“Country Darling Ashley Monroe Delights Evanston”
By Christian F. Scalise
Warner Brothers Nashville recording artist, singer-songwriter and one-third part of successful trio Pistol Annies, the very talented Ashley Monroe brought her sold-out headlining tour to Space in Evanston on Saturday November 14th, 2015.
Currently touring in support of her latest critically-acclaimed album, “The Blade,” the East Tennessee native’s well-deserved success earned her high profile appearances on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Conan and The View earlier this year.
After an opening set by Ryan Beaver, Ashley emerged from the back of the venue and made her way to the stage through the audience at 10:35pm. Donning a chic black velvet mini pantsuit with a white lace paneled front and black knee-high boots, a genuine smile accompanied the wavy platinum blonde tresses of the modelesque star.
Opening the show with “I Buried Your Love Alive,” “If The Devil Don’t Want Me,” “Like A Rose” and “Two Weeks Late,” Monroe thanked the crowd for coming out to see her, “I went to bed at 6pm and woke up a few hours ago, all ready to start over for the show tonight,” she jokingly told the audience. Regardless of the start time, the late performance didn’t seem to bother the lively crowd one bit.
For an artist who takes pride in writing songs that revolve around the darker side of life, broken relationships and the frailty of love, Monroe’s unique style and delicate approach to delivering those very songs were greatly complimented by the intimate venue’s rustic atmosphere.
Ashley journeyed through the various stages of her musical career offering fans a chilling performance of the title track from her debut album “Satisfied,” produced by Mark Wright, “Has Anybody Ever Told You,” a tender love ballad from “The Blade” and a cover of Miranda Lambert’s hit song “Heart Like Mine,” which Ashley co-wrote with Lambert and Travis Howard.
Sharing stories about her friendship with Miranda, Ashley made note of her best friend’s recent birthday celebration and sleepover party. She also spoke about losing her father at a very young age and finding strength through songwriting after his death.
There is an unmatched quality to the pureness of Ashley’s impeccable vocal range which transcended front and center thanks to her extremely talented band which consisted of electric guitar, slide, piano, drums, standup bass, fiddle, mandolin and acoustic guitar.
Monroe closed out the show with one of the very first Pistol Annies songs she wrote with Miranda Lambert, “Bad Example,” and a pair of songs from the latest album, “Dixie” and a rousing jam session on the upbeat “Winning Streak.”
She returned once more, this time for an encore performance with opening act Ryan Beaver on a duet of the classic Joe South song, “Games People Play.” The show ended just after midnight.
1. I Buried Your Love Alive
2. If The Devil Don’t Want Me
3. Like A Rose
4. Two Weeks Late
7. Has Anybody Ever Told You
8. Weed Instead of Roses
9. Heart Like Mine
11. The Blade
12. Bad Example
14. Winning Streak
15. Games People Play (Joe South Cover)