Indianapolis 10.22.00

Sunday morning we headed for Indianapolis (about 2 Flys, 2 Austin/Sessions, and a few extra Sin Wagons to get there!) Heather had a freshly-applied "Sin Wagon" sticker on her back window to accompany "Earl's in the trunk" on her bumper, so we were stylin', not to mention getting some stares!

Got to Indianapolis, checked into the hotel, got all gussied up and hoofed it to "Rock Bottom" for dinner. This, however, was in the midst of the Colts game letting out, and in that sea of blue/white & jeans, our red/gold/black concert getups looked strange and got MANY MORE stares! Had a pretty good dinner with crappy service from a waiter who demanded "what's so great about the Dixie Chicks anyways??" Left him a crappy tip to match his crappy attitude and service, needless to say!

Finally headed for the Conseco Fieldhouse, picked up our souvenirs, and waited in line for the gates to open while we mourned our loss of cash. Once inside we searched high and low for the MusicCountry booth to no avail, and even the "info" desk had NO idea what we were talking about, so lanyards. Gave up on MusicCountry and mosied on down to our seats, squealing gleefully all the way down the steps to the floor level. Danced to our 8th row seats, looked all around, looked at the stage, looked at each other, let out small screams and jumped up and down. We were excited.

We had a bag of goodies for the Chicks so I gave that to a security guard to put with the "pile" offstage. Readied our signs ("Y'all Are") and cameras and waited for the show while watching "CMT: Chicks Music Television" on the big screen.

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder opened, and this time we had the privilege of hearing the whole set. Even if you don't like bluegrass music, you MUST appreciate the talent on that stage, the banjo and mandolin pickin', the fiddles, and acoustic guitars all make up an incredible sound. Once again, Ricky performed "Cat's In The Cradle", accompanied only by his acoustic guitar - a truly superb performance of the oft-covered song. It must be tough to open for the Chicks, but it seems that Ricky & the Thunder never fail to earn the crowd's respect and adoration.

Next came Lance and Nathan, and the Fly blimp buzzing about the arena. Unfortunately, no t-shirts, guitar picks games, or passes came our way... but then again, with 8th row seats, who's complaining?? It was fun, but we waited in anticipation for the sounds Lenny Kravitz to fill the arena, so we would know the Chicks were about to come on. And when "Fly Away" did start blasting, I jumped out of my seat, dragging Heather up with me, and we and a handful of other stragglers started dancing and whooping it up....everyone else just stared like we were nuts for getting so excited over a Lenny song at a Chicks concert. But WE knew it meant the Chicks were coming out, it's a great song anyways!

Next came the fly buzzing, the drop of the zipper, and Martie's silhouette on stage, playing the opening strains of "Ready To Run" (we have a great pic of it!). When the lights came up, and the Chicks were right there, we were in total awe of how gorgeous they look up close and in person! Martie's dazzling smile practically sparkled along with her twinkling eyes. Natalie had a new hair color -- mostly brown with golden highlights. When Emily came over to our side, we could see she too was even more beautiful in person. Natalie finished off Ready to Run with her traditional headbanging dance moves and a helicopter dance, for which the whole crowd went wild.

Immdiately they went in to "There's Your Trouble" with the video screens dropping down behind them, showing kaleidoscope scenes like the music video. After a brief "welcome" and "we are the Dixie Chicks, in case you're not sure", they played "Hello Mr. Heartache", then slowed it down with "Don't Waste Your Heart" and "Without You". Next came one of my personal favorites, "If I Fall You're Going Down With Me", and it totally rocked. It seemed the Chicks were really on that night, the sound, the music, the voices, the energy -- it was all there and I can't imagine it getting any better. The same can be said for "Give It Up Or Let Me Go", with the Chicks and the audience seeming to feed off of each other's enthusiasm.

The slide show was typically entertaining, and punctuated this time by Natalie singing a few REALLY great bars of "Lucky Star" (a tribute to a Madonna-esque photo of Emily). After the Chicks retired to the couch "set", Natalie sang an AMAZING "Let Him Fly". I remember reading a review somewhere, in which the critic said her voice sounded strained on the CD. Not only did I not agree with the critic then, but her voice sounded stronger, clearer, and more beautiful than we have ever heard. I also decided I liked Natalie singing "Strong Enough" more than I like Sheryl singing "You Were Mine".

Ricky Skaggs came out while Emily and Martie were picking out a fantastic "Brilliancy" and they launched into a little "Dixie Chicken". This was Ricky's last concert opening for the Chicks, and they all gave him hugs while the audience gave him an extra round of applause. When "Let 'Er Rip" started up, Natalie did her typical drawn-out intro, but skipped the "skirt" dialogue, perhaps feeling a little more pregnant less "sexy" these days???

Of course, the concert would not be complete without a heartfelt performance of "Cowboy Take Me Away", and a presentation of "Sin Wagon" that was just as firey as the CMA's. Although "Cowboy" is officially my favorite song, "Sin Wagon" is the best in concert and I just about screamed myself hoarse and the surrounding folks deaf before it was over. And, unfortunately, the concert was ending all too soon.

The encores were performed as per usual, with "Earl" from the back (video onscreen), and "Wide Open Spaces" half-sung by the audience. As they were saying their "good-nights", we were waving our sign high, and although I of course was momentarily glancing away, according to Heather, Martie smiled and pointed at our sign. And then, it was all over. We sat back down in our seats as the arena emptied in minutes, just absorbing the evening and wishing it could have lasted longer.

On a side note.....The next morning we were doing a quick shop through Circle Center, when out of the Colts' souvenir shop, what did we see parked across the street?? Four tour buses outside of the swanky Omni hotel. Hmmmm.........anyone know what the buses look like?? And do they say "Nashville Tennessee" down in the corner?? We took a couple pics and chicks.... So we finally headed for home.

Begging pardon for the understatement::: Awesome concert. Definitely worth what we paid for the 8th row seats.

Taking a turn on the SIN WAGON!

Now that you've read the review, go see more of our concert photos!

Pre-Show & Ricky Skaggs (including the Chicks)
Emily & Martie Pics
Natalie Pics
Group Pics

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