Since so many of us are at home for an indefinite amount of time, I guess now is a good time to get ourselves together. For me, that’s finally writing a blog post from about five months ago when I saw Maren Morris live for the first time. And man, did she take me to my church. I’ve been to my fair share of concerts, and lucky enough to see some of my favorites. When I saw Taylor Swift on her “reputation” Tour and Kelsea Ballerini on her Unapologetically Tour, those were religious experiences to me. It was insane. And I can now proudly add Maren Morris’ show to my religious experience list. It was everything I needed at that time in my life.
Back in October 2019, I drove down to Nashville to visit my brother and his fiancé. It was my first time taking a solo road trip which was a very freeing feeling on its own. Before I drove down, I decided I was going to splurge on concert tickets because quite honestly, I really deserved it at that point. I was only going to be down there for three days, so the chances of someone having a concert that I really wanted to see were slim. However, I saw on Twitter just days before leaving that Maren Morris was going to be in downtown Nashville for her GIRL World Tour. And that’s when I decided that I was going to make my own dreams come true to see her and purchase the tickets.
The Setlist for Maren Morris live
- The Feels
- 80s Mercedes
- Good Woman
- A Song for Everything
- All My Favorite People (with Ryan Hurd)
- To Hell & Back
- I Wish I Was
- Second Wind / Halo Cover / Second Wind
- The Middle
- I Could Use a Love Song
- Loose Change (with Amanda Shires & Natalie Hemby)
- Crowded Table (with Amanda Shires & Natalie Hemby)
- Redesigning Women (with Amanda Shires & Natalie Hemby)
- The Bones
- What Would This World Do Without You (with Ryan Hurd) – Live debut
- My Church
Maren gave a few speeches that were empowering throughout the show, but my favorite was the one right before I Could Use A Love Song. She told the story of this song right before it was released as a single from her Hero album. Maren really wanted this song to be a radio single for country radio and told a radio DJ about it and he told her not to. He said that he didn’t want to listen to sad women on his radio, no one did. Well, thankfully that radio DJ was wrong because people did want to hear it. It became her second number-one single. In the era of GIRL and the general era of being a woman – especially in the music industry, it was the most satisfying way to give the middle finger to men who think they know what’s best for everyone. Because they don’t.
All My Favorite People came…
I was excited when she did “All My Favorite People” because being that the show was in Nashville it wasn’t that far-fetched that Brothers Osborne could come out since they were featured on the song. But they didn’t which was okay because I saw them two summers ago (which was fantastic). Instead, she brought out her husband, Ryan Hurd, out to do their part which was fun. He’s fantastic since I was also lucky enough to see him on Thomas Rhett’s Home Team tour back in 2017 where I also saw Kelsea Ballerini live for the first time and Russell Dickerson.
However, I really lost my mind when Maren brought out her supergroup, the Highwomen. The Highwomen consists of Maren, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby. Roughly over a month before this show, they released their first album together and it’s fantastic and all the yeehaw vibes. We love strong women with powerful vocals and fun personalities. Unfortunately, Brandi Carlile wasn’t able to make it to the show but it was still quite the experience to witness and I was excited to hear their songs live regardless.
It was healing…
If you’re not new to my music posts, you know how much I constantly say that I believe music is medicine and magical. And because it is to me at least. My completely brokenhearted self was out there vibing, dancing, and drinking. It was the first real fun and joy I’d felt in a really long time so I definitely cried a little bit here and there throughout the show. Do you know how much dancing with your hands up and scream-singing lyrics to The Middle, Rich, Flavor, The Feels, GIRL, Redesigning Women, All My Favorite People, 80s Mercedes, and My Church was? It was the next level for me. And scream-singing those broken heart songs like Once, Second Wind, I Wish I Was, and I Could Use a Love Song was freeing.
Basically, she didn’t play one song that I didn’t know the words to (okay maybe one because it was a live debut but still) and love wholeheartedly. It really makes me happy to think back on and that’s basically what this post is if no one even reads it. It’s for me to remember what this one moment meant to me in the depths of my own storm. It was a break from reality. And that’s what I love about live music. Everyone out, dancing, and having a great time. Even listening to the songs back as I’m writing this is putting me in the best mood. The power of music, folks.
