Review: Maren Morris takes the next step to superstardom

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Maren Morris’ second major-label album, “Girl,” has only
been out a little over two weeks. Yet, you couldn’t tell that by
the way the crowd reacted to the material on Tuesday (March 26) at
the Masonic.

“You guys haven’t had very long to live with this record,”
Morris commented to the overjoyed, capacity crowd. “But I see you
already know all the words.”

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And they’d prove it, starting with the anthemic title track
that opened the 19-song set, which marked the first time Morris had
headlined a show in San Francisco.

The crowd sang along with gusto throughout the roughly 90-minute
show, backing up Morris at times and nearly drowning her out at
others. It was an impressive display of enthusiasm and support for
the country-pop artist, who released her major-label debut,
“Hero,” in 2016 and has continued to climb in popularity ever
since.

Morris showcased both her versatility and ambition as she moved
through a variety of different musical genres and styles, from Top
40 pop to Americana rock to sophisticated love ballads.

This is how @MarenMorris
starts show at @sfmasonic
pic.twitter.com/hkq4MicpoE

— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic)
March 27, 2019

The loser in all this, however, may be country. Sure, that’s
still the aisle where you’ll find her music at the record store.
But she’s now tasted crossover success — in the form of the
smash hit “The Middle” — and everything about “Girl”
shouts that she wants more.

It’s highly conceivable that Morris will someday follow in
Taylor Swift’s footsteps. But let’s hope that she sticks with
country music as long as possible, since that is still her greatest
strength.

The show also served as a testament to Morris’ ability as a
songwriter. It’s very impressive how many excellent songs she’s
been able to craft (or co-craft) in the space of two albums.
Probably 15 of the 19 songs played were all first rate tunes.

80s Mercedes @MarenMorris
pic.twitter.com/Q6rcognj1Y

— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic)
March 27, 2019

One of the best of the night was the new album’s “A Song for
Everything,” which, like Eric Church’s “Springsteen,”
celebrates the connection between music and memories.

“What’s your time machine?” she sang. “Is it Springsteen
or ‘Teenage Dream’?”

But then she adds another layer of meaning to the song,
addressing what it’s like to find a song that somehow sums up how
you feel about someone special.

“When you were looking for the words / Somebody said it first
so you didn’t have to / It was looking right at you”

Anyone who has ever made a mix tape or play list for someone, or
even dedicated a song on the radio, can certainly identify with
those lyrics.

. @MarenMorris
joined onstage by @CassadeePope
pic.twitter.com/0h4Meye8od

— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic)
March 27, 2019

She’d continue on to deliver “Common,” which is a
sophisticated Adele-style pop number, and later the country-rocker
“All My Favorite People,” which brought opening act Cassadee
Pope back out to the stage. And Morris and her five-piece band
sounded great on pretty much every song.

She also did a fine job connecting with the crowd, as she
chatted during several breaks in the action and gave her fans
glimpses into her life. In one instance, she talked about how she
and her husband had just celebrated their one year anniversary in
San Francisco. She sounded very much in love.

“If you have someone who loves you and is not judgmental and
is not trying to dim your light, hold onto that person,” Morris
shared.

She also made sure to give the crowd a pat on the collective
back, complementing fans for being really into the show.

“You are a really loud and bad ass crowd.”

“Make Out With Me” by @MarenMorris
pic.twitter.com/iTmMe52cVS

— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic)
March 27, 2019

And, as the show drew to a close, Morris made a commitment that
likely every fan in the building hopes she’ll keep.

“I’ll just make a promise: If you keep showing up, then
we’ll keep showing up.”

Here’s the set list, based on my notes and information from
setlist.fm:

“Girl”

“The Feels”

“80s Mercedes”

“A Song for Everything”

“Common”

“To Hell & Back”

“All My Favorite People”

“I Could Use a Love Song”

I’m Could Use a Love Song @MarenMorris
pic.twitter.com/SvViSeIBlo

— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic)
March 27, 2019

“Make Out With Me”

“Gold Love”

“Flavor”

“Great Ones”

“Once”

“Rich”

“RSVP”

“The Bones”

“My Church”

Encore:

“Shade”

“The Middle”

Source: FS – All – Interesting – News 2
Review: Maren Morris takes the next step to superstardom