Free at Noon Flashback: Kacey Musgraves lights up the stage with her unique brand of country - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Kacey Musgraves | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN |

Later this very night, Kacey Musgraves will play on a much larger stage to a much larger crowd. But this afternoon, the rising country star was more than content to bring things down a notch and play a soft, intimate set to a crowd brimming with enthusiasm.

Before today’s performance even began, as a line of eager audience members filled the World Cafe Live stairs and spilled out the door, it became clear that this would not be your average Free at Noon. And if you were lucky enough to score a spot at today’s sold-out show, you had the rare chance to see Kacey Musgraves on what may just be the smallest stage you’ll ever see her. But even though the Texas native is accustomed to playing bigger shows these days — especially on her current arena tour with Harry Styles, which makes a stop at the Wells Fargo Center tonight — she seemed downright thrilled by venue’s homey feel and awestruck crowd.

And in turn, Musgraves made World Cafe Live feel like home, easily filling the room with her warm and welcoming songs. Backed by a six-piece band which included instruments from banjo to pedal steel to upright bass, Musgraves’ country influences are evident — she herself plays acoustic guitar and was wearing the sparkliest pair of boots I’ve ever seen. Powering through an eight-song set, Musgraves highlighted songs from her new album Golden Hour, which has been receiving a good deal of critical and popular acclaim, and added in a few older tunes.

After opening with the new record’s title track, Musgraves observed that while it may have been pretty early in the day, there was “room for us to be a little weird.” There’s a story behind each of Musgraves’ songs, and she took the time to say something about each one. Continuing with “Butterflies,” Musgraves mentioned that she wrote the song after meeting her now-husband, and later added in a self-described “depressing country song,” “It Is What It Is,” joking that it would balance out all the sappy love songs.

Before launching into “Love Is A Wild Thing,” Musgraves remarked on the tumultuous state of the world, saying that even if it takes a long time, “love will trump hate in the end.” She mentioned Pride Month before playing “Rainbow,” adding that it had been her grandmother’s favorite song, and shared her inspiration behind “Happy & Sad,” wondering why there isn’t a word to describe what it’s like to feel both emotions at once.

Musgraves left the stage only for a brief moment before reappearing to play an encore, as the World Cafe Live disco ball kicked into action and someone in the ecstatic audience shouted “I don’t want to go back to work!” Closing out the performance with two of her most popular songs — Golden Hour standout “Slow Burn” and her 2013 breakout single “Follow Your Arrow” — Musgraves proved that the kind of country music she plays isn’t quite like anyone else’s, and that it sounds just as good in a small room, or across radio airwaves, as it does in an arena.

Golden Hour
Love Is A Wild Thing
It Is What It Is
Happy & Sad
High Horse

Slow Burn
Follow Your Arrow

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