With all the pontificating about their politics, it's perhaps
been a little too easy to lose sight of just why it is that Dixie Chicks currently rank as one of the top three live attractions
in the world, just behind The Rolling Stones and Elton John.
Unafraid to indulge in slick showmanship, the Chicks
are consummate entertainers and musicians making a joyful sound that never loses sight of their roots in honky-tonk country,
bluegrass and superior song writing.
Even in the immediate aftermath of lead vocalist Natalie Maines' "controversial"
observation on the eve of the invasion of Iraq that, as Texans, the girls were "ashamed that the President Of The United States
is from Texas", they sold out stadium after stadium in the States on the strength of their sassy, classy and stylish music.
Last night's sell-out crowd loved them, too.
Prudently avoiding saying anything much that might be construed
as a political comment on the second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, they did, however, come on stage to the strains of Elvis
Costello posing the musical question "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?", while Emily Robison featured
a CND symbol on her designer duds.
Mostly, they let the music do the talking and pretty persuasive it was, too.
from the cheerily murderous despatch of a wife-beater in Goodbye Earl to the lovely lilting harmonies of Godspeed, they were
short on controversy but long on terrific songs and great entertainment.
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