West Virginia got a dose of girl power Friday night when Miranda Lambert’s Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars tour stopped at the Charleston Coliseum.
It was a solid night of rocking country music with a heavy dose of Americana and indie rock.
Lambert and company got a good crowd, though not a sell-out. It was a ladies’ night crowd, with plenty of girlfriends and moms and daughters, but it wasn’t entirely guy-free.
Each of the artists brought their own particular flavor of country music to the show. Canadian singer/songwriter Tenille Townes, best-known for her hit “Somebody’s Daughter,” showed off the more thoughtful side of country, singing songs that spoke more to everyday life than being the life of the party.
Elle King brought the party, channeling the vocal power of rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson and Kid Rock’s blue-collar swagger.
And Lambert was the country star.
She looked and sounded amazing, running through songs from her upcoming record “Wild Card,” as well as some of her better-known hits, like the anthems “Gunpowder & Lead” and “Famous in a Small Town,” and the feel-good song, “All Kinds of Kinds.”
Lambert’s stage presence was remarkable. Lambert has performed songs like “Gunpowder & Lead” a thousand times and could probably walk through them in her sleep, but she made them look and sound fresh.
The crowd, bellowing along to the song about a woman exacting vengeance after domestic abuse, knew the words by heart and felt the rage.
During Lambert’s set, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley — the other members of the Pistol Annies — joined her on stage. The power trio played several of their hits, including “Hush Hush” and the playful, divorce-survivor tune “Got My Name Changed Back.”
The night ended with all of the women gathering to cover Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”
There was a lot to love about the show. Lambert was the highlight, but the cover of U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by Townes was beautiful, and King was a riot all the way through her set.
More than anyone else, she seemed genuinely glad to be on that stage and in West Virginia.
My only complaints were that King’s set went on a little too long. It felt like the time might have been divided a little better; Townes could have used another a song and Lambert could have played just a little longer.
The sound in the Coliseum during some of the more rocking songs seemed distorted. I couldn’t say if that was because of where I was seated or if it was the acoustics, but the vocals were occasionally swallowed up in the volume and garbled.
The Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars tour stop at the Charleston Coliseum was definitely a ladies’ night event, but it was a show for just about any country fan.