NUNN'S THEATER HABIT
The Marvelous Mrs. Maren Morris puts her money where her mouth is
Fri. October 6, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn
Arlington, Texas singer Maren Morris refuses to be placed in a box. She pursued country music with major success thanks to the album Hero after its initial release on Columbia Nashville.
She expanded her fanbase thanks to collaborating with Grey and Zedd on the pop song “The Middle” and followed that up with “The Bones” to more notoriety.
Before being fired by Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson referred to Morris as a “lunatic country music person” and she gladly owned it as a badge of courage.
Her appearance as a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race season fifteen cemented her LGBTQ+ support and shortly after this announced she would distance herself from country music because of the problematic people within the genre.
She doubled down after viewing a video from country singer Adam Mac and the disparities he faced for being openly queer. This spurned a road trip with her new friend Mac accompanied by her band to reach fans.
On October 5, 2023, she played an unusually small venue Joe's on Weed St. to create an intimate atmosphere and tickets sold out quickly thanks to ravenous Lunatics fan club members. For each ticket sold five dollars was donated to the non-profit LGBTQ+ advancement organization GLAAD.
This outspoken advocate for human rights has partnered with GLAAD in the past by designing and selling t-shirts to raise funds for the organization.
Large white tour buses loomed in from of Joe's barely having room to park on the side street.
RuPaul Drag Racer Shea Couleé was scheduled to open the show, but was under the weather and forced to cancel. That didn't stop Mac from making a huge splash with tracks from his 2023 Disco Cowboy album that evening. The out-and-proud rising star brought his boyfriend along for the ride and they were both clearly having a good time.
Morris later stated on the microphone how important safe spaces are in the world today and the duo held hands while watching her perform on the side of the stage.
Morris began with her record title track “Girl” and then moved into the dreamlike song “Flavor.” Her band wore jumpsuits to signal unity as a pit crew.
The Bridge is her latest EP and was produced by Jack Antonoff, who I interviewed years ago where he stated his respect for the LGBTQ+ community. Her loyal followers were treated to new songs from the record “Get the Hell Out of Here” and “The Tree.”
Her popular single “My Church” was a staple in her set list and was signaled by cheers from the packed patrons in the venue.
After the audience demanded an encore, she returned to the stage accompanied by her guitarist. It appeared that she didn't want to say goodbye but eventually closed with “Second Wind.”
Artists such as Morris and her friend Kacey Musgraves continue to push the inclusive needle forward as allies to the LGBTQ+ community. With October being history month for the rainbow community, many will look back on this as a moment as a time when people like Morris have used their voice by raising it in solidarity as fellow human beings. This built a unique and memorable concert for everyone involved at the Chicago stop.