Country artists dazzle Topekans

Country Star puts on successful concert The female country singer sang popular songs such as “Kerosene” and “White Liar” into her shotgun shaped microphone.

Grammy-winning female country vocalist, Miranda Lambert, was the headline performer Oct. 6 at the Kansas Expocentre. She performed along with Justin Moore and the Randy Rogers Band to produce a very entertaining show.

The night began with the Randy Rogers Band, a lesser-known country band that had a few good songs but only performed about five songs. The band opened last year for Willie Nelson at the Topeka Performing Arts Center and was in the running for the ACM Awards Top Vocal Group of the Year award, along with the Band Perry, Little Big Town, the Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum.

Justin Moore’s performance was next, and he drew a huge ovation from the audience. His hits, such as “Small Town USA,” “Backwoods” and “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” made a big splash, and his antics on stage were appreciated by the crowd. At one point, he started riding his microphone stand like a horse. I had heard many of Moore’s songs on the radio, but I didn’t know he sang them all until the concert, so it was a nice surprise to hear many songs that I knew the words to.

Finally, Miranda Lambert hit the stage and put on a great performance. She had previously performed at the 2010 Country Stampede in Manhattan and performed at Landon Arena in 2007 with Jason Aldean for Dierks Bentley’s Live & Loud Tour.

Lambert’s hit songs list has been growing for some time now, beginning with her first hit “Kerosene” and continuing with “White Liar,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Country Songs chart, and “Gunpowder & Lead,” which reached No. 7. The audio presentation was terrific, and I was able to get right up by the stage for her performance. I thought Lambert’s vocal performances were electric, and I laughed a bit when I realized that her microphone stand was actually a shotgun. I also enjoyed her cover songs, particularly “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix.

About halfway through her performance, she also introduced Angaleena Presley and Ashle Monroe, her fellow members of the all-girl trio, the Pistol Annies, which released its debut album “Hell on Heels” in August. The Pistol Annies sounded great together, mostly performing acoustic songs with gritty themes, and I’m excited to hear more from them in the future. Lambert will also be releasing her next solo album, “Four the Record,” Nov. 1.

Overall, I thought the concert was a great success for the Expocentre. It’s nice to see events like this have success in Topeka, and the crowd support was overwhelming. It was definitely the loudest I’ve ever heard a crowd get in Landon, and that’s saying something, considering I’ve been to soldout RoadRunner games and the Carrie Underwood concert. I’d love to see more events of this magnitude at the Expo in the future, and by the sounds of it, I’d say there’s a good chance we will.