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Taking the Long Way: Dixie Chicks Return

I was in Dublin, Ireland last week to see the last stop on the Dixie Chicks European tour. In just under one month the trio will take to stages in America after nearly ten years away and it’s about time. Country music needs them! I need them!

My Irish beer was working overtime and I actually teared up when they blasted Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy just before taking the stage. I don’t know why I welled up but it was an awesome moment and I cried. Whatever. Let’s just get to it, I cried when they finally came out and started playing too. Part of it was being in Ireland watching my favorite band of all time, with my grown daughter who saw her first Chicks concert at the age of 10, but part of it was seeing the strength and determination that these women showed in coming back. Their story is a tough one and having them back made me feel happy and proud of them on so many levels.

For those that don’t remember in 2003, lead singer Natalie Maines made some pretty offensive (to some) comments about then President George W. being from Texas that were viewed as traitorous by country music loyalists. Their CDs were bulldozed and burned in the streets and they were threatened and shunned by almost anyone with a pulse in Nashville. Three years later they released their seventh studio album “Taking the Long Way,” produced by not so country Rick Rubin, and won five Grammy awards including Album of the Year, as well as Song of the Year and Record of the Year for their famous anthem Not Ready to Make Nice. Still, their touring days were seemingly over as the arenas didn’t respond quite like the recording industry did to their comeback.

Jump ahead nearly ten years and the Chicks are back. While they have been doing sold out shows in Europe here and there, this will be their first structured tour in the US since the kerfuffle and I hope we can all behave ourselves because these ladies, and this concert, are worth it!!

For the first hour, they covered a lot of tunes from Taking the Long Way including Easy Silence, Favorite Year and I Like It to the seriously ass-kicking Lubbock or Leave It. The classics were interspersed with Goodbye Earl (a crowd favorite in any country), White Trash Wedding and Sin Wagon revving up the crowds and Landslide, Top of the World and Travelin’ Soldier reminding us of their incredibly skillful musicianship. Behind them was a giant screen with imagery that was everything it needed to be. Ethereal and calming and then cutting edge, fast cars and cartoon presidential candidates. I guess we have to talk about that for a sec.

Not the kind to stand by quietly, they did take the opportunity to throw some deserving (yet lighthearted) shade on the circus that is the current race to the White House. Backed by Ready to Run, we were treated(?) to images of Donald, Hillary and their cohorts wearing clown wigs, red noses, hot dogs, flags, dancing campaign slogans, Dump Drumpf and all kinds of foolery followed by confetti cannons filling the stadium with red, white and blue. I loved everything about it. I’m curious to see if this bit jumps the pond with them. Pretty hilarious tongue in cheek commentary on the state of our situation. Maybe a little too soon for some.

I could go all night without cover songs but even their covers were perfection. To honor the recent passing of Prince, they chose Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares to You (written by Prince) and in Dublin, this was especially meaningful given that Sinead hails from Ireland. Halfway through the show, they brought the stage down to a smaller, more intimate setting and brought out an arsenal of instruments which they used to flip up Queen Bey’s Daddy Lessons from her recently released smash album Lemonade. A few days later Beyonce tweeted out a YouTube of the cover…I think she approved.

I could go on and on about the show (did I mention it was awesome) but what is important to note is that this trio has not released new music in over 10 years and they packed sold out shows across Europe and haven’t missed a beat. For over two hours they reminded us of their depth of talent as singers, songwriters, performers and musicians. As I sat in the audience with the very well-behaved Dubliners, I listened closer to their lyrics as an older adult and I felt a little more of what they went through and I was almost scared for them to come back. Our country is so full of hate right now that I genuinely feared for their return. Natalie may be feeling this a little as well. At one point she announced that they were hitting the road in America on June 1st and said she would really like to bring the Irish with her. Possibly alluding to an inkling of doubt that this whole thing might not work. I have faith that it will.

I can only hope that this music, that obviously transcends borders and boundaries can remind people in our country that we are free to say what we want, without persecution and that hate should never win. Rock On Chicks!!

DCX MMXVI Tour –

All dates, cities and venues below subject to change.

