LeAnn Rimes returns to Belly Up Aspen
IF YOU GO …
Who: LeAnn Rimes
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 8 p.m.
How much: $70-$225
Tickets: Belly Up box office; bellyupaspen.com
LeAnn Rimes has sold tens of millions of records, she’s won Grammys and she’s played on the largest stages to some of the world’s biggest crowds. But on her recent tours, the country-pop star is inviting audiences to see her, and hear her iconic songs, in a new light.
She and her band have sought fresh approaches to songs she’d grown bored with since her days as a teen star, and concocted fresh arrangements for her beloved, road-worn hits like “How Do I Live” and “Something’s Gotta Give.”
She returns to Belly Up Aspen, where she most recently headlined at a Christmas show in 2017, on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
These days, “How Do I Live” is less the anthem you know from Top 40 radio and more of a hushed and personal ballad.
“It’s almost a different song,” Rimes said during a previous stop in Aspen. “It’s so heartbreaking. You feel everything in it.”
“Something’s Gotta Give” has become a down-home bluegrass tune in stripped-down performances that put Rimes’ powerhouse voice and lyrics center stage.
“It’s really intimate,” she said. “I love having that with an audience. I think people really have a moment of getting to know me and hopefully it’s a great show of fantastic music.”
It’s hard to believe it’s been more than two decades since a 13-year-old Rimes burst onto the country music scene with her cover of Billy Mack’s “Blue” in 1996, beginning her run of chart-topping records that helped country on its way to dominating the pop landscape. She’s sold more than 40 million records and, with “How Do I Live,” scored the second-longest charting song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. She signed her first record deal at 11 and won her first Grammy at 14. So you’ve got to commend her for holding onto a creative vitality and making an effort to see songs she’s been performing for most of her life with fresh eyes.
In concert, Rimes mines material from her whole catalog — from “Blue” up through 2016’s “Remnants.” Scaling down the production, she said, rekindled a passion for songs that might seem to have come from another lifetime.
“When you’re not bound to having to fit something to radio stations, you can play around and it can become anything,” she said. “Some of them we’ve looked at each other and said, ‘Why didn’t we do the record like that?’ That freedom, to be able to do something like that live, is really fun.”
Performing on the international stage since childhood, Rimes said she feels like she began to come into her own as a singer-songwriter with “Remnants.”
“The LeAnn Rimes that’s done all the things I’ve done, it’s fantastic,” she said. “But there’s this other side that’s just LeAnn, this songwriter that’s just developing. And I think this next record will be the first thing that is what I feel like arriving in my skin, speaking volumes to who I am. I’m so grateful for all I’ve accomplished but there’s more left.”
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Perhaps it’s because we are in the abbreviated days of winter and I instinctively know that the sun is shining down-under. But every January I go through a nostalgic period where Australian wine dominates my mind.