Dixie Chicks Concert Review
in the Dallas Morning News, 9/28/1998
The following appeared in the Dallas Morning News
and on their web site. See the bottom of the page for more info.
Ruling the Roost
Dixie Chicks take charge on home turf
By Mario Tarradell / The Dallas Morning News
Even if mainstream country radio hadn't spread the
Dixie Chicks' music to a nationwide audience, lead
Chick Natalie Maines' arresting personality would
have done the trick.
Not to mention her explosive voice. When Ms.
Maines, flanked by Emily Erwin and Martie Seidel,
launched into Maria McKee's "Am I the Only One
(Who's Ever Felt This Way)" on Sunday afternoon
at the State Fair of Texas, she all but chewed the
lyrics. She embodied the Angst of those words,
reveled in the song's love-done-me-wrong attitude.
The Dallas trio returned home armed with
newfound stage confidence, a platinum album and
two Country Music Association Awards, which
were proudly showed off during the 75-minute set's
encore. The show - which began 30 minutes late,
much to the sweltering crowd's dismay - was a
barrier-busting bonanza. First of all, these Chicks
have a natural command of diverse musical styles -
bluegrass, country, rock, pop and blues - that
made for an effortless, high-energy extravaganza.
Then there's the solid musicianship. The fact that
they actually can play as well as sing and write
erases all notions that they are some
Music City executives, those politically correct
honchos in boots and double-breasted suits, would
never approve of Ms. Maines' rambunctious
rendition of Bonnie Raitt's "Love Me Like a Man."
While Ms. Erwin plucked the dobro and Ms.
Seidel made the fiddle moan, she sang the tune like
a woman who has cried vinegar-stained tears. She
essentially had her own show going - swinging her
hips, throwing up her hands and bobbing her
But lest the proceedings become too fiery, the
Dixie Chicks wisely offered musical shadings. "You
Were Mine," a bittersweet ballad written by sisters
Ms. Erwin and Ms. Seidel about their parents, was
tender, a lovely tribute filled with gorgeous
harmonies. A bluegrass instrumental, "Roanoke,"
captured the banjo prowess of Ms. Erwin and the
fiddle fancywork of Ms. Seidel. "Wide Open
Spaces," the title cut from their major-label debut,
"We want this song to become an anthem for
young people with young hearts who want to go
out there and chase their dreams," said Ms.
Maines. "It's never too late."
They should know. Formed in Dallas in 1989, the
Dixie Chicks have traveled all the gravelly back
roads to reach success. From their days as a
kitschy, frilly Western-themed quartet to the pivotal
third independent album, 1993's Shouldn't a Told
You That, that provided the blueprint for this year's
breakthrough, the Chicks have definitely explored
those wide-open spaces.
Now, they're back home. Sunday's concert proved
all dreams come full circle.
This article originally appeared in the Dallas Morning News
and was copied from their web site. Unfortunately, this publication chooses to charge a
price for their archived articles.
It's currently $2 for a single article, with discounts for the news-hungry and money-laden.
I am reproducing the article on this site because it answers some specific questions about the
Chicks' music... but if this leads to a copyright conflict, I'll drop the page and refer all callers to the
Dallas Morning News Archive Site. The above article
is Copyright 1998, The Dallas Morning News.
By the way, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram does not
charge for access to its extensive back issue archive, and their story on the Dixie Chicks' appearance
is available right here!