Two weeks ago, one of my long time dreams came true. I was able to see the Dixie Chicks live. I drove to Atlanta to meet up with my friend Jackie for this much anticipated event. (Much anticipated is a bit of an understatement seeing as we bought this tickets more than a year prior!) All that time in between to day dream, and it kind of didn’t feel like it was really happening. In my pre-teen years (well, and later) my walls were all painted a different color. On the purple wall hung a “Fly” poster that kept it’s spot for years, right above my desk. It was sweltering hot at the amphitheater (like still 91 degrees when the sun went down,) but when the girls took the stage the weather didn’t matter anymore. The Dixie Chicks were on FIRE. Their talent is astounding. I was shocked at the energy. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. I didn’t have the chance to see them back in the day, so I can’t compare but if anything I would guess after all these years they came back stronger. The amount of emotion in Natalie’s voice when she belts out those notes, her ability to be composed but still have this jaw dropping touch to a song that will send goosebumps down your arms is stunning. Plus, Emily and Martie’s instrumental abilities is just other worldly. The Chicks played for more than two hours, but I could have just listened to them all night. Even though I will say that it was somewhat of an emotional roller coaster of an experience. Multiple songs brought tears to my eyes- “Travelin’ Soldier” “Top Of the World” “Landslide” and “Easy Silence” (but can you really blame me?) And I have to mention how clever it was for them to kick off the show with “Long Time Gone” and “Long Way Around” (I would say these are two of my favorites, but then I’d probably wind up saying that about all of them.) They also did a tribute to Prince with “Nothing Compares 2U” which was touching and special in its own way. The backdrop was purple with his symbol and it was a sweet moment. The electric energy from the crowd when they played “Goodbye Earl” “Wide Open Spaces” and “Cowboy Take Me Away” was palpable. Plus, “Sin Wagon” made me smile so hard my cheeks hurt. Their passion, tenacity, and unapologetic approach to all of the things that matter to them (social justice, domestic violence, nonsense in politics) makes them so dang endearing and it makes me proud that there are women like them in the industry. Some people think you should be quiet and appease everyone, and just play your songs. But isn’t music a tool to communicate a message, a chance to use your voice? (During “Ready to Run” there were dancing hands and cartoons of people running for office, and past presidents and people of politics.) Of course their boldness is surprising at times, but I applaud them just the same. They came back out and did “Not Ready to Make Nice” in the encore, and it was so striking, so moving, I don’t know if I can articulate the correct words to describe it, but it’s something I’ll always remember. I think they were making a lot of people’s dreams come true that night in that amphitheater. And like I’ve said before, it always amazes me the way lyrics come to mind immediately even to songs you haven’t heard in years, and there’s something lovable in life about that. It’s hard for me to choose a song to share with you on this Throwback Thursday because any of them would be a wonderful choice, but how about “Cowboy Take Me Away”? If you haven’t listened to the Dixie Chicks in a while, give this song a listen and revel in the beauty of their art.