 Wed., June 1
Cincinnati, OH
Riverbend Music Center
Augustana, Josh Herbert

Fri., June 3
Cleveland, OH
Blossom Amphitheater
Augustana, Josh Herbert

Sat., June 4
Detroit, MI
DTE Energy Music Theatre
Augustana, Josh Herbert

Sun., June 5
Chicago, IL
Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
Augustana, Josh Herbert

Wed., June 8
Holmdel, NJ
PNC Bank Arts Center
The Heavy, Josh Herbert

Fri., June 10
Pittsburgh, PA
First Niagara Pavilion
The Heavy, Josh Herbert

Sat., June 11
Saratoga Springs, NY
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
The Heavy, Josh Herbert

Mon., June 13
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden
The Heavy, Josh Herbert

Tues., June 14
Boston, MA
Xfinity Center
The Heavy, Josh Herbert

Thurs., June 16
Bangor, ME
Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Fri., June 17
Hartford, CT
Xfinity Theatre
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Sat., June 18
Camden NJ
BB&T Pavilion
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Tues., June 21
Toronto, ON
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Wed., June 22
Toronto, ON
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Fri., June 24
Hershey, PA
Hersheypark Stadium
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Sat., June 25
Bristow, VA
Jiffy Lube Live
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Thurs., July 7
Vancouver, BC
Rogers Arena
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Fri., July 8
Seattle, WA
White River Amphitheater
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Sat., July 9
Portland, OR
Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Tues., July 12
San Francisco, CA
Shoreline Amphitheater
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Wed., July 13
Sacramento, CA
Toyota Amphitheater
Anderson East, Josh Herbert

Fri., July 15
San Diego, CA
Sleep Train Amphitheater
Augustana, Smooth Hound Smith

Sat., July 16
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Arena
Augustana, Smooth Hound Smith

Sun., July 17
Phoenix, AZ
AK-Chin Pavilion
Augustana, Smooth Hound Smith

Wed., July 20
Irvine, CA
Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
Augustana, Smooth Hound Smith

Fri., August 5
Dallas, TX
Gexa Energy Pavilion
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Sat., August 6
Houston, TX
Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavilion
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Sun., August 7
Austin, TX
Austin360 Amphitheater
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Wed., August 10
Virginia Beach, VA
Farm Bureau Live
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Fri., August 12
Raleigh, NC
Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Sat., August 13
Charlotte, NC
PNC Music Pavilion
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Sun., August 14
Atlanta, GA
Alpharetta Amphitheater
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Wed., August 17
Nashville, TN
Bridgestone Arena
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Fri., August 19
Tampa, FL
MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Sat., August 20
West Palm Beach, FL
Perfect Vodka Amphitheater
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Wed., August 24
St. Louis, MO
Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Thurs., August 25
Indianapolis, IN
Klipsch Amphitheater
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Sat., August 27
Minneapolis, MN
Minnesota State Fair
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Tues., August 30
Kansas City, MO
Sprint Center
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Thurs., September 1
Denver, CO
Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Fri., September 2
Salt Lake City, UT
USANA Amphitheater
Vintage Trouble, Smooth Hound Smith

Thurs., September 8
Tulsa, OK
BOK Center
On Sale Sat., May 7
Elle King

Fri., September 9
North Little Rock, AR
Verizon Arena
On Sale Sat., May 7
Elle King

Sat., September 10
New Orleans, LA
Smoothie King Center
On Sale Sat., May 7
Elle King

Thu., September 15
Moline, IL
iWireless Center
On Sale Sat., May 7
Elle King

Fri., September 16
Columbus, OH
Nationwide Arena
On Sale Sat., May 7
Elle King

Sat., September 17
Buffalo, NY
First Niagara Center
On Sale Sat., May 7
Elle King

Thu., September 22
Louisville, KY
KFC Yum! Center
On Sale Sat., May 14
Elle King

Fri., September 23
Toledo, OH
Huntington Center
On Sale Sat., May 7
Augustana

Sat., September 24
Green Bay, WI
Resch Center
Sat., May 7
Augustana

Mon., October 10
Los Angeles, CA
Hollywood Bowl
On Sale Now
Elle King

Edmonton, Saskatoon & Calgary details soon!

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