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Pistol Annies hit the targets

Novo, Los Angeles, November 7, 2018

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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Pistol Annies, the all-star trio comprised of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, made the last stop of its short tour a downtown Los Angeles date. This was the last show, that is, until after the pregnant Presley gives birth to her child. Traveling in support of the act's third album "Interstate Gospel," these talented singer/songwriters appeared relaxed, but ready.

Pistol Annies mainly stuck to its recorded catalogue, although Elvis' "Love Me" was thrown in for good measure. While this group arrangement allows these talented artists to show their cheekier sides, exemplified by the post-divorce celebration of "Got My Name Changed Back," one of the evening's best moments came with the ballad "Cheyenne," a salute to an extra strong woman. Sonically, Monroe filled the role of the angelic singing voice, Presley was this group's strong and powerful one while Lambert vacillated somewhere in between the other two. Lambert may be the biggest star of the three, but it never seemed like any one performer was in charge. Instead, this seemed like a truly democratic mutual admiration society.

It was heartening to hear audience members around me singing along to every song, including the deep cuts. Lambert might have received the loudest cheers, but this audience was clearly here to witness a group, not a superstar (and her two friends).

Each member also had a nickname sign on their microphone stand, with Monroe going under the moniker of 'Hippie,' Presley was 'Holler' and Lambert was 'Lone Star." Stylistically, this show was a mostly traditional country affair. The steel guitar player had a full night's work, for example, which rarely happens during mainstream country artist concerts.

If Pistol Annies can stay out of politics, it's a collective might achieve the sort of consistent staying power that's eluded Dixie Chicks. If nothing else, it must be fun to take on alternate personas and let loose for a night. There's no pressure to be serious artists. Instead, these three can harmonize on songs they've written, enjoy sisterly camaraderie and a good old time. Tonight, these three came packing heat and hit all their targets.