Miranda Lambert kicks off Vegas residency Velvet Rodeo and not waking up 'in a parking lot'

Miranda Lambert has a list of shows she’d like to see in Las Vegas – Silk Sonic and Carrie Underwood among them – and starting this fall, she’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore the city.

The reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year is bringing the music of her 15-plus-year-career to her own residency at the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino starting Sept. 23 for a run of 24 shows.

“This is a whole different leap for me,” she tells USA TODAY of “Miranda Lambert: Velvet Rodeo,” which includes scattered dates in October, November, December, and March and April 2023.

The spitfire performer, 38, is currently readying a tour with Little Big Town, which kicks off May 6, a week after the release of her eighth studio album, “Palomino." She wrote the album in 2020, gathering (carefully) during the pandemic with Nashville songwriters Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby on her Nashville farm, and crafted the songs like a map, with characters set throughout the country.

Calling from tour rehearsal in Nashville, Lambert shared her hopes for her Las Vegas show.

Question: Have you spent much time in Vegas?

Miranda Lambert: If I do, it’s like three days, max, and I’ve gotta go. I don’t gamble much. I figure I work too hard for my money. But if I do, it will be penny slots so I can play all night and drink for free!

Q: Even though you don’t start until fall, what thoughts have you had so far about your show's production? 

Lambert: You get to do a lot more in one place. I’m a honky-tonk girl. I was in Texas until I moved to Nashville, so I want to keep an element of that. I’ve never done a huge production on the road and I don’t want to stray too far from that, but then again, it is Vegas. Being from Texas it’s like, higher hair and more sequins? Don’t threaten me with a good time! But I’ve never even changed clothes onstage before. I can barely pick out one outfit for the day, so I’ll have to learn how to do that.

Q: Why is this the right time to have a residency?

Lambert: I’ve been touring since “Kerosene” in 2005, and it seems like the time to do something different. There are so many (up and coming) artists out there, so we’ll get out of the way and go to Vegas. It’s almost like passing the torch. And I hope I get some new eyeballs from people who have never seen me.

Q: What’s the significance of the show’s name, "Velvet Rodeo"?

Lambert: There’s a song on my new record, one of my favorites, called “Actin’ Up,” and in the chorus (is a line about) velvet rodeo. It felt right for this show and this musical season I’m in.

Miranda Lambert performs "In His Arms" at the 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. See all the photos for country's biggest night.
Miranda Lambert performs "In His Arms" at the 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. See all the photos for country's biggest night.

Q: Some artists like the idea of being stationed in one place for a bit, and others are real road dogs. Do you think you’ll like the stationary aspect of a Vegas show?

Lambert: I think I will. I’ve been touring for 20 years and getting tired of the movement. I think 2020 showed me that a little bit, like, oh my body doesn’t hurt all the time. I’m apprehensive in some ways. I talked about it with Kix (Brooks) and Ronnie (Dunn) and Reba (McEntire) since they’d been doing (a residency at Caesars Palace). They all love it. You get a life. You don’t live on the bus. And there’s something to be said for waking up and making eggs and going on a hike instead of being in a parking lot.

Q: You’re nominated for two Grammys this Sunday– your duet with Elle King, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” (for best country duo/group performance) and “The Marfa Tapes” (best country album) – and they are vastly different projects.

Lambert: I know! It’s like a pop anthem and the rawest songwriting that can happen. I was blown away and so thankful that “The Marfa Tapes” got that recognition. As a songwriter, I’m thankful I’m being embraced, whether it’s a pop or rock anthem or something like “The Marfa Tapes.” It’s all you could ever ask for and I’m humbled by it.

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