ChicksFeet at Fly Concert #3 (Click to Enlarge)
Chicago 11.12.00

Not wanting to run into yet another Chicago traffic disaster, my husband, Heather, and I left from our suburb 3 hours before the doors were supposed to open. Of course, this being a Sunday, the traffic was not at all backed up and we made it to the United Center around 4:00pm. Since the UC is in an undesirable neighborhood we decided to continue on into the city to kill time until the doors were opening. We drove around at least 30 minutes just looking for a parking spot where it didn't cost $5 for the first 20 minutes! Finally we found a spot on a side street and hoofed it to Bennigan's for some drinks. We still made it back to the UC around 5:45pm and stood shivering in the cold until the doors opened shortly after 6pm. Heather and I sprung for a 4th shirt each and after stopping to meet Gavin at the US 99 booth, we headed for our seats. We were located approximately 20 rows off the floor, straight back from the stage. Although closer seats are always desirable, we had an excellent view.

Before the festivities began, I had the honor of meeting Ken Hohhof from the egroup. He was just two rows and about 11 seats behind us, sitting with his family, and he waved and mouthed "are you Michelle?" It was a pleasure to finally meet a fellow internet fan!

This, our 3rd Fly tour concert, began with a set by longtime country artist Joe Ely ["Ee'-lee"]. Although his show lacked the dazzling instrumentation of Ricky Skaggs with Kentucky Thunder, his country rock tunes picked up the crowd and had them ready and waiting for the Chicks. I guess he failed to impress my husband, who found the music too "twangy", not that he'd really know since he fell asleep while Ely was playing!!

The groupies, Lance and Nathan, had a new contest to replace the "animal sounds" and trivia games for front row seats. Instead, they kept the dance contest (all 3 contestants "won") and added a "Natalie look-alike" contest (including one male contestant with a blonde wig). The front row already looked filled so they apparently had fewer seats to give away, at least for this concert. They also plugged the souvenir stands and took off their t-shirts to reveal Chick halter tops underneath, sending the female fans into a frenzy.

Finally all the hoopla was over, "Fly Away" came over the loudspeakers and our final concert was about to begin. As in previous concerts, the end of the Kravitz song signaled the arrival of the Chicks. The zipper dropped, the curtain fell, and there was Martie's silhouette fiddlin' the opening strains of "Ready to Run". Natalie (now showing a beautiful pregnant tummy) wore the same gold-lame' halter dress as in Indianapolis, and Martie and Emily both wore black halter tops and gold lame'/leather pants.

The show began as before (see Fly Tour Set List), until after "I Can Love You Better". Before moving on to "You Were Mine", the Chicks threw in a new song written by Patty Griffin, "Truth".

While introducing the new song, Natalie hinted that "Truth" was being considered on an audience-approval basis for their 3rd album. Unfortunately, with the song coming in the middle of the concert, I can't even hum a bar of it now, but we enjoyed it. It was a medium-tempo, country rock song -- about the feel of "Am I The Only One" from Wide Open Spaces, but with a stronger, more upbeat tone. Emily played banjo, and Martie was on fiddle. The song was about being true to each other and looking to strengthen a relationship, from a strong woman's point of view. It wasn't a firey song like "Sin Wagon" or a classic love song like "Cowboy Take Me Away", but I feel it will fit well into the Chicks' repertoire. Their performance was dead-on and full of Chick-personality, like they had been playing it for years.

The slide show came up at the same time, after a hard-rockin', head-banging "Give It Up Or Let Me Go" (my bewildered husband asked "Isn't Natalie supposed to be pregnant???"). However, the slide show was completely different. Martie announced to the audience that Natalie had gotten back her first sonogram, that the baby is indeed a boy, and they had brought along the first picture of Nat & Adrian's baby to share. Of course, she wasn't serious.

Instead, they brought up a picture of Natalie on one screen, and picture of Adrian on another screen, and then showed a "morphed" picture of their "baby" in the middle, which of course turned out to be an unrealistic and humorous splicing of the parents' faces. And so it continued, with Martie + Garth -- interestingly, the Chicks said "if he hadn't gotten together with Trisha -- Anyways, Martie + Garth = a strange bearded child which Martie said looked like Tim McGraw, and Emily + Charlie = Billy Gilman. And so it went, with combinations like Martie + Clinton (and they joked that the President was checking out Martie's rear), Natalie + OJ Simpson = Gary Coleman, and so on. Most of it was pretty funny, but it also lacked the personal touch of the Chicks and their past. Of course, I understand too they must have wanted something new for their extended dates and mostly repeated venues.

Natalie's voice was once again showcased during the "couch" segment, with "Let Him Fly", "Heartbreak Town", and "Strong Enough" (I still say I like the Chicks' version better, with Nat on vocals and the addition of Martie's fiddle...stunning!!). Then Emily and Martie took on "Brilliancy" AND "Roanoke" alone, never failing to impress and amaze the audience with their instrumental talents.

The other obvious difference in the show was the replacement of "Let 'Er Rip" with "Am I The Only One (Who's Ever Felt This Way)". As with Indianapolis and many other recent shows, they also left out "Tonight The Heartache's On Me". The show concluded with an ever-powerful "Sin Wagon" and was punctuated with the "Goodbye Earl" and "Wide Open Spaces" encores.

And that concluded the ChicksFeet concert three-peat. My husband enjoyed the concert (his only previous concert being Ozzy Osbourne, this was different entirely!), and of course Heather and I loved it. On our way out, one of the many over-excited teen-girl groups was singing (screaming) "Who Let The Dogs Out" to which the girls next to us exclaimed "Who Let the HO's Out". I guess you had to be there....but it was hysterical at the time!

On a final note, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Natalie said Chicago was her favorite town on the tour...having attended 3 shows, I know she doesn't say that real often! ;-)

Dixie Chicks rock Chicago for the 2nd Time

View More Photos from the 11/12 Chicago Show

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