Brandi Carlile brought her show to The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia on Friday, and the Americana star ended up turning the evening into a guest-packed affair, welcoming the likes of Mavis Staples, who opened up the show, plus Carlile’s Highwomen bandmate Amanda Shires, Lukas Nelson and Tanya Tucker for various tunes throughout the performance.
The collaborations kicked off five songs into Carlile’s set, when Staples emerged to help sing “Friendship,” a song written by Staples’ father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples. As JamBase notes, Nelson was also onstage to add his guitar to the cover. Several tunes later, Shires came out with her fiddle for Carlile’s “The Joke,” which was followed by an appearance by Tanya Tucker on her own “Delta Dawn.” Carlile helped produce Tucker’s most recent studio album, While I’m Livin’, the country stalwart’s first LP in a decade. Shires and Nelson also took part in the collaboration, and Shires remained for the set-closing “Pride and Joy.”
For last night’s encore, Carlile nodded to the release of The Highwomen’s debut album earlier in the day by kicking off with the group’s single “Redesigning Women.” The singer-songwriter then once again brought out Shires and Nelson, plus two cardboard cutouts of the missing Highwomen, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby. Carlile addressed the crowd, announcing that the next tune, another one from The Highwomen’s LP, is “the world’s first gay country song.” Carlile also explained how Shires and her husband, Jason Isbell, wrote the song, titled “If Ever She Leaves Me,” for her to sing. After the collaborative rendition, Carlile again addressed the crowd, proclaiming, “We’re trying to change country and western music for women, fundamentally” before rounding out the evening with “Party of One.”
Check out the full setlist below, along with fan-shot video of the encore collaboration and final tune, plus Carlile’s Instagram post of her backstage with Tucker, Staples, Shires and Queer Eye‘s Tan France.
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The show in Philadelphia tonight was one for the ages! Look at all my friends who came out to throw down! The only one missing from this photo is @lukasnelsonofficial who was still on his way over! @amandapearlshires came all the way to Philly to do some @thehighwomen music with us! The Highwomen record release day was a special one. Thank you @mavisstaples @amandapearlshires @lukasnelsonofficial @tanfrance @thetanyatucker unbelievable night!! 🤘😭❤️
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts – Philadelphia, PA
Hold Out Your Hand, Hard Way Home, Wherever is Your Heart, The Story, Friendship*, Raise Hell, The Eye, The Mother, Fulton County Jane Doe, A Case of You, Madman Across the Water, The Joke, Delta Dawn^, Pride and Joy#
Enc: Redesigning Women, If Ever She Leaves Me+, Party of One
Notes: * w/ Mavis Staples and Lukas Nelson
^ w/ Tanya Tucker, Amanda Shires and Nelson
# w/ Shires
+ w/ Shires and Nelson