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Maren Morris is candid about motherhood on dazzling new concert tour: review

Maren Morris is candid about motherhood on dazzling new concert tour: review

As fans in vibrant floral dresses, wide-brimmed cowboy hats and leather boots flitted their Southern-inspired style down Sixth Avenue and into Radio City Music Hall on Friday night, the famed New York City venue was transformed into a set befitting Maren Morris’ breezy . pop-country twang.

The stage was decked out with patches of tall green grass and lighted trees in preparation for the 32-year-old singer-songwriter’s return to the historic venue, following her 2019 Christmas show. Four years prior in 2015, Morris played the Gramercy Theatre; her first show in the city, capacity 650 fans. Just six years later, the hit-making hybrid best known for the crossover hits “The Middle”, “My Church” and now “Detour” are back again to play a hall made for 6,000.

Maren Morris

Maren Morris performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York on her Humble Quest tour, July 29, 2022. (Rich Fury/MSG Entertainment)

As Morris gracefully appeared on stage, wearing a fringed turquoise top with a see-through floor-length skirt, she opened with one of her newest tracks “The Furthest Thing”, instantly hooking the crowd of all ages, swaying from side to side in a trance as her light vibrato carried across the room.

In June, Morris began touring in support of his third major LP, the passionate and soulful “Humble Quest,” which was released in March to rave reviews and a No. 2 spot on the country charts. Naturally, the artist was clearly excited to share the songs she wrote during the covid-19 lockdown.

But that’s not all Morris did during the pandemic.

“I gave birth,” she remarked to the audience. “I have a two-year-old boy.”

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Maren Morris

Maren Morris performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York on her Humble Quest tour, July 29, 2022. (Rich Fury/MSG Entertainment)

As the chords of her 2019 song “RSVP” played quietly, the Texas-born star continued to open up about the experience of becoming a mom to son Hayes in March 2020. At the beginning of motherhood, she didn’t feel very creative, she said.

“I wasn’t thinking about music, I just wanted to learn how to be a mother,” she said. She tried to start another sentence, but before she could, the proud fans rallied behind loud shouts of support and empathy.

“Today I am the happiest version of myself. Thank you for seeing me through these very strange things and times,” Morris said before segueing into “Humble Quest’s” title track, giving new meaning to the album title.

A few songs earlier, Morris brought out her husband and fellow singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd to sing her heartfelt “I Can’t Love You Anymore,” for a passionate duet — and for those wondering about the song title, the hook is “I Can’t Love You Anymore you longer than I do now.”

Maren Morris

Maren Morris performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York on her Humble Quest tour, July 29, 2022. (Rich Fury/MSG Entertainment)

Across the crisp 90-minute performance, tracks shifted seamlessly as the night wore on, and the fervor of the fans rarely let up.

As Morris played the first chords of his breakthrough ballad “I Could Use a Love Song,” a group of women in front of the audience were projected onto the big screens, beaming as they waved bright pink paper hearts to the beat.

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Just as previously seen on the “Humble Quest” tour, Morris included a cover of “Criminal” by Fiona Apple, but for this “special” night in New York, Morris took the advice of a fan on Twitter and added a spontaneous rendition of Elton John’s “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” from 1972. Morris led the first verse with great confidence and any doubts about her ability to perform the song were removed when the crowd sang out “I thank the Lord there are people out there like you” with extra great power.

Maren Morris

Maren Morris performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York on her Humble Quest tour, July 29, 2022. (Rich Fury/MSG Entertainment)

Adding to the night’s emotional journey, Morris took time to explain “Hummingbird” as the lullaby she wrote for Hayes, her “tour bus baby,” letting it be known that the track brought tears to her eyes. She continued with added support from the other band members as they joined her to harmonize on the same microphone for the duration of the sweet melody.

After a night of sharing the mic with fans, collecting fan letters and grasping outstretched hands as she moved across the stage, she and the Radio City crowd became fast friends. She candidly shared glimpses of family life, personal struggles and thoughts on stage between songs – all of which seemed to resonate deeply with those in front of her.

As the clock struck 11 p.m., Morris and her band quickly made their way to the side stage to bring the house down with their biggest hit, “My Church.” The tune’s booming chorus reigned as the audience belted out in unison.

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While Morris said she “fell out of love with the music business in the last couple of years” and isn’t sure if she ever loved it, she made it clear that she got to spend time touring, connecting with fans and exploring her music career her “nourishes her soul.”

Maren Morris’ set list

July 29, 2022 – Radio City Music Hall, New York

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Sarah Dolgin can be reached at [email protected].

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