Oklahoma City, OK 2003

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Dixie Chicks Take Ford Center By Storm

By Sandi Davis, The Oklahoman
The naysayers stayed home Tuesday as the Dixie Chicks took the Ford Center by storm.

Outside the Ford Center before the show, no one protested either the band or its lead singer for a politically charged statement Natalie Maines made in March in London. The lone protester with a sign was lobbying for legalization of street drugs.

Inside, by the time this Texas trio took the stage just before 9 p.m., the audience was at a fever pitch.

When Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison took the stage, the noise was deafening.

They opened the show with their megahit "Goodbye Earl."

Their set, just more than 90 minutes, featured hits from their current album, "Home," plus a selection of their hit music over the last few years.

The first part of their concert snapped by with "Some Days You Gotta Dance," their early hit "There's Your Trouble" and two songs from "Home," "Tortured, Tangled Hearts" and the song so appropriate now, "Travelin' Soldier."

The group was on a center stage high above the audience, making it hard for folks in the lower seats to get a good look at the musicians when they were not almost right in front of them. The screens scattered around helped, but the stage design took away from the show.

Maines made some jokes about her remarks made in London, where she said she was ashamed of being from the same state as President Bush, and the group's more current nude photo on an entertainment magazine cover.

"I contemplated not wearing a short skirt, since I knew I'd be sitting on stairs, but then I remembered you've all seen me naked," she said to a lot of laughter. "Something recently happened to us. We call it 'the incident.' I'd like to say there won't be any more incidents."

Before singing "Truth No. 2," she said that originally they didn't know what the song was really about, they just liked it, but after "the incident" they understood every word.

The song is about people not handling the truth and the different ways people react. It was illustrated by shots of Martin Luther King Jr., women's rights, Muhammad Ali, and book and record burnings.

The Dixie Chicks played a tight set. Maine's alto voice set the anchor for the soaring harmonies of Maguire and Robison. Their musicianship was as crisp as ever as they wound their show up with "Landslide," "Wide Open Spaces" and encores "Top of the World" and the blazing "Sin Wagon." The crowd noise was deafening.

There were few empty seats in the hall for this show. One of Maines' last remarks was, "We'll be back."

I'll bet they are.

Opening act Joan Osborne gave a bluesy, spirited and heartfelt performance that included her hit "One of Us" and the Bob Dylan-penned tune sung by Garth Brooks, "To Make You Feel My Love."

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