Country superstar Kacey Musgraves made her triumphant return to the Bay Area last month, bringing the second-to-last stop on her Star-Crossed: Unveiled tour to the Oakland Arena. The tour is in support of her fifth studio album, critically-acclaimed star-crossed.
The care Musgraves puts into every detail of her performance was evident throughout the arena. The large stage backdrop was perfectly coordinated to each song, with red and pink gradients, cherry blossoms, and roses complementing every change in tempo and mood. The heart-shaped stage coupled with the large, flaming heart Musgraves performed opening “star-crossed” in front of were further testaments to the care she and her team put into the full concert experience.
Honesty was is at the heart of Kacey Musgraves’s performances, and this concert was no different. From emotional sincerity through her lyrics to down-to-earth jokes between songs, the undeniable joy of the night was propelled by Musgraves’s talent for connection. The juxtaposition between biting, “breadwinner” and idyllic “Golden Hour” demonstrated Musgraves’s lyrical talent and flexibility. She switched effortlessly from tongue-in-cheek musings of relationship power dynamics to a rapturous expression of love, without either message undercutting the other. In her interactions with the audience, Musgraves was delightfully playful and refreshingly real. She teased and joked with the crowd about the branded condoms at the merch booth, while also discussing the challenges of her early career and advocating for her creative freedom.
One of the night’s highlights was “Kacey-oke,” where the audience vied for the honor of choosing a cover song for Musgraves to perform. The ultimate winner (who had a sign that said “Don’t be homophobic, pick me”) chose “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. The timelessness of the song, coupled with Musgraves’s vocal talent and the enthusiasm of the audience, made for a truly magical performance.
Closing out the night were “Slow Burn” and “Rainbow,” two of Kacey Musgraves’s most popular songs from Golden Hour. The arena positively swelled with the sound of audience and performer singing as one. “Rainbow” was a particularly emotional moment. The song, which already holds deeply personal significance for Musgraves, has taken on a larger cultural meaning, growing into an LGBTQ anthem for many of the singer’s fans. Musgraves stands as a refuge within a genre that has not been welcoming for most queer fans, with “Rainbow” encapsulating the comfort and safety that her music provides. It was nothing short of a perfect conclusion to a night showcasing the community that this talented singer has built, and the enduring star power of Kacey Musgraves.
Kacey Musgraves in Oakland, CA
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