Miranda Lambert Recalls Time She Set Her Mic Down And Refused To Sing Until The Crowd Woke Up

Miranda Lambert wearing a hat

Miranda Lambert is a bad one.

She was recently on Apple’s Essentials Radio podcast to talk to Kelleigh Bannen about some of her most iconic and recognizable songs and the stories behind them. They cover everything from her debut single “Me and Charlie Talking,” to her first CMA performance of “Kerosene” in 2005, to writing “Over You” with ex-husband Blake Shelton, and more.

My favorite moment from the conversation, though, is one she tells from way  back in the day, during her time on tour with Toby Keith opening for him in 2007. Apparently, a lot of his fans were less than thrilled to see her perform…

“It was an amphitheater tour and one night, the whole audience, they wouldn’t even clap hardly. I was about to do ‘Gunpowder,’ and it was my last song.

I only had like twenty minutes or something. Maybe it was 45 minutes, I was in the middle slot. And I just put the mic down.”

She was on stage, in front of thousands of people as an opener, and simply proceeded to set the microphone down and roast the entire crowd? The girl has some guts.

“I said, ‘If y’all want to see Toby, right, you’re here to see Toby?’ I realized that, clearly. They’re like, ‘Yeah!!’

And I was like, I will leave as soon as I get a reaction. If anybody could just stand up, one person. And so the band vamped for like a solid minute and a half, which is like death to me, because I hate dead time on stage. I panic.

Finally two people just stood up and I just left the mic on the ground and I was just lookin’ around, I was just pacing, walking back and forth.

The whole crowd stood up and they started to clap and I don’t know how it happened. I didn’t know what else to do!”

Of course, she learned a big lesson that night about the intangibles of being a great performer:

“That was one of those moments where I was like, you really can’t tell someone how to do that. You have to learn it the hard way.

They didn’t give a flying shit about what I had to say, but I won them. And I had to work really hard for that.”

It’s those types of stories that make you respect an artist like her even more.

She told Kelleigh another great story about the first time she performed at the CMA’s over 15 years ago. Miranda said for some reason, she was really concerned about the amount of pyro they were using for the song,

“I remember I was so worried about the budget because there was so much fire and it’s expensive and I was like, ‘Am I going to have to pay this back to the label? Is this going on my tab?’ I was all panicked about… I don’t know why for some reason I was worried about that.”

Well, she wasn’t just worried about the budget, but also her hair:

“I had all this weave, a million pounds of hair and hairspray because that’s what you do in country music. And I was like, ‘What if I catch my hair on fire?’ My manager’s like, ‘It’ll be even more press.’ I’m like, ‘Okay.'”

No such thing as bad PR, I guess. Luckily, nothing caught on fire and the performance went off without a hitch. Pretty sure her label never billed her for it, either.

Watch her tear it up way back when:

A beer bottle on a dock


A beer bottle on a dock