Delivers song after song on heartbreak, tough life lessons and getting through – no matter how messy life gets during Atlantis performance
Country’s “it” girl Carly Pearce rolled with the punches as the threat of inclement weather forced what was to be an open-air performance on The Royal Beach into the Atlantis Theater. Pearce simply pulled up a stool on the palm tree dotted stage to give that tropical ambiance feel, for what turned out to be a heart-to-heart connection of sorts with concert goers that were at once uncomfortably personal and universally relatable, to a capacity audience.
My takeaway, your heart may get broken, but you can overcome. And no matter how messy life gets or seems, you will get through it, and can come out on the other side.
In the true ode to country, her music told a story and took concert patrons on a journey – of her life.
Experiencing the music of this multi-platinum certified country music artist for the first time, I felt like I had been put through a motivational speaker session, and came away having fallen in love with her music.
Pearce does not hold back in her songwriting and music.
She led off her set with “Diamondback” of her third studio album “29: Written in Stone” album, an extension of her EP “29” and in which she gets real about the 29th year of her life in which she got both married and divorced from fellow country artist Michael Ray.
On “Diamondback” she sings “You ain’t gonna get this diamond back / Keep the dog and the Cadillac / But you ain’t gonna get this diamond back” – which is one of those questions most people question when a relationship dissolves, whether or not you give the diamond back.
The artist whose voice is compared to a Tammy Wynette-like heartbreak vocal quality, then rolled through singles that included “Heart’s Going Out Of Its Mind”, “Doin’ It Right”, “What He Didn’t Do”, and “Messy”, a ballad about how tough, and unflattering it can be to move on, before she dropped “Liability” a cut on which her skill with classic-country wordplay is on display. In addition to its acerbic portrait of a partner as a romantic liability, she lashes out with sarcastic praise at his “liability” or “lie ability” – a song that is flexible enough to fit many models. It’s a song that she has said she has ties to, and that are true to her, but that other people are applying in all different ways, which she has said is kind of fun to watch.
Pearce covered the “The Chicks’ 1999 hit song “Cowboy Take Me Away” with an emotional delivery, before delivering a solo guitar-strumming performance of “Dear Miss Loretta” – her missive about Loretta Lynn features Patty Loveless, which she sang, and asked the audience to play along with her as she sang both sides of the duet.
She dropped “Should’ve Known Better”, a song about trying to not assign too much blame to yourself and also calling it is what it is. As well as “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – a duet in which she and Ashley McBryde play two women who learn they’re both in a committed relationship with the same man, and is a story of how a bad man happened to two good women. Again, Pearce encouraged the audience to role-play as she delivered the song, on both sides.
“Every Little Thing”, a song that speaks to a really bad heartbreak she had that she has said really did a number on her, also made the cut.
The Twangy “Hide the Wine”, was followed by her train-beat spicy, uptempo “Next Girl” which she says is inspired by 90s country female singers and is a warning about a guy who knows “how to say all the right things.”
She closed her set to a satisfied audience with her CMA Award-winning Lee Brice collaboration “I Hope You’re Happy Now”, a breakup ballad that’s an antidote for hurting parties and that she says blew her mind as to what a song can do and acknowledged that she would not be where she is if it wasn’t for the song. Again, she played dual parts of the song.
Pearce took the audience on a journey during her set that lasted approximately one hour and 15 minutes. She engaged and fully interacted with her audience, including calling out a few people that walked into the show very late, literally as she was preparing to wind down, but then she apologized minutes later, with a smile on her face, for putting them on the spot.
Pearce delivered her songs that people love about life’s circumstances to the capacity crowd with two members of her band on guitar, and the third on the cajón, a box-shaped percussion instrument.
The complimentary performance for Atlantis guests came as the country star, came off her introduction to the Grand Ole Opry and the release of “29: Written in Stone” a darkly personal project for Pearce.