Lainey Wilson brings “bell bottom country” to The District

Christian Larson, Music Columnist

A month ago, country breakout star Lainey Wilson was crowned “New Female Artist of the Year” at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards while her number-one breakthrough single, “Things A Man Oughta Know” was crowned “Song of the Year.” Wilson made her return to South Dakota April 1, as she headlined The District in Sioux Falls for the first time.

Wilson, who is best known for her 2020 breakthrough single, “Things A Man Oughta Know,” took the stage with a guitar across her chest for the show’s opener which was a cover of Queen’s 1978 hit single, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, which the 29-year-old Louisiana native absolutely nailed. 

Wilson was supported on stage by her backup band which consisted of two guitar players and a drummer.

Before moving into original material, Wilson introduced herself to the crowd. When describing her music, she put it in one phrase; “bell-bottom country.” This is a term that explains Wilson in a nutshell, because as you can probably tell from her accent, she’s pretty country.

Throughout her hour-and-fifteen-minute performance, Wilson performed multiple songs from her debut album, “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’,” as well as some one-off singles and covers.

Wilson was at her best when performing upbeat songs like “LA,” which is a catchy, honky-tonk, dance-fused song or “WWDD” which is a country-rock ode to Dolly Parton. Other highlights from the show were the solo acoustic performance of “Two Story House” which is a moving, folk-influenced ballad that shows off the warmth and soul in Wilson’s voice.

Crowd favorites from the show was her current top five country radio single, “Never Say Never (with Cole Swindell),” and “Things A Man Oughta Know.” The crowd was the most engaged during these songs, singing word-for-word at the top of their lungs.

If there’s any takeaway from this show, it’s that Lainey Wilson is on her way to being the next big star in country music. Her unique image, sound, powerhouse vocals and great songwriting skills were reflected in her performance. Her relaxed stage presence was felt throughout the entire night making it easy to connect with fans.

One thing that kept me starstruck about Wilson as a performer is how open and honest she is. Between each of the songs, she told stories about her journey in music up to this point and cracked jokes about her family. She’s very good at putting an audience at ease and there’s something about her manner that’s incredibly likable.


  1.     Fat Bottomed Girls
  2.     Straight Up Sideways
  3.     WWDD
  4.     Neon Diamonds
  5.     Born To Be Wild
  6.     Rolling Stone
  7.     Dirty Looks
  8.     Medley (Rocky Mt., 3 steps, Travelin’ Band)
  9.     T-R-O-U-B-L-E
  10. Never Say Never
  11. LA
  12. Small Town, Girl
  13. Two Story House
  14. Dreamcatcher
  15. What’s Up?
  16. Heart Like a Truck
  17. Things A Man Oughta Know
  18. Footloose