LeAnn Rimes shines in return to Massachusetts

A review of LeAnn Rimes at Indian Ranch on July 23, 2011

, Contributing Writer

When LeAnn Rimes performed at Indian Ranch in Webster Saturday afternoon, it became clear she’s come a long way since her first show there over 14 years ago. Rimes returned to the venue for an unplugged set, showcasing her impeccable pipes through a set of greatest hits and new covers.

Rimes opened the show with a cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night”, fitting, since her forthcoming album Lady and Gentlemen is comprised entirely of covers of male country singers. The 90-minute set gave Rimes the opportunity to showcase several new songs including “Crazy Women” and “Criminal”, which demonstrated a fresh attitude while maintaining her country roots.

At 28-years (self-described as “only 14 months til 30”), Rimes is already a country veteran. While she’s matured over the years, her greatest asset remains her incredible vocals, which were crisp and refined. Two old favorites in “How Do I Live” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” provided early highlights, while she delivered a new-take on her breakthrough hit “Blue”.

Rimes, who was was clearly happy to be back in New England, kept the show engaging. Comparing it to playing her in living room, she conversed with the audience often. Rimes talk candidly about songwriting, family, and even joke about her recent years as tabloid-fodder. There wasn’t one audience wave she didn’t reciprocate, she even went as far to autograph a book for one young fan and accept a beer from an older one.

Unlike some artists, Rimes has the voice and personality to conquer the unique, intimate setting of Indian Ranch. She talked honestly about songs like “What I Cannot Change”, which she closed out with a praiseworthy cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You”. Before singing “Pretty Things” off 2007’s Family, she talked about her mother and prior to debuting new song “Give”, held back tears discussing the Stand Up For Kids charity, which the song will promote.

Rimes closed out the main set with two rousing numbers: a cover John Anderson’s “Swingin'”, the lead single for Lady and Gentlemen, and 2007 hit “Nothin’ Better To Do”. She returned for all too brief encore of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”, a song she said she only recently learned.

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  1. Pingback: LeAnn Rimes shines in return to Massachusetts | Christopher O'Hare | I Hate Me Too

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