Dixie Chicks Do Country, Crossover
Blend of unique sounds, thoughtful ideas makes benefit a crowd-pleaser
by Courtney Devores, Special to The Charlotte Observer
"Seems like every time we
go overseas, we get ourselves in a little trouble," The Dixie Chicks' Martie Maguire said during a performance at Verizon
Wireless Amphitheatre Friday.
The German press reported that the Chicks had declared their independence from country
music, but Maguire told the fans she doesn't recall saying that.
Last spring, the group was ostracized by patriotic
peers for vocalist Natalie Maines' anti-Bush comments.
While The Chicks are definitely still country, there was some
crossover that leaned more toward the Americana sound of their last album, the heavily acoustic "Home."
The Indigo Girls opened the show, which benefited the Honor the Earth organization.
The eclectic bill was lessened
somewhat by the last-minute cancellation of Winston-Salem native Ben Folds' set. He showed up but had technical piano problems.
The crowd that turned out was as enthusiastic for The Indigo Girls, who closed with "Galileo" and "Chicken Man," as they were
for The Chicks.
The black-clad Chicks took the stage to Elvis Costello's "Peace, Love and Understanding" and launched
into the hit "Long Time Gone." Maines appeared in thigh-high black stockings and a houndstooth miniskirt with her blonde ponytail
swept up in the same fashion as Garbage's Shirley Manson and No Doubt's Gwen Stefani.
Throughout the set, they touched
on political songs such as "Truth #2," during which free-speech clips flash on the venue's screens. It would be difficult
to accuse The Dixie Chicks of being unpatriotic during their chilling rendition of "Travelin' Soldier," which ended with a
military-style drum roll and Maguire's aching fiddle.
The concert not only benefited Native American and environmental
causes, but was also part of "Daniel Pearl Music Day," a dedication to journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered
in Pakistan while covering a story following 9-11. Pearl, who would have celebrated his 40th birthday on Friday, played violin
and mandolin. The Chicks dedicated the song "More Love" to him.
The Indigo Girls returned to perform their early hit
"Closer to Fine" with The Dixie Chicks and Folds during the finale, as well as their song "Power of Two" and The Chicks' "Wide