Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley rock Breslin
Rock n’ roll n’ pink.
Lambert and co-headliner Bentley’s tour stopped by Breslin Center on Saturday night for what the singers noted was a surprisingly good time sober.
“I know y’all aren’t drinking tonight, and I’m really sorry for that,” Lambert told the crowd of up to 8,000, referring to the Breslin Center’s lack of alcohol sales. “This is the rowdiest sober crowd I’ve ever seen.”
The Grammy Award winner and multiple time nominee seemed to get the crowd’s approval. They roared when Bentley pulled a crowd member on stage and quickly showed her a short riff on the guitar, which she continued to play for a minute or two.
Lambert also had a guest on stage, although thoroughly uninvited, as a female member of the crowd jumped on stage and ran up to the rifle-shaped microphone stand holding a pink microphone where Lambert was standing, before being escorted off the stage and back into the crowd.
Sarcastically, Lambert then told the crowd with a laugh security was really tight as she finished out her number.
“Those are clearly some of the top acts in the country regardless of genre,” Wharton and Breslin Center marketing manager Tara Peplowski said. “(Lambert) is somebody that is rock and country all in one and super high energy.”
Peplowski said the show also was highly unique in its stage arrangement, as two “pits” allowed for audience members who paid a higher price to stand up next to the catwalk-like stage.
The night started off with country star Lee Brice, a guest performer at the typically two-star show.
Brice sang hits including “Hard to Love,” “I Drive Your Truck,” and “Love Like Crazy” to a fairly subdued crowd in comparison to Brice’s high energy.
Co-headliner Dierks Bentley took the stage next with blue and red lights shining for songs, such as the police-themed “5-1-5-0.”
Many bluegrass fans appeared to be present as screams for Bentley got exceedingly louder as he invited his band members to the end of the catwalk-like stage to play his Bluegrass-themed “Up On the Ridge” and the bluegrass versions of his other songs.
Bentley put his heart, soul and guitar on the line when he gave his guitar away to someone in the crowd at the end of his set. The crowd, however, truly came alive for the final performer of the night, Miranda Lambert.
Crowds roared for both the soulful ballads and the fast-paced, angry-girl style country music as Lambert stomped her boots and whipped her blond strands back and forth at the base of the giant pink guitar photo that ran down the length of the catwalk at the end of the stage. Marketing senior Nicole Smith said she has been a fan of Lambert’s for some time and she enjoyed the performance from her place in the pit.
“Every person seemed really genuine and really good,” Smith said. “ Everyone was so into it.”
Lambert showed love for East Lansing as she flashed photos of local bars including Rick’s American Cafe, 224 Abbot Road, Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub, 131 Albert Ave., and The Riv, 231 Mac Ave., and photos of local icons, including basketball head coach Tom Izzo and MSU mascot Sparty, to her song “Famous in a Small Town.”
The night ended with Bentley, Lambert and both their bands on center stage singing their version of “Bad Angel,” a song they’ve previously performed with Jamey Johnson before walking off, arms around each other as the lights came on.
“It was more than what I though it would be — Dierks Bentley is the man,” crop and soil sciences freshman Christian Tollini said, adding he was born and raised on a farm. He said he enjoys seeing a bit more country music in the area.
“I haven’t been to a huge headliner before,” Tollini said. “The performances are pretty great.”