If sugar syrup were ever translated into sound and distilled through a barnyard play set – Kacey Musgraves is probably what the end result would be.
Support act Bahamas were smooth and sweet, like a banana-candy cocktail if one could imagine such a thing.
But the sugar muffin we’re here for would be a couple of levels beyond smooth. Having just played at Coachella and as a life-size Moschino Barbie Doll for The Met Gala, Kacey is in full, world domination mode – without the pretending.
Some processional ambience is provided by the band, opening the excited hearts jammed into the Tivoli Theatre (10 May) that's bursting at the seams.
Kacey starts solo with vocals and guitar, closely followed by gentle banjo, both fascinatingly eclipsed by the spotlight directly behind her - ‘Slow Burn’ indeed.
The crowd knows all the words: ‘Only Human’, ‘High Times’, ‘Golden Hour’. “Baby, I ain’t Wonder Woman, I don’t know how to lasso the love out of you.”
It’s the six-time Grammy-winning star’s second time in Australia, having played CMC Rocks in 2015. Behind her is a six-piece band, sharing a cool, silky hug like every milkshake you ever remembered as a kid, with a dash of earthy malt.
“Is there a word for the way that I’m feeling tonight? Happy and sad at the same time.” It’s these lyrics that have inspired a lot of the merchandise on offer for the tour.
A bracket of cuddly tunes begin unravelling with the short, longing ballad ‘Mother’, and ‘Oh What A World’. The band have come right in close: pedal steel, double bass, cello, banjo, guitar and the drummer plays brushes on the top of a vertical stack of drums.
‘Family Is Family’ is a cute twangy number, and the drummer is playing spoons. #Furreal.
“The ‘Crispy Boys’ are up here with me,” she motions to her band. “Give ‘em a run.” The band gradually disassembles while the extended set continues, down toward the end of ‘Love Is A Wild Thing’.
“I used to be afraid of the dark, not anymore.” The lights go out and the full band bursts back in for the rest of the song, in their original stage layout.
Folks came to see Kacey Musgraves for the authenticity of her ‘Rainbow’, and left satisfied and civilised.
Her wings sure are expanding and it’s glorious to witness the flight. You’re giving us ‘Butterflies’, alright.
Kacey’s final Australian show is at Palais Theatre (Melbourne) 14 May.