Review: Kacey Musgraves at Enmore Theatre, Sydney, May 12, 2019
“When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight roll up the joint”, or got to a Kacey Musgraves concert.
It’s one of the few places where members of the LGBTQI community and Tamworth Country Music Festival lifers band together to shower an artist with wigs and cowboy hats during the encore.
In February Musgraves won the Album Of The Year Grammy Award for her fourth record Golden Hour. Four years ago she performed at the 5th CMC Music Awards, a relative unknown in Australia and a ‘hype act’ in Nashville’s country music scene.
Last night, as she took in Sydney as part of her debut headline tour of Australia, Musgraves created a neon glow that still hasn’t left us.
Through tracks like ‘Slow Burn’, ‘Butterflies’ and ‘Merry Go ‘Round’, (which was inspired by her small town ennui in Golden, Texas), Musgraves made sure to make her country-tinged, gallows humour feel just like home.
“Even though [‘Merry Go ‘Round’ is] about we’re I’m from, I’m pretty damn sure it’s about where you’re from too.”
Watch Kacey Musgraves’ video for ‘Merry Go ‘Round’:
The special thing about Sydney’s Enmore Theatre is that it’s big enough to mark a sign-post moment in an artist’s career; but small enough to show off our sense of community.
In ‘High Time’, the crowd started their own clap sequence, sans any gestured encouragement from the band. And after ‘Oh, What A World’ – when Musgraves introduced us to her six-piece band dressed in matching brown suits and turtle necks – the crowd called for a shoey.
Musgraves looked at her silver platform heels poking out from her floral flare power suit and said:
“I’m not fucking drinking out of your shoe. You could have athlete’s foot or something.”
Perhaps the most splendid moment came when Kacey Musgraves hinted that we felt like home. It was shortly after we helped her record a “Happy Mother’s Day Karen!” clip on her phone (after ‘Mother’), and right after soothing ballad ‘Family Is Family’, which she wrote about “all the crazies” in her family.
Musgraves was standing at the front of the stage when she said: “Actually this is weird, but I feel like Australia reminds me a lot of Texas. I think it’s y’all’s attitude I guess.” And just like that, it felt like we were family.
If you’ve been following her live shows for a while, you know it wouldn’t actually be a Kacey Musgraves concert if she didn’t perform a few songs barefoot.
Ditching the heels for her two-track encore (‘Rainbow’ and ‘High Horse’) – which she delivered with the kind of expert precision usually only reserved for on record – Musgraves waved a rainbow fan and dodged a slew of wigs and hats that landed softly on the stage. Because roses are passé and so are genre definitions.