The Girls are Back in Town

The Girls are Back in Town

by JasonBryan / Jul 28, 2016 / 0 comments
Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A decade since their last album the Dixie Chicks packed the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater to an overly enthusiastic crowd of die-hard fans. From the first chords of “Taking the Long Way Around” the Texas trio of Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin Maguire, and Emily Erwin Robison pulled on the familiar heartstrings of their fans. The combination of Natalie Maines unique voice and the emotional impact of the lyrics blended with Martie’s fiddle and Emily’s plucking strings transcend the audience through their own emotional journey as somehow all the songs are simultaneously personal and universal.

The show was heavy with tracks from their last two albums. As a fan since their first released single, I was slightly disappointed Wide Open Spaces was the only track from their first album to make it into the set, but shows are always best when the artists are playing the songs they still feel. The Dixie Chicks experience has a lot to do with feeling emotionally charged music.

The Chicks record a lot of covers on their studio albums and many were played tonight, including “Truth #2” (Patty Griffin), “Travelin’ Soldier” (Bruce Robinson), and “Landslide”(Fleetwood Mac), and several more. They also played Bob Dylan’s “Mississippi” which they’ve been playing on tour I believe since forever. So for the sake of my love of covers these don’t fully count as there was no surprise. What does count is their tribute to Prince with “Nothing Compares 2 U”, a song which may have fallen to them instead of Sinead O’Conner if Prince had written it 20 years later.

The production value of the lights and video were top notch. The women first appeared on stage silhouetted against white columns of light that rose from the stage to the rafters. They had some very sharp waterfall graphic, and for Goodbye Earl there was vintage film footage mixed with mugshots which was a nice touch. But the best was the all-inclusive political parody for Ready to Run. In short, they parodied candidates from both parties as clowns, but my favorite was the steak with “Drumpf” charred on it. The boiling red liquid that backed Not Ready To Make Nice was also a simple yet powerful visual cue.

This fan just hopes they’re having enough fun on tour to get to work on another album. They’ve got 9 kids between the 3 of them to put through college after all.

The set list from the show:

The Long Way Around
Lubbock or Leave It
Truth #2
Easy Silence
Favorite Year
Some Days You Gotta Dance
Long Time Gone
Nothing Compares 2 U
Top of the World
Goodbye Earl
Travelin’ Soldier
Daddy Lessons
White Trash Wedding
Blue Grass Medley
Ready to Run
Silent House
Cowboy Take Me Away
Wide Open Spaces
Sin Wagon

Not Ready to Make Nice
Better Way

*All photos by Kevin Mazur

Bottom Image Gallery: 
Rating out of 11: