing boots, a black skirt, a pink shirt with long blue tassels and pink hoop earrings. She ended the show in the same gear.
The most important thing Lambert wore was a smile.
At the end of “Mama’s Broken Heart,” she threw her head back a little and laughed. If you’re going to headline at BOK Center for a fifth time, you might as well have fun doing it.