In front of a crowd filled with plaid shirts, ten-gallon hats with cow tags attached to their rim and leather boots under flare jeans, country music sensation Kacey Musgraves played the main stage at CMC Rocks QLD festival in Australia this past Saturday.
With Musgraves being a Texan native, it was to no surprise that she stuck to the ‘go big or go home’ mantra; taking to the stage accompanied by western stand off music, a desert backdrop, illuminated cacti and cow skin rug beneath her feet.
Musgraves was dressed to the nines (should the ‘nines’ be a southern hoedown)… Though an orphan once sung, ‘You’re never fully dressed with out a smile’; and that orphan, with a smile in tow, ended up a daughter to a billionaire. Musgraves has the talent, the music and the look, though lacked in the presence. Aside the occasional smirk or lyric-appropriate eye roll, Musgraves delivered an almost boring performance for the better half of the show. It don’t matter how big your hair is, how many flashing lights are on your boots, or how many Grammys you have sitting around your house… if you don’t bring it, you don’t got it.
Given this was my first time seeing Kacey perform a full set live, I was unsure if it were that she was unable to command the crowd, or if the crowd just wouldn’t take to be commanded. Each time the microphone was turned towards the audience, only a few voices could be heard. Squealing was almost non-existent, and any attempt at clapping to the beat was foiled within the first few seconds. I’ve always said that Queensland crowds are a hard one to crack, and this confirmed it. Could it have been an off day for Musgraves? Possibly. Could it have simply been an off crowd? Likely.
Stage presence aside, Musgraves gave an incredible performance. With faultless renditions of songs off her current album, Same Trailer, Different Park, as well as songs off her forthcoming album including a personal favorite of mine, Biscuits (Available on iTunes 03/17). It wasn’t until she performed sans-guitar that her personality shone through. With her country take on the R’n’B hit, “No Scrubs,” as well as reggae version of “Step Off” that morphed mid-song into Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” Musgraves kept audiences on their toes.
Of course no Australian show would be complete without the foreign act screaming something us Australians never say, though always answer to.
“Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!”
To which the crowd replied, the loudest I’d heard them the entire show, “Oi, oi, oi!”.