Miranda Lambert officially kicked off her Velvet Rodeo Residency in Las Vegas last night.

Live at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino’s Zappos Theater in Sin City, she sang tons of her biggest hits, like “Kerosene,” “Bluebird” and “Gunpowder & Lead,” just to name a few.

And to the excitement of her hardcore fans, she broke out a newer tune from her most recent record Palomino called “Carousel,” which is easily one of the best songs of her career so far for me.

A co-write by Miranda with Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick, it finds two circus performers, Elaina and Harlan Giovanni, missing each other more often than they should, both frequently wondering “what if,” even though they know it was never meant to be.

What I love so much about this song is that the darkness and longing for a life this woman once lived is very palpable, yet she’s moved on to a new life and only remembers those times in little moments, notably when she hears a carousel, hence the title:

“Every show must end, every circus leaves town
I didn’t know the magic left ’til all the lights went down
Now I’m back in Nacogdoches
And I swear I’m doing well
I only miss my Harlan when I hear a carousel”

It’s nuanced, it’s well-crafted, and it might even bring a tear to your eye… I don’t think you can ask for much more than that in a country song.

Though Miranda opted for the more radio-friendly “Strange” as her current single at country radio, I cannot get enough of this perfomance from yesterday.

The original production is already so simple and perfect, and seeing her take the stage in Vegas with just a piano backing her as she belts her hear out is something special.

Of course, the rest of the show was quite polished and over the top, complete with pyro and all sorts of fire, because she is in Vegas, after all…

But seeing such a sincere and authentic moment like this goes to show her true talent and versatility, in that she can captivate the audience during an otherwise extremely flashy show with a simple, heart-wrenching country song and a perfect voice delivering it.

If you wanna know why Miranda’s a country superstar, and has been for the better part of two decades, do yourself a favor and check this out:

“Carousel”

Velvet Rodeo Residency dates:

9/23/22
9/24/22
9/28/22
9/30/22
10/1/22
10/5/22
10/7/22
10/8/22
11/26/22
11/27/22
11/30/22
12/3/22
12/4/22
12/8/22
12/10/22
12/11/22
3/24/23
3/25/23
3/30/23
4/1/23
4/2/23
4/6/23
4/8/23
4/9/23

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