Friday, August 18, 2006

Summer Vacation, 1.2: Dixie Chicks

So, a friend of mine called (or possibly emailed, it's been a while) and told me she had tickets to see the Dixie Chicks and asked me to join her. I was a fan of the Dixie Chicks a while back - their first album and then Wide Open Spaces and then I sort of fell off the Dixie band wagon. It had nothing to do with the ridiculous reaction to their political affiliations, I just got distracted. So, I approached this concert with interest, but not necessarily great anticipation.

The night started out remarkably well, with the best gyros ever from a Greek restaurant that I can't remember the name of. We were tasting the garlic the rest of the night, but it was well worth it. I can't wait to go back there, if I ever remember where "there" was. Then, it was off to the show.

We skipped the opening act. I was hoping it would be Pete Yorn (the Chicks collaborated with several songwriters on the latest album, including Yorn and Gary Louris of the Jayhawks [an awesome band in their own right who have sadly disbanded]), as someone had told me he had an unaccounted for date in Chicago, but no such luck. The opening guy was someone I had never heard of and we preferred to spend the time beforehand catching up and talking. It's a good thing, too, and the woman sitting next to my friend was very upset by unnecessary chatter during the quieter (and not so interesting) parts of the show. We got to our seats before the main act and, once the Chicks took the stage, I was pleasantly surprised. The Dixie Chicks pretty much kick ass. They are all really talented musicians and Natalie Maines can really sing. Man, she belts it out. I love the sound of her voice.

The show was a while ago, so some of the highlights have slipped my memory, but I really enjoyed pretty much the whole thing. They played some hits - including "Goodbye Earl" which you'd think they'd be sick of by now, but they seemed to enjoy it - and a lot of stuff from the new album. It was good enough that I bought the new album on iTunes the next day.

I wanted to write a more in-depth review, but it has just been too long. I started one a couple days after the show that somehow disappeared and then my car got all jacked up and things slipped away. In the mean time, I have been avoiding my friend's blog, because I didn't want to unconsciously copy any of her review and now it's been a month and I'm in serious withdrawal. Unfortunately, I have a crapload of work to do and can't really catch up all at once. I'll have to spread it out over the week.

I just read her review, though, and it is way better than mine. I will add that the acoustics in the United Center are awful, and I don't think I'll ever pay to see a show there (Mano gave me my tickets, so all I had to pay for was the yummy gyros). Also, the Chicks' massive backup band is a little odd. They play pretty much in the dark and they only introduced three (out of probably seven or eight) of the guys. It was like we were supposed to pretend they weren't there. Finally, the Dixie Chicks draw sort of a weird crowd of people - we saw way more cowboy hats than I thought we would (and, yes, I would classify them as country, though they sort of border on maybe something like roots-inspired pop) the crowd seemed to be a mix of teeny-boppers and people who had been able to find a sitter in a while. It was good times.

Side note: I started this as a draft, and it seems to be publishing it as if I had written it then, instead of now. So, Maybe no one is even reading this.... hhhmmmmm

Coming soon: The rest of My Summer Vacation

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