by Katie Laban
Let me start this review off by saying I’m not a huge country music person, only certain acts appeal to me. So when I walked into the Maren Morris concert in my Star Wars shirt and Chucks and saw the other women in rhinestones and shirts with slogans like “I’m here for the country music and beer,” I was pretty sure I was the odd duck out. It didn’t matter what I was wearing because that night to the sold-out crowd in Detroit, everyone was out to enjoy the music and have a good time.
Touring the world to promote her sophomore album, Girl, Morris kicked off the show at The Fillmore with the title track on the top staircase to loud cheers from the huge crowd. Morris is tiny and her guitar looks like it’s half her size, but that doesn’t keep her from commanding the stage – she’s a vocal powerhouse. Strong, amazing sounds come out this little lady that overtakes the theatre and it’s impressive. It’s no wonder she has such a dedicated fan base that sings along with every song and cheers loudly in between each of them.
Morris went from one song to the next without much talking in between songs. Usually I’m a fan of the acts that will just play a show straight through unless you know they are a good storyteller, because I’m not one for a lot banter at a concert – I’m there for the music. The one bummer about Morris’ show was you could tell she had good stories, but the crowd didn’t want to listen. On one hand, for the performer, a sold-out crowd is awesome, but for the attendee, this is where the mass amounts of people can be a hinderance since when the majority starts to cheer and clap, the rest follow suit, which happened between every song at this show. You can’t fault the crowd’s excitement – everyone, and I mean everyone – was excited to be there and no one, at least from where I was on the floor, was pushed or did the jerky concert things that people can do to each other once the show starts. It was a high-energy show and people were decent to each other, which can’t always be said. I only wish the decency had led to the audience quieting down so we could have heard Morris’ stories like when she was explaining how she wrote “To Hell & Back.” That was in the beginning and it seemed like she said less and less as the show went on. I wanted her to say more, which for me, is out of character.
The music was amazing. She had a simple set with a large screen that occasionally showed her, but usually was a light show to go with her songs. It let you live in the moment and enjoy it as it happened. On her album, she sings “All My Favorite People” with the Brothers Osbourne, but that night, her opening act, RaeLynn came on stage wearing a baby carrier with her dog Dolly inside of it. It was definitely a crowd pleaser! She sang a mix of some of her old songs from her first record, Hero, and then most of the songs from Girl. Highlights were definitely “The Bones,” “80s Mercedes,” “Common,” “I Could Use A Love Song,” and “Make Out With Me.” She even played the jam of last year that she did with Zedd, “The Middle,” as the final encore song. The song that got the biggest cheer from audience was her final number before the encores, Morris’ first single, “My Church,” which from the little bit of explanation that I could hear her say, she said, “I like to circle back to where I started from.”
A night at GIRL: The World Tour is very much about being fully immersed in Maren Morris’s music. It is what the fans coming to the show expect and the fans got exactly what they expected. Don’t come expecting a spectacle. Don’t come expecting dancing. Don’t expect costume changes. Don’t come expecting cowboys or cowgirls. (Well maybe in the audience…) Don’t expect glitz and glamour. This is about the music. It’s fun. It’s real. It’s a good time. It’s live. It’s electric. And don’t worry if you’re the girl in a Star Wars shirt and Chucks, this is one country show that you’ll fit right in because it’s all about the music.