Maren Morris brings a little bit of Texas to the DMV
Rain or shine, Morris made a splash at the Merriweather Post Pavilion
Eight years ago Maren Morris stepped on the Merriweather Post Pavilion stage for the first time when she played at the “Weekend in Country” festival. Three albums later, Morris is headlining her very own “Humble Quest” Tour and returned to the same stage on Aug. 4.
Morris’ new album, “Humble Quest,” has a softer mood as it was written during the pandemic. Rather than the heavy tracks and pop beats of her previous albums, this project’s acoustic and piano sounds feel deeply personal.
The night of the concert was stormy and damp; crowd members in the field were drenched with pouring rain. Yet, the audience, filled with cowboy boots and hats, withstood the storm and stayed to hear their favorite country hits.
To emulate her album’s vulnerability and roots, Morris embellished her stage with tall whisky grass and forest trees.
Morris decided to start the show slower with “The Furthest Thing.” Although Morris’s first three performances were vocally and musically stunning, her songs landed flat with the audience and few fans stood up and sang along.
The show took an exciting shift when the lights dimmed and flashed red as Morris began belting her country hit “80s Mercedes.” The audience jumped to their feet, swaying back and forth, shouting along to her sassy lyrics.
This is the first headlining tour Morris has embarked on since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and much has changed; her becoming a mother was her biggest highlight. In dedication to her tour baby, she sang a beautiful lullaby called “Hummingbird”: “This is the song that I wrote the day I found out I was pregnant with my son.” It was a quiet and touching moment for her and the audience.
Morris’s band radiated joy throughout the show; they were extraordinarily talented and swayed around the stage while interacting with fans. Their ecstatic energy helped bring the audience to their feet, dance and clap along to Morris’s most popular hits like “Closer” and “Rich.”
After finishing her song, “The Bones,” Morris shouted, “Y’all in the back, I’m coming to see you!” She sprinted off the stage and ushered through the crowd. Fans stood on their seats just to catch a glimpse of Morris walking by.
In lieu of an encore, Morris made a surprising yet fun decision to sing one of her biggest hits, “My Church,” on a small stage in the middle of the crowd. When she finally made it to the stage, the audience excitedly lit up and proudly sang, “Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get an amen?”
Morris’s new album didn’t connect with the audience as well as her older, more popular hits.
But one couldn’t help but marvel at her vocal range and agility — if there’s one thing Morris can do, it’s sing her face off.