EDIT: And how could I forget? The audience sang Happy Birthday to Natalie too! Hahahaa!
What a weekend! The Dixie Chicks concert was BRILLIANT. I did try to take photos, but they didn’t turn out.
Didn’t really like the tour merchandise (you can see what was available here). The T-shirts weren’t to my liking, and I don’t wear hoodies, so I didn’t really feel like spending $60 on one. The cap was too M*A*S*H* (I am not a fan of M*A*S*H* – I find the show completely unfunny) and just not my style. I bought myself a keyring, dog tag and fridge magnet. All terribly overpriced, of course, but I’d expected that and budgeted accordingly. I have my souvenirs and that’s that.
Pete Yorn, the support act, was onstage punctually, at 7:30pm. He played six songs. The Chicks were onstage by around 8:45pm and were finished by around 10:45.
Emily has great arms! And a wonderful smile. We were on her side of the stage and were treated to smiles all night. Right at the beginning of the night, a number of us waved at her and she waved back (She probably was waving to the people in front of us, but it’s nice to pretend she was waving at us!). The Chicks did swap sides and walk around during a few of the songs, and so we did get to see Martie and Natalie on our side of the stage too.
They sound amazing live, possible even better than on CD. I’ll definitely go see them again if they come back to Perth on future tours.
Natalie encouraged us to stand if we felt like it. This was great as normally I’m reluctant to stand because I don’t want to block and piss off the people behind me. But many people in front of us and behind us stood for many of the songs, and we did too. A woman in the row behind us actually stood on her seat all night. But then she was really short, so I don’t think it really mattered that much to the people behind her. We stood and danced to the songs (well, I wouldn’t call what I was doing dancing, but I moved along with the music and tapped my feet. Actually, I secretly laughed at myself thinking about what Natalie says in the Live at Kodak Theatre DVD, telling us how her son Jack, whom the song “L’il Jack Slade” is named for, dances by standing and shaking a leg, or doing a “chicken wing” with his arm).
Natalie did all the talking. Jac and I both agreed it would’ve been nice if Emily and Martie had talked to the audience too.
When introducing their backing band, Natalie told us that one of the guitarists (I think) is a blood relative of Clay Aitken. Most of the audience didn’t know who Clay Aitken is. I am a little embarrassed to say I did, from watching American Idol. Heheh.
They played a song called “The Neighbor” that Natalie told us they wrote with Pete Yorn. Pete Yorn was very good, actually. He’s from New Jersey, just like Bruce Springsteen. In fact, he opened his set with part of “Dancing in the Dark”. His sound and style did remind me of Springsteen. I especially liked his song “The Man”, which is from his latest album “Nightcrawler”. He told us the backing vocals are done by Natalie on the album. She didn’t come out and sing with him though :). One of his backing band sang Natalie’s part.
A few people came up from the back and stood in the aisle to take photos. Normally I wouldn’t care but they did block my view, and after about six people had done this and all blocked me I was getting a little annoyed. I was secretly glad when the bouncers came and escorted them back to their seats.
In addition to the usual guitarists and drummer, there was a guy on piano/organ as well as a mini string section with a violinist and a cellist in the Chicks’ backing band. Martie stood and played with the string section during the songs with more orchestral string arrangements.
There were some really miserable looking people in the audience behind us. I happened to look in their direction and one of them scowled at me. Maybe they were just grumps, maybe they’d suffered a personal tragedy that day. Either way, I wasn’t surprised when I saw them leave before the encore. Actually, quite a few people left before the Chicks came out for their encore. As we were all clapping and cheering to get them back onstage, I noticed people leaving. I wondered if they genuinely thought it was all over and didn’t realise that there would be an encore performance (but then, it’s pretty obvious when it’s all over – the venue lights come on. If the lights are still off you know they’ll be back out). I must say I’d be pretty pissed off if I left a show I’d paid $120 a ticket for and missed three songs! The other possibility is that these people were choosing to leave early so they could beat the crowds at the car park/train station. Although it would be great to beat the hoards of people and avoid traffic/people jams, once again, my attitude is “I paid $120 a ticket and I’m staying until it’s all over!” and I’d just accept dealing with crowded and jams as part of the whole event.
The concert playlist was as follows (I had a notepad and pen and wrote them down):
Lubbok or Leave It
The Long Way Around
The Neighbor (Written with Pete Yorn)
Cowboy Take Me Away
Lullaby (Natalie played an omnichord during this song)
White Trash Wedding (Dedicated to Mel Gibson)
L’il Jack Slade
Not Ready To Make Nice
Long Time Gone
Somedays You Gotta Dance
Top of the World
Wide Open Spaces
Ready To Run
I would’ve liked them to play “Voice Inside My Head”; Jac wished they’d played “Hello, Mr. Heartache”, but we were very happy with the songs they played. And again, I must say, they sound AMAZING live.