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A photo of TD Garden during a Kacey Musgraves concert
A photo of TD Garden during a Kacey Musgraves concert
Molly McGuigan
Entertainment

‘star-crossed: unveiled’ — Kacey Musgraves Tour Review

For the first time in what feels like forever, our favorite artists have found ways to safely tour and perform live all across the globe. I recently had the opportunity to experience my first major concert since before the pandemic, and in her “star-crossed: unveiled” stadium tour, Kacey Musgraves and co. did not disappoint. Read on for a review and some of the highlights of the show.

first opener: muna

Personally, I always get to a show early to see the openers (you never know what up-and-coming artist you’re going to see before they make it big!), but the rest of TD Garden in Boston, MA didn’t seem to have the same idea when MUNA took the stage. With the lights on and concert-goers still shuffling in, the L.A.-based band consisting of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin, and Naomi McPherson started their opening set. 

I, along with most of the crowd, was only familiar with one of their songs, the summertime hit “Silk Chiffon.” However, this didn’t stop MUNA from absolutely owning the stage during their allotted time. The electronic pop band brought unparalleled energy that got me dancing in my seat (even from the balcony). Despite the lack of attention from the Garden’s full audience, MUNA exuded confidence and electricity, and they were a perfect opener to get the crowd excited.

second opener: king princess

I may be biased in my analysis of King Princess’ set, because as a long-time fan of hers, I was just as excited to see her as I was to see the headliner herself. She began with a few songs off of her debut album, Cheap Queen, and even gave the audience a preview of her sophomore album. King Princess’ Mikeala Strauss has a discography that is so broad that you can hear a lovely melody like “Talia” one moment, a more gritty rock song like “Tough on Myself,” and then a more classic pop song with a great beat like “Ain’t Together” back to back. 

With TD Garden finally filling up by the middle of her set, Strauss made an active effort to interact with the excited crowd. At the very end of her set, she played her most popular song and very first single, “1950,” during which the crowd responded with phone flashlights beaming, lighting up the Garden. Strauss began noticeably tearing up at the beautiful shared moment between thousands of people. Overall, she brought incredible energy, leaving the audience wanting more— and was a perfect opener for Kacey Musgraves, especially considering that star-crossed showcases more of Musgraves’ genre-blending talents, not just relegating her to the realm of country music.

Kacey Musgraves: star-crossed

With two openers, and a few technical difficulties causing a late start in the concert, you could start to feel the anticipation building in the air leading up to the main event: Ms. Kacey Musgraves herself. Concert-goers donning everything from glitter unitards, to pink cowboy hats, to full-on wedding veils filled every seat in TD Garden, selling out the venue for Musgraves’ first headlining stadium tour. 

Just as in the album itself, Kacey began with the title track “star-crossed,” setting the tone for the rest of the album and concert: “Let me set the scene / Two lovers ripped right at the seams / They woke up from the perfect dream / And then the darkness came,” the song begins. If you haven’t been following Musgraves, star-crossed recounts her recent divorce from Ruston Kelly and all the ups, downs, and confusing emotions that come with the loss of a marriage and best friend. As one of her most personal and emotional albums yet, Musgraves infused every bit of the album into her performance. When she finally sang the first “star-crossed” in the song, the stadium was lit on fire— literally. There was a heart of flames on stage behind her, and every audience member’s special wristbands handed out before the show lit up red. It was an incredibly powerful moment and start to her set.

Kacey continued with the following songs in the album, with “good wife,” “breadwinner,” “hookup scene,” and “justified”, providing exposition to her relationship and personal struggles. While the album is clearly based on her specific experience, the songs address the pitfalls of the institution of marriage as a whole, and more broadly, what it is like to live and learn as a woman in society. The album is not all negative, however— songs like “keep lookin’ up,” “what doesn’t kill me,” and “there is a light” all speak to the positive hopefulness that comes with entering a new phase in one’s life. 

As much as I love star-crossed, I was very much hoping to hear some songs from her previous, Grammy award-winning album Golden Hour— and once again, I wasn’t disappointed. Nor was I alone— Kacey asked the audience: “Is it okay if I sing some songs from Golden Hour?” and the deafening roar of the crowd made the answer clear. In addition to the songs from star-crossed, I was lucky enough to hear “Golden Hour,” “Slow Burn,” “Butterflies,” “Space Cowboy,” among a few others, and Musgraves even played her very first single for ‘the OG fans’— “Merry Go ‘Round.”

The show was not flashy. There weren’t any crazy outfit changes, excessive props, or elaborate sets— but Kacey Musgraves doesn’t really need any of those things. She has one of those voices that seems unreal when you hear it, and just as unreal when you hear it live. Her unique vocal talent perfectly accompanies the fusion of pop, country, and rock found in her songs, and her witty and authentic personality certainly comes across when she speaks to the audience in between songs. 

As the concert came to a close, I was getting worried I wasn’t going to hear my favorite Kacey Musgraves’ song. Luckily, after a (purposeful) fall off the stage to close out the show, Musgraves came back for an encore, singing the song the audience was yearning for: “Rainbow.” The entire stadium lit up in vibrant flashes of color, and the chorus of the audience singing “there has always been a rainbow hanging over your head” was truly powerful. This very last song ended on an ethereal note, leaving each attendee with a high they’d be riding for a while (at least this was the case for me). 

Molly is the Vice President and a contributing writer for Her Campus UConn. A junior at the University of Connecticut, she is currently studying Communication with minors in English and Political Science. She enjoys writing, film, art, dogs, and anything fall-related.
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