Amanda Shires Opened For Her Ex Jason Isbell Last Night, Singing Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” And Referencing His Teeth

Posted by

For about a decade, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires were an alt-country power couple and one of music’s feel-good stories. Isbell credited Shires with helping him break free of addiction, she played fiddle in his band, he took a supporting role in some of her music as well, and together they provided some of the most pleasant livestream experiences of the COVID lockdown era. Isbell also wrote “Cover Me Up” — an instant classic from 2013’s Southeastern, later brought to greater prominence by Morgan Wallen — for Shires. So it was depressing to learn a few months ago that Isbell had filed for divorce from Shires.

Despite the end of their marriage, Shires was scheduled to open two shows for Isbell in Colorado this week. The first one was Thursday night at Denver’s Mission Ballroom, and she had some fun with it. During the set, Shires covered Beyoncé’s immortal “Single Ladies,” addressing the crowd about how hard it is to be a single mom.

Also, in “Stupid Love,” Shires changed the opening lyric from “You were smiling so much you kissed me with your teeth” to “You were smiling so much you kissed me with your crooked teeth” — seemingly a reference to Isbell’s funky dental situation that he only recently got fixed.

Isbell hasn’t discussed the divorce other than some brief, diplomatic comments in a podcast interview in February. According to Rolling Stone, onstage last night he was magnanimous about the ribbings from his ex, telling the crowd, “I’ve seen a lot of Amanda Shires sets, but that was one of my very favorites. It was a real honor and a real pleasure to have her and her fantastic band out here.”

Shires will open for Isbell again tonight at Red Rocks. Looks like he’s still opening his shows with “When We Were Close,” much to the Earle family’s chagrin.