Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Dixie Chicks Live

Last night we saw the Dixie Chicks at Madison Square Garden. I wasn't very familiar with their music, so it was a great introduction. All taken in account, it was a good show.

The sound was a little disappointing with the poor acoustics of an indoor arena. I've been spoiled by small venues and Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The ambient noise in an indoor arena made it impossible to understand the lyrics of their songs. It also sounded like their goal was power rather than sound quality.

A couple of things I noticed, during the show.

- All their songs were short. Even being live with solos, I doubt any of their songs ran over four minutes. Most seemed three or less.
- They used lead instruments really well. The violin was used for accent in the songs and was rarely played at the same time as the vocals. The banjo was used well for intro's to a few songs.
- The crowd went wild with the violin, banjo and cello. My guess is they are more interesting after thousands of guitar solos. This bodes well for Julie, who was impressed with the violinist.
- They changed tempo a lot, with high energy songs followed by slower songs. The tempo changes were between songs as opposed to within songs.
- They performed "Landslide." A great song, continued to work really well.
- They did very little in the way of song introductions, at most a few seconds of unimpressive dialogue. They let their music do the talking, which was in its own way was good.
- The warm up band (I never caught their name) did a good job of using pauses in the songs. In one case, then paused after hitting a chord that was dying to be resolved - they made you wait for about 2o seconds for the next chord. To me, it worked, not sure about the rest of the crowd.

My overall impression was a concert of high energy, with a good mix of vocals and instruments. However, not knowing the words or stories behind the songs left me feeling a little empty about their songs. I now need to pick up one of their CD's to listen more closely to their lyrics (maybe that was their point).


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