A full house at the
John Labatt Centre was in Dixie heaven last night with their idols.
By James Reaney, The London Free
That was one loud and beautiful detour that brought Dixie Chicks to a sold-out John Labatt Centre last night.
With a predominantly female crowd of 9,300 fans cheering on their three heroes and the Chicks' excellent band, the
Texas country rock superstars were in Dixie heaven all night.
There were cheers for the Chicks' older hits, like Goodbye
Earl, and cheers for their Bush-bashing recent songs. Over more than 100 minutes and several standing ovations, the last one
for a three-song encore of Travellin' Soldier, Mississippi and Ready to Run, there was crowd craziness fit for the queens
of cool and angry country.
The Chicks pretended to be surprised. After all, those London fans weren't even on the
tour list, until a cool shoulder in some U.S. markets led to a Dixie detour into the Great White North.
word around town that this would not be the most energetic crowd on the tour. That's a compliment. They were wrong," Chicks'
co-leader Natalie Maines teased early in the set after Goodbye Earl had the crowd rocking.
The Chicks -- lead singer
Natalie Maines and multi-instrumentalists Martie Maguire and Emily Robison -- are the biggest selling female group in history
with two diamond (diamond meaning 10 million in sales) recordings and numerous Grammy awards. The Chicks' fans last night
screamed their proof that they would be as loud as any other city.
Celebrated for bringing traditional instruments
such as Robison's banjo and Maguire's fiddle back to the top of the country charts, the Chicks' 2006 album Taking The Long
Way (Sony BMG) has a Southern California Rock sound.
The CD also keeps in play Maines's angry comments about a fellow
Texan, President George W. Bush, during a London, England appearance in March, 2003. The resultant uproar -- complete with
boycotts and death threats -- is the subject of Taking The Long Way's defiant first single,"Not Ready to Make Nice.
continuing fallout from what the Chicks' circle calls "the incident" has meant some concert dates slated for U.S. venues were
cancelled or postponed with Canadian stops, including last night's date originally set for Milwaukee, taking their place.
Well, maybe they heard the huge cheers for Maines and Not Ready to Make Nice in Milwaukee.
Last night's show
with the headliners from Texas was the first big concert at the downtown London arena in about a month. In addition to the
late summer and early fall shows already announced, another major date is to be confirmed officially soon. Concert industry
website Pollstar says U.S. rockers the Goo Goo Dolls are playing the centre on Nov. 15.
"I have not yet seen a confirmation
on that date," centre marketing director Dave Harris said yesterday. U.S. rock band Counting Crows is opening on Goo Goo Dolls
dates already confirmed for the tour.
Some of the Dixie Chicks' young children, who had been enjoying their superstar
moms from seats in the penalty box, decided to retire with their sitters for the evening during the rocking Some Days You
Gotta Dance. The sweet-faced little kids had missed their obvious bedtime cue, a lovely Lullaby about six songs earlier.
then the kids -- who wore huge protective earphones -- would have missed a classic dedication on White Trash Wedding. "(We)
dedicate the next song to Pamela (Anderson) and Kid Rock. You guys must be really proud," Maines kidded the crowd.