For the country sensation that is Maren Morris, it was a surprise she wasn’t playing to a venue the size of the Pepsi Center. Her onstage presence and vocal power would no doubt fill up the entire arena. Instead, the Texas-born singer sang to a sold-out crowd at the Fillmore Auditorium on March 18. Morris proved the worth of her vocal range and her impressive lung capacity throughout the entire performance and she did it in heels. She may not have been breathless, but we all were.
The night kicked off with opener and personal friend of Morris’s, Cassadee Pope. You may recognize Pope as the lead singer of Hey Monday where they opened for Fall Out Boy at The Fillmore nearly 10 years ago. If that’s not ringing a bell, perhaps it’s when she won the TV singing competition, The Voice under Team Blake in 2012, thus launching her country career. Wherever you previously heard (or didn’t hear) her, Pope delivered a fun and energetic performance. Her live vocals proved why she was the winner of a singing competition and although her pants were questionable — there was a crowd theory that she was wearing snowboarding pants — her performance was not. Pope sang for a little over half an hour, which was enough for an opener, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Pope were to head her own tour one day.
Morris came on stage at 8:30 p.m. and began the night with her song, “GIRL” — the first single released off her second album with the same title — GIRL. She stood in the back on a raised platform, guitar in hand, dressed in a silver glittered jumpsuit with boots to match. The opening song paired with Morris’s dazzling ensemble perfectly represented who she is — a female country artist who uplifts and empowers girls everywhere, including herself. For being a little over five feet tall, Morris had a presence and energy that filled the whole auditorium, leaving no corner untouched. To say she enamored her fans would be a severe understatement. It was nearly impossible for one to take their eyes off the singer. Her talent doesn’t fall short either. Morris happens to be among the best in the country music scene right now. GIRL filled the number one spot on the Billboards chart for Top Country Album and she broke a massive streaming record for a country album, earning a whopping 24 million streams in [GIRL’s] first week available. All this was something Morris found out during her tour stop in Denver, thus telling the audience, “it’s a night of celebration.” And girl, did she celebrate.
A stand-out performance of the night was of her new song, “All My Favorite People,” a song that is initially sung as a duet on the album, featuring Brothers Osborne. However, for this tour, Morris brought out Pope to sing with her and it was like watching two best friends perform karaoke at a country bar. Except they both have impeccable voices and a full band to back them up. This was a song that looked and felt like a celebration with all her favorite people.
While country music sometimes has the reputation to have lyrics that are for lack of a better word, cheesy, they are also among the most honest and relatable. Morris recently got married and she told the audience that her song “To Hell & Back” was written for her husband. It’s a song about unconditional love in its most pure and raw form. We’ve all, at one point or another, experienced that kind of love. Some other noteworthy songs included, “80s Mercedes”, “The Feels”, “Rich” and an encore performance of one of her most recognizable songs, “The Middle” that she collaborated with Zedd and Grey on.
Morris delivered a knockout performance that would have any fan of music struck with admiration and respect. It’s not hard to understand why Morris topped the charts or why she’s selling out her tour shows. Just like it won’t be hard to imagine her selling out shows to stadiums the size of the Pepsi Center one day.
All Photography by Bridget Burnett Photography.