Sonically and visually stunning
Ben Broyd
15:33 23rd June 2022

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Last night, country artist superstar Kacey Musgraves took to the incredible stage situated at the historic Hampton Court Palace, and the entire evening was really as special as it sounds. Sat in the immaculate gardens of the Palace, the mass excitement, dulcet acoustic tones from the surrounding performances and sight of cowboy boots everywhere you turned - it was regality meets americana. 

Country music as a genre may not be as popular or as mainstream as it was back in its heyday, but you can say wholeheartedly that Kacey Musgraves is an artist who is flying the flag high for the prestigious genre and captivating a new audience with its charismatic tones. After taking our seats in the auditorium, a jovial cover version of Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’ settled us into the evening, preparing an already hyped up crowd for the main event as her 7-piece band trooped onto the stage whilst everyone present anticipated the global phenomenon that is Kacey Musgraves. As Kacey entered the stage she was greeted with enormous roaring applause, as an artist of her calibre would, but something about it felt warm, almost familiar and friendly rather than simply a bunch of fans cheering for their fave. Strutting towards the mic in a full gold-sparkle jumpsuit - everyone knew this was about to be special.

Diving right into ‘Star-crossed’, the vulnerability and openness of her latest release poured into the audience, doubling down on a strangely intimate environment in the huge space. Playing songs across her eclectic catalogue of records, Kacey showed perfectly just how versatile she is as an artist, displaying her electrifying vocal talent, along with her brilliant guitar skills. Merging talent and charm at every turn, her personality was infectious as her hilarious sense of humour and Texan wit had the crowd like putty in her hands. During these interactions with the audience, she also stated her fondness of the British audience that has supported her for so long, explaining how she first visited the country back in 2012, and ten years on, is still feeling the same love that she felt when she first crossed the pond from her small town in Texas over to the British Isles. 

The sun began to set over the Hampton Court Festival stage, and as it did, Kacey’s performance really began to illuminate. In a lovely interaction with the crowd once more, Kacey talked off synergy and how the crowd powered the band, each matching the others levels. And as the crowd continued their excitement long after sundown, the band only got stronger. Delicately intertwining ‘Camera Roll’ in between her cover of Elvis’ ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, taken from Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 ELVIS, the presence of classic covers tied a neat string between Kacey and her many influences. Moving seamlessly between album cuts and a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’, the latter could’ve been mistaken for one of her own as she added a touch of that Kacey-Country-Magic.

As a six-time GRAMMY Award winner, the reaction of the crowd after she left the stage proves exactly why she is so deserving of such accolades. Leaving the crowd awestruck after closing with the captivating singles ‘Slow Burn’ and ‘Rainbow’, the combination of Kacey’s immaculate sound and the stunning surroundings, the beauty was indescribable. The slight Red Rock-esque feel to it when you take into account the rich culture and history behind the venue, finding more ways to merge country and classics in a venue befitting of an artist in the ilk of Kacey Musgraves. Captivating from start to finish, its not everyday you see a show like this.

See photos from Niamh Louise below:

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Photo: Niamh Louise