Miranda Lambert Arrives Early, Stays Late in Chicago

She and Gwen Sebastian Play Surprise Club Show

The big Kenny Chesney show at Soldier Field isn’t until Saturday (June 6). But Miranda Lambert? She got to Chicago a couple of days early, so naturally, she wanted to warm up her voice.

How’d she do it? By playing a surprise show — for free — at Joe’s Bar on Thursday night, joining her band and crew’s own band Permnent Damage onstage.

(And no. I’m not spelling that wrong. The band’s website clearly explains that the missing “a” was struck by lightning.)

They do this from time to time: show up a little early for a big Lambert show and head to a local bar to take the stage, play some cover songs by the B-52’s, Guns N’ Roses, Rush and more and generally blow off some steam.

At this particular Chicago show, Lambert also had Gwen Sebastian with her.

“Ok Chicago @gwensebastianand me are rehearsing for the Permnent Damage show tonight at Joes Bar. ’Bang Bang Bang on the door baby … Knock a little louder sugar’ … #we’rewiththeband,” Lambert tweeted early in the day.

The show lasted three hours, and there were roughly 700 fans there. Songs from the night included the Violent Femme’s “Blister in the Sun,” Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” Brooks & Dunn’s “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” and AC/DC’s “Have a Drink on Me.” Lambert did No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs,” the two singers ended the show with “Love Shack,” the favorite from the B-52’s.

Lambert was spotted sitting on the stairs that lead to the stage, with a drink in her hand, just watching the band perform for much of the night. But when she did take the stage herself, she was dressed to rock — in a Joe’s Bar tank top, vintage cut-offs and fishnet tights.

Lambert spread the word on social media when she got to the city in the afternoon.

“We just got to Joe’s bar in Chicago! My band/crew have a band of their own,” she revealed. “Come see Permnent Damage at Joe’s at 8pm! #coversongs#roadfamily#beer#roadies.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.