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Once Upon A Time There Was A Girl Who Really Loved Sledding That Was Me Poster
When Miranda Lambert walked offstage at Denver’s Pepsi Center on March 2nd of 2020, it marked the last time she would perform in front of paying fans for more than a year. That dry spell came to an end last week when Lambert played her first three of five scheduled indoor concerts at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth.
A cavernous 100,000-square-foot space, Billy Bob’s has become a live-music institution in Texas since opening in 1981. Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, and ZZ Top have all performed there. Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, and Bob Hope once headlined a New Year’s Eve party at the club. And in the coming days, artists like Thomas Rhett, Gary Allan, and Lynyrd Skynyrd will take the stage as part of the honky-tonk’s ongoing 40th anniversary celebration — even as the Covid-19 pandemic remains a threat. While nearly 10.7 million of the state’s 29 million residents have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported 1,390 new cases and seven deaths on Monday.
Lambert says she didn’t hesitate about making her live concert return at Billy Bob’s.
“I got the call about Billy Bob’s wanting to do a few nights and I didn’t even think twice. I’m ready to roll. I’m ready to play. I’m ready to come home and play,” the Texas native told Rolling Stone during an interview for an upcoming story about The Marfa Tapes, her new album with fellow Texans Jack Ingram and Jon Randall.
Any nerves Lambert may have had were more about shaking off the rust than performing in a packed club during a pandemic.
“I’m a little nervous, because I haven’t played…. I played one private show in August and that was my only show in over a year,” she says. “What better place to get your feet wet a little bit than home. My mom bought 44 tickets just for my family and friends on [opening night], and they’re sitting in the front row. She’s like, ‘If you melt down, we know the words, don’t worry.’ I can’t think of a better way to jump back in there.”