A few songs that mean a lot to me that she played…
“Can I get a hallelujah, can I get an amen. Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya when I play the highway FM. I find my soul revival singing every single verse. Yeah I guess that’s my church”
There are some hit songs you hear and hit skip on but for me, I can’t hit skip on My Church because the holy ghost quite literally does run through me. I’m going through that whole thing where I’m wrestling with my idea of faith that I grew up with. I was raised Catholic and it’s just not something I closely identify with anymore for a multitude of reasons. However, when I first heard this song I felt it was my spiritual awakening. The realization that music – country or any genre – could be my church. The thing that I’ve loved for as long as I can remember could be my church. I’ve never looked/listened to music the same ever since.
Music is my church. Country music is my church. Thank you for helping me find that, Maren.
“Do what you do cause what you do don’t phase me. Just when you think I’m at the end, in a second I’ma catch my second wind”
Have I mentioned I recently went through a debilitating breakup? Because unfortunately, I’m going to keep talking about it because it’s very much part of my story. This was my favorite song to listen to on repeat a couple of months ago. It empowered me. Was I sad? More than I can ever convey to someone. But it felt like I had a little pep talk in my ears walking around my campus listening to this song going from class to work to class to class and repeat every day. It was my weird saving grace. A lot of music during this time was.
A Song for Everything
“My first real goodbye, damn, that second verse still makes me cry. When I was looking for the words, somebody said it first like they knew me, they were singing right to me”
There really is a song for everything out there. Have you ever had that moment when you hear a song for the first time and it so gracefully puts your current/past situation, feelings, or mood into the words you’ve been trying to conjure up? Because I have and then I want to blast those lyrics all over the place like I’m my 12 year-old-self back on Facebook updating my status for the millionth time in a day. We’ve all had those songs that dance us through the highs and comfort us through our lows.
I Wish I Was
“I’m not the hero in the story, I’m not the girl that gets the glory. ‘Cause you’re looking for true love and I’m not the one but I wish, but I wish I was”
Yes, another breakup song. Technically this song is about dumping the other person, but I relate to the chorus. I thought I was finally going to be the girl that “won”. That found her person at an early age and that was it. But I wasn’t and yet I wanted so bad to be that girl for that man. Turns out I was enough. He wasn’t.
“Draw your comparisons, tryin’ to find who’s lesser than. I don’t wanna wear your crown, there’s enough to go around. What you feel is natural. You don’t gotta put up with this anymore. Pick yourself up off the kitchen floor. Tell me what you waitin’ for?”
The ultimate girl power anthems of all time. We as women do not have to be in competition with each other. Instead, we can cheer each other on because there’s enough to go around. We do not need to steal each other’s glory because we each have our own. It can be difficult to navigate and unlearn the way we’ve been taught that our fellow women are our competition. We aren’t. We’re in this together.
To Hell & Back
“Smoke was comin’ off my jacket and you didn’t seem to mind. I left a long trail of ashes and you said, “I like your style”. Now, heartbreak ain’t a competition, but I took it in a landslide. The skeletons I wanted to bury, you liked out in the light”
This is what I imagined my last relationship was like. Like he was the one I was looking for after my first heartbreak. And maybe he was for that chapter of my life. But whoever is the one I end up with is really who I imagine in this song now. The one who wants to build a life with me, cheer each other on, and see our “flaws” as something to embrace rather than change and be upset about.
“If you need my arms to hold you together, they’ll be right here to hold you forever. Sometimes we won’t know the road that we’ll face. But we’ll get where we’re going even if we’re late”
I connected to this song right away because it’s emotionally vulnerable in how one loves. That there are good women out there. Some of you have them but just let them go. But our love is strong, loyal, unconditional, and unwavering. And you need to match that.
Maren Morris Live in Music City
I must say there was nothing close to what I experienced when she sang The Middle at the sold-out Ascend Amphitheater in Music City lost their minds. Everyone was singing along so loudly and intensely that it was even a little hard to hear Maren singing it. But it was incredible and oddly enough felt like a sense of comradery and we love that. The crowd was electric and the lawn was actually quaking.
Another thing she did that couldn’t be replicated was her and Ryan Hurd debuted their song “What Would This World Do Without You” they wrote for a beloved Nashville songwriter and producer busbee who passed away in September which I mentioned in my Carly Pearce track-by-track post. It was a very sobering moment and an emotionally vulnerable song. It was the most silent I’ve ever heard a crowd be at a concert. Did I cry? Of course. She wasn’t about to end the show this way because she still had to take us to church with her breakthrough hit that she co-wrote with busbee. And that’s how it ended. A poetically beautiful ending from a show I won’t ever forget.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever experienced? Are you a Maren Morris fan?