It was a beauty of a Monday night in Hamilton for the Dixie Chicks to pay visit to FirstOntario Centre. We all know Country Music is alive and well in “The Hammer” and the near sellout crowd were ready for some Chicks. I remember the first time I saw the Dixie Chicks back in the 90’s when they graced the stage of Massey Hall for a show that I will never forget. The energy, the spirit that the girls had during that performance was unreal. Not sure if it was because it was the 1st show in Toronto or if it was just what they put out on a nightly basis. But that night was truly magical. And was wondering if the magic from 17+ years ago was still was there.
The night started off with Nashville’s Smooth Hound Smith getting the crowd warmed up. Having never heard the band before I was pleasantly surprised at the band’s sound. Great vocals by both Zach Smith and Caitlin Doyle with a classic foot stompin, rockin’ roots sound. I love going to shows to discover new artists. If you haven’t had a chance to hear the duo be sure to click HERE. I love that the Dixie Chicks invited such talented musicians to open the these dates of the tour.
After a short break to get the stage set for the trio from Texas. The Dixie Chicks came out to a fantastic rendition of The Long Way Around and the fans were standing and singing right along. The ladies have a few more albums under their belts since the last time I saw them in the late 90’s and have just an absolutely amazing catalogue of songs to choose from.
With sure-fire hits like Wide Open Spaces, Landslide, Cowboy Take Me Away and the always amazing Not Ready To Make Nice had the crowd singing right along. All fantastic, but a couple of stand out moments of the night were a new song that the band performed by the name of Don’t Let Me Die In Florida. This one had a bit more energy to it. Not sure if it was because it’s a new song and the girls might just get a kick out of playing some new stuff or maybe it was just the way Natalie set the song up. Anyway you dice it, It was damn good.
And the other song that really grabbed me was in that same set of songs. Travelin’ Soldier was so good. It was just Emily, Martie and Natalie sitting and playing. Almost like it was 15,000 of your best friends around a campfire. It’s moments like that, that really seem to take you to another place during a show. My only real criticism on this show was it lagged a bit. And lost its flow at times. The songs were all great the girls put on a fantastic show and loved how they included the family during the final song of the night. A cover of Ben Harper’s Better Ways. Cool to see the kids join everyone on stage after hearing about them throughout the show.
Huge thanks to the Dixie Chicks for having us out along with the fine folks at Live Nation Ontario and Core Entertainment.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76
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