Musgraves details divorce: live in concert

Kacey Musgraves poses with a veil during a shoot for her new album “star- crossed:unveiled.” The album serves as a reflection for Musgraves after her divorce. // Photo courtesy of Adrienne Raquel Press

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, country-pop artist Kacey Musgraves graced Atlanta with her presence on Feb. 9 and offered her audience a whirlwind ride through her past bouts with love and heartbreak.

Musgraves visited State Farm Arena for her tenth stop on her “star-crossed: unveiled” tour, performing the titular album along with a few other songs from her previous albums. 

She also brought MUNA and King Princess along as her opening acts, who performed for the first hour and a half of the concert.

After the openers concluded, the lights dimmed and the uneasy plucking of the strings on a Spanish guitar opened the main act. “Star-crossed” is a very theatrical album, and Musgraves made sure its live rendition conveyed the Greek tragedy she had envisioned.

Its titular opening track features Musgraves offering to “set the scene” for the listener, and live, the show embodied the setup and dramatics of the opening number.

Ending “star-crossed” with a flaming heart behind her, Musgraves then looked at her own insecurities in her marriage and started “good wife,” which was a solid song even without its intentional autotune from the album version.

Musgraves then took a break to greet the audience, screaming “Hotlanta! Y’all are looking fine tonight!”

Musgraves then hit some of the more upbeat tracks for the night. “Cherry blossom” and “simple times” both amped up the energy in the stadium and owed to the apparent fleetingness of her marriage. This section of the concert was rounded out by “breadwinner,” which had every woman in the stadium dancing and their boyfriends sweating.

Musgraves then moved backwards in time to perform songs from her previous album “Golden Hour,” working through her bigger hits and ending with “High Horse” and all of its disco mania. As much as that hyped up her audience, she immediately went to the “I’m sad because I’m divorced” part of “star-crossed.”

She started with “camera roll” and “hookup scene,” and then played her equally depressing and very first single “Merry Go ‘Round.” This part of the concert was more drawn back and intimate, and it honestly seemed like it was just the audience and this woman with her guitar talking about her relationship and life struggles.

After acknowledging the bleakness of the last three songs, Musgraves called on someone in the audience to pick her next song for “Kacey-oke,” which consisted of four possible covers. The attendee chose “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, and Musgraves did a wonderful job visiting the often-covered song.

She then returned to her music and performed “justified” and “there is a light” in quick succession, representing the anger and healing parts of her melodramatic divorce. She then concluded her main set with “gracias a la vida,” a truly powerful ending. Musgraves returned to the stage once more to perform “Slow Burn” and “Rainbow” from “Golden Hour,” before finally ending the encore and the night.

Overall, Musgraves had an excellent album to take the stage, literally filling out its intended purpose as a Greek tragedy. The visuals and live versions of the songs were good, and her coverage of old material was also appealing to her longtime fans. As sad as it is to hear someone sing about their divorce, no one could tell the pain Musgraves went through, and she made sure her fans were right there with her in this new and happier stage of her life.