Jack McCall

The Voice of Country Music

On Thursday, December 8th, country music singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves brought the holiday spirit to New York City’s Town Hall with her Very Kacey Christmas Tour. I anticipated that it was going to be a good show, especially after I saw her perform at the Apollo Theater last year, and the concert was amazing.  Musgraves was the first country music act to headline and sell out the Apollo Theater.

Kacey Musgraves is an extremely underrated artist, but her performances always stand out to me. She performs at intimate venues, has a very good stage presence, interacts with her audience, and tells stories between songs. Her concert reminded me of the show VH1 Storytellers, in which artists have conversations and speak of the meaning behind their music while performing.

When I arrived for the concert my seat was towards the back row, but that did not affect the quality of the show due to the layout and intimacy of the venue. The stage was decorated with Christmas trees and winter lights.  Everyone seemed excited for her to perform.  The crowd began to clap when the band came out onto the stage, signaling that the concert was about to begin. The band was dressed in cowboy hats and lighted cowboy shirts, adding to the festive atmosphere. Kacey Musgraves finally came out in a red dress that flared out toward the bottom.

Musgraves opened her set with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” the first track off of her holiday album A Very Kacey Christmas. However, her set was not just Christmas songs. Rather, it was a mix between covers, such as “A Spoonful of Sugar” from Mary Poppins, songs from her debut album, Same Trailer, Different Park, and songs from her second album Pageant Material. In total, Kacey Musgraves performed about 17 songs in her two-hour set. She continued to tell stories between her songs and the audience engaged by laughing at her jokes and by standing up and dancing at certain points. They also sang along to her acoustic version of her first hit, “Merry-Go-Round”. My personal favorite song was ‘‘Mele Kalikimaka”, the Hawaiian Christmas greeting.  Time flew by and before I knew it, her closing song “Follow Your Arrow” filled the showroom as the audience sang along.

I feel that this show was on par with her show at the Apollo Theater. It met my high expectations and I appreciated that she had a variety of songs outside the typical Christmas music songs.  If there was one thing I would add to the concert it would be to include a full acoustic set.

Overall, I would give this concert a 4/5. I would love to see her perform again.   When I left the show, I wondered why she isn’t a bigger name in mainstream country music. It seems as if she is rarely mentioned and when she is, they label her a new artist, even though she has already released two studio albums.  I believe that mainstream country music isn’t used to hearing the type of songs that she writes and sings about; being from a small town and experiences growing up in a trailer park.  Songs with lines like, “ Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy” don’t seem like taglines in mainstream country.  My advice to the country music fans would be to give her a listen because her songs are different and her lyrics help to paint a picture of her world.  A good first listen would be her album  Same Trailer, Different Park.

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