After a weekend of Americana last weekend at Black Deer, we had to go and see The Chicks today. They’ve been through a tough time, suffering an attempted cancellation by right wingers and country misogynists, and changing their name from the Dixie Chicks in the aftermath of a string of racially motivated crimes experienced by the US. But they’ve come through, they’re (we think) the best selling all female band ever), and they still going.
They take the stage and launch into lyrics “praise the lord and pass the ammunition,” and proceed to fiddle and banjo their way through a stomping set. Heartbreak? It’s here. Being a bad mofo and not caring anyway? Oh it’s here too.
Not to distract from the music but someone has an Ed the Duck on a long pole in the crowd and we are quite frankly impressed. I bet that duck has seen things. Also, if you’ve not read out article on the stories behind the flags please do, it’s fascinating, and we’re thrilled to see one of our interviewees here in attendance (we can this because we see a bloody big flag).
It’s not all rip roaring, of course. The Chicks can do downbeat songs too, but they also mix aching heartbreak with never giving up because you’re made of steel.
We didn’t think it could get any better, but then the Chicks tell us we’re “ready for a Hootenanny.” Oh. Yes.
New Pride song Rainbowland goes down well, but then it takes a very dark turn as they pay tribute to mass shooting and other murder victims from the US and elsewhere with visuals and a protest song. Really powerful stuff.
They end with a crowd pleaser, but we’re left wondering why they don’t go full protest.