Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert Roll “The Bandwagon Tour” Through New York’s Jones Beach

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From the moment Little Big Town took the stage at New York’s Jones Beach Amphitheater, it was clear that the near-capacity crowd was in for a special night. They began their set with “Rollin’,” setting the mood for The Bandwagon Tour stop at the ocean-front amphitheater. The foursome roared through their set, their unrivaled harmonies floating through the open air venue.

“We’ve heard all about you, but this is our first time here!” Kimberly Schlapman exclaimed to the audience, immediately intoxicating the New York audience with her distinct Southern drawl. “We will definitely be back!”

The group soared through some of their biggest hits, such as “Pontoon,” “Day Drinking,” and “Better Man,” while also including some deeper album cuts like “Lost in California,” “Happy People,” and “Stay All Night.”

It was “Better Man” that elicited the crowd’s most impassioned singalong, but a cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” truly ascended to the sky, led by Jimi Westbrook. At this point in the night, I declared this cover one of the best things that ever happened to me.

After a quick break that included a brilliant jukebox that counted down songs until Miranda Lambert appeared, the country music pistol took the stage with a rocking version of one of her earliest hits, “Kerosene.” Decked out in boots and fringe, Lambert was every bit the country star, her talent shining through the night as she effortlessly sashayed between her sassy and tender sides.

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“We have one rule here, and that’s that you’re drinking tonight!” Lambert exclaimed, toasting to the crowd. Highlights of her set included a furious version of “Gunpowder and Lead” and a rightfully frenzied “Mama’s Broken Heart.” Lambert’s softer side was also on display on songs such as “Vice,” “Over You,” and “The House That Built Me.”

Mid-way through her set, she was joined on stage by Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley for an impromptu Pistol Annies reunion, the trio sassing their way through “Hell on Heels” and “Takin’ Pills.” This reunion was another highlight of the night, and my life.

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“I make it my goal, every time I step on this stage, to make you feel something, and I hope you do,” Lambert told the crowd, admitting that sometime those feelings included sadness as she launched into “Tin Man.” It was during the final strains of this song that Little Big Town reappeared, offering their superb vocals to the conclusion of the song, and creating a sound that can only be described as what heaven might sound like.

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From there, the new quintet launched into a shared forty minute set that included covers, as well as some of their biggest hits. They traded verses on “Girl Crush” (arguably the night’s biggest sing-along), “Boondocks,” “Little Red Wagon,” and “White Liar,” feeding off each other vocally. Their cover choices were phenomenal, going from the Dixie Chick’s “Goodbye Earl” to Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name,” Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” and ending the show with Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me.”

We can’t rave enough about The Bandwagon Tour, and if it rolls through your town, make sure to get on board!

Tenille Townes and the Turnpike Troubadours opened the show.

 

 

*All photos courtesy of Becky Fluke.

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