Emily and I met up at my house yesterday at 1:30pm, I quick threw some clothes and makeup in a bag along with a travel mug and water bottle and we drove to Kansas City. We drove down listening to Dixie Chicks the whole way and getting super excited for the show.
We got there just a little after 5pm, found a place to park and took turns changing clothes in the back of the van. Now I know how Superman feels and it's not great. I put on a little lip gloss and mascara then we joined the throngs of 40something lovelies drinking Coors Lite in a courtyard across from the Sprint Center in downtown K.C.. I was super excited for many reasons. First, because our friends, Smooth Hound Smith, were opening the show. Second, because I really haven't been to many arena shows. I like my music outdoors in a festival setting or in a more intimate venue so I rarely make it to the big productions that tour the country. And finally, I love me an adventure and this was an adventure. When you leave at 2pm to go to a show and plan to drive in the middle of the night to make it back home after the concert, well that's an adventure and that's just what happened.
Smooth Hound Smith were fantastic. I saw them perform at Nebraska Folk and Roots Festival this past June and I was so glad to see them up there rocking that huge stage and making tha great audience fall in love with them effortlessly. They've got a great show and I'm so glad we were there to see it.
Vintage Trouble was the second opening act and those guys knew how to do their job. They had huge energy, they got the crowd stirred into a joyful, groovy frenzy so that when the Chicks hit the stage, the place went bonkers.
I think the place would have gone bonkers no matter what had happened for the opening performers.
My impression is that the world (especially 40 something women) has desperately missed the Dixie Chicks. It was like we all found a piece of ourselves and our story that had been hiding for 13 years and last night we all rejoiced in its discovery and made some serious noise in celebration. It was amazing. Of course, we knew most of the songs, we knew the changes and the anthems and we sang along accordingly. I asked Caitlin of SHS if the crowds were like this every night and she said she thought people were just so happy that the Chicks were out playing again that each night had a celebration feel to it.
We made this trek down to K.C. For the show because Zack and Caitlin of Smooth Hound Smith reached out to me and offered me a pair of tickets and I couldn't pass up such a generous offer. Our seats were amazing and we quickly found out that our section held friends and family of both opening acts. When Zack joined the CHicks up on stage for a Beyoncé cover, Caitlin was sitting next to me and her aunt. Pretty cool.
The Dixie Chicks show was seamless and superb. They played lots of tracks off their album, "Home," they played "Nothing Compares 2 U" in tribute to Prince and they satisfied the appetite of all their fans with "Cowboy Take Me Away," "Earl," "Long Time Gone," "Sin Wagon" and "Ready to Run" among others. It would be hard to say at which point the audience reached fever pitch, but I'd venture that "Earl" threatened to the blow the roof off that fancy place.
And then this happened. The show is winding down, we are on our feet when Zack comes to our section and motions to us to come with him. We go. We follow him, Caitlin and their tour manager back stage to their green room. He asks, "You guys want to go up on stage with the Chicks for the encore?"
There's only one answer to that question. We (me, Emily, Aunt Lauren, her daughter, Mary Jane and Adrianna) are lead to the side of the stage where we watch them sing "I'm not ready to make nice" and marvel at the place where we are standing and what we are about to do. The Chicks finish the song, they get off the stage and the audience cheers and cheers and waits for them to return. The tour manager explains to the six of us what we're about to do, she hands us tambourines and shakers, we are given the cue and file UP ON THE STAGE looking out at 13,000 people!!!! It was the most amazing sight I've ever seen, not to mention that the Chicks are 10 feet in front of us and we're UP ON STAGE WITH THEM for the final song. Incredible. They play the song, we dance and play tambourine, we try to wrap our heads around what it is that's happening. Emily of the Chicks turns around at one point and flashes her beautiful smile at us and that right there is worth it. And then just like that, it was over and we were lead back down the steps off the stage. We walked back to the green room to process the gift. I did a cart wheel. It felt like a good response.
We talked. We had a chance to catch up a little and laugh. What a night!! What an unforgettable show made even better because it was shared with friends.
Emily and I got back to our van and started the drive back home. We drove through a McDonald's in St. Joe at 1am where we changed out of our show clothes and back into our travel clothes. We got gas at Sidney on Highway 2 where Emily bought us both "Poo poo piggie" key chains. Ridiculous. Because that's what you do at 2am on the road.
WE got to my house at 3:30am. We got up again at 6:30am. Some days you go to see the Dixie Chicks and get up on stage with them. Some days you get 3 hours of sleep, regret all your recent dietary choices and go to work. You just never know. My advice to you? Say yes and see what happens. Showing up is the only way stuff is ever going to find you.