This past Wednesday, Kacey Musgraves blessed the stage at The Met Philly with her presence. The country–pop star has been on a streak of success following the release of her Grammy–winning album Golden Hour, and she proved exactly how her success came to be with her set at The Met. Featuring tracks off of Golden Hour and her earlier albums Same Trailer, Different Park and Pageant Material, her performance was a great sampler of her music and a perfect treat for her fans.
Weyes Blood, the stage name of Natalie Mering, opened the night by playing songs from her 2019 album Titanic Rising, warming up the crowd with chill, soulful vibes. Primarily behind the keyboard for her performance, she sang while accompanied by slow, soothing tones on guitar and synth. Her airy, sonorous opening set perfectly prepared the audience for a night of intense emotions.
Musgraves' set began shortly after, shrouded in darkness while her band played her in with "Slow Burn," the tender opener to Golden Hour. Obscured on stage, her voice shone through, coupled with the speckled neon lights across the stage. From there, she moved through "Wonder Woman" and "Butterflies," two faster–paced, though just as sweet, songs about love and relationships.
Although Musgraves' music was at the forefront throughout the night, her stage show also incorporated enough lights for your typical EDM set. During her more upbeat tracks, her silhouette was stark against the LED backdrop that cycled through kaleidoscopic and psychedelic visuals while lasers cut through the air. On her slower tracks, light-up balls descended for a mellower ambiance.
Musgraves has a natural talent for stage banter, grabbing a giant mask of herself from an audience member and holding it next to her own, or later explaining how one of her bigger songs, "Follow Your Arrow," was turned down for radio play due to its message, but still gained mainstream success.
After playing through a high–energy group of songs, including "Lonely Weekend" and "Golden Hour," her band moved to the center of the stage and traded their electric instruments for acoustic, the keyboard player swapping his synth for a pedal steel, and the bassist swapped his electric for an upright. The warmer sound that followed for the songs "Mother," "Oh, What a World," "Family Is Family," and "Love Is a Wild Thing," was one of the highlights of the set, as it showed a softer side to her music and took advantage of the amazing acoustics of the sizable venue.
After the band returned to their previous positions, the set began to wrap up. Some of the energy of the beginning began to wane, but Musgraves responded with a cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" to enliven the audience once again, coupled with some crowdpleasers like "Space Cowboy," "Follow Your Arrow," and "Rainbow," the latter two receiving a huge response from the LGBTQ+ members of the audience. After playing through a cover of Brooks & Dunn's "Neon Moon," Musgraves closed out on "High Horse," the country–disco takedown of toxic masculinity.
Musgraves' music has a powerful quality of feeling entirely personal to each and every audience member, although drawn largely from Musgraves' life. She draws, too, from country, disco, and pop to create a show that feels universally loved. The show was enough to brush off the worries of the workweek and give audience members a reason to feel some resonance of hope. Her music even brought comedian John Mulaney down to the city of Brotherly Love for the evening. Although held in the middle of the week, Musgraves' performance felt like a perfect, lonely weekend.