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Miranda Lambert Rings in 2011 With Surprise-Filled Show

Robert Gauthier, MCT

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t think 2010 was Miranda Lambert’s year. From her engagement to Blake Shelton to her first No. 1 with ‘White Liar’ to being named the CMA’s Female Vocalist of the Year, not to mention Album of the Year for ‘Revolution’ and Music Video of the year for ‘The House That Built Me,’ Miranda’s had lots of reasons to smile this past year. In which case, she was the perfect person to ring in the new year with a special guest at the Pechanga Casino in Temecula, Calif.

“Welcome to the last show of 2010,” said the songstress before kicking off her set with ‘Only Prettier,’ which brought everyone to their feet. The energy remained high for ‘Kerosene,’ as the band was backed by four fire-filled screens at the back of the stage.

“I’m sad to see 2010 come to an end,” Miranda confessed. “I had a great year with my first No. 1 and I got engaged. I’m excited because next year I actually get married. Blake and I have that real kind of love, not a fairytale. The ‘I will put up with your crap for the rest of my life’ kind. I actually wrote this song with him and my friends from Lady Antebellum.” With that, she started singing the appropriately titled ‘Love Song.’

“This song is for all the small town heroes in the house tonight,” she dedicated before starting ‘Famous in a Small Town.’ Without stopping the music, Miranda went directly into the chorus of Hal Ketchum‘s ‘Small Town, Saturday Night.’

Miranda slowed down the pace for ‘Dead Flowers’ and ‘More Like Her‘ before hitting it full throttle again for ‘Maintain the Pain.’

“Almost six years ago I met this boy from Oklahoma; his name is Blake Shelton,” she gushed. “Then in May, I convinced him to buy this ring. Blake and I like to party, sometimes a little too much. It says somewhere in the Bible that Jesus drank wine, so I wrote a song about that.” Her current single, ‘Heart Like Mine,’ is said song, which shot the crowd back out of their seats.

‘Time to Get a Gun’ was next, followed by a cover of Johnny Winter‘s ‘Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo,’ then ‘Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go‘ and the emotional, blockbuster hit, ‘The House That Built Me.’ A Miranda-ified version of Steve Earle‘s ‘Hillbilly Highway‘ led into ‘White Liar,’ which the audience sang back to the Texas native. “Thanks for making this my first No. 1 ever,” she hollered.

Miranda showed off her impressive calf muscles, jumping around in five inch high heels for ‘That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round.’

Miranda declared 2011 the “year of redneck chicks,” adding, “and if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m one of the beer drinking, Hell raising, deer hunting, fried okra eating girls. Don’t be fooled by my heels, I am damn good with a shotgun. One thing I can’t stand is a man who beats up on a woman. I wrote this song about justice,” she explained before ending the show with ‘Gunpowder and Lead.’

As the clock was quickly approaching midnight, Miranda returned to the stage donning red sunglasses with a silver balloon tied to them and champagne in hand. “God bless your 2010 hard working asses,” she yelled before counting down to the new year. As her guitar player played ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ Miranda discreetly ran off stage, perhaps to kiss Blake Shelton? She returned almost immediately before grabbing her shotgun shaped microphone stand for Joan Jett’s ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.’

“I wish you all a good year,” she said before announcing she had a special guest. With that cue, Blake Shelton appeared on stage carrying his guitar. He seemed genuinely taken aback by the crowd’s cheers before singing an acoustic version of his hit ‘Home,’ with his wife-to-be on background vocals.

“In 2011, I get to be Mrs. Shelton and you’re here tonight,” Miranda sang, instead of the lyrics “It will be all right, I’ll be home tonight.” The couple ended the night with a kiss, before saying goodnight.

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