The Chicks @ CMAC, Canandaigua, NY 8-11-23

Almost a near capacity crowd of 14,800 witnessed The Chicks dazzle the crowd with their amazing sound and performance this past Friday night at CMAC. Formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, The band is still on tour in support of ‘Gaslighter,’ which was released in 2020. It was the first album of new material in 14 years. The band has a long rich history. They have won 13 Grammy awards and are the biggest selling woman group during the sound scan era. The band still consists of Natalie Maines (lead vocals and guitars), Martie Maguire (mandolin, violin, acoustic guitar) and Emily Strayer (banjo, lap steel guitar and sitar). They were backed by a 6 piece band that included Maines son Slade Pasdar who handled guitars.

The show opened with the title track to ‘Gaslighter.’ Maines was positioned in the center back in front of the video screen as images and words graced the screen as she sang the song. Maines made her way to the front of the stage and was positioned there for most of the rest of the show. For the very personal lyrics of “Sleep at Night,” Maines showed some emotion when singing the lines “You’re only as sick as your secrets, So I’m telling everything, Half of the shit, You won’t believe, But I know it’s not unique to me” by giving the double bird. For “Ready to Run’ this was one of the few times that Maines walked around to signing to different parts of the crowd while both while Maguire and Strayer switched positions. I thought the biggest reaction the band received was for their one of their hit “Wide Open Spaces.” This wasn’t saved for the encores but placed in the middle of the set. The band was never shy expressing their beliefs and they didn’t have to stay much more than during the tune “Tights on my Boat.” They had some faces placed on cartoonish characters on the video screen that depicted Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Ron DeSantis. Everyone came to the forefront (minus keyboard player and drummer) for  a few tracks including “Long Time Gone.” The entire band sat in a half circle for a few tracks including “Cowboy Take Me Away.” Maines said they had a new song to play, then before anyone could reply she said “don’t worry its good!” She started to say the song was written by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton. “Who doesn’t love Dolly” Maines quipped? Maines then went onto say we don’t celebrate pride month for a month, we celebrate it every day of the year before the band went into “Rainbowland.” For the first time all show, the 3 ladies came together for a part of “For Her.”

I have never seen the band (under any moniker) until this show. I was totally blown away by the sound of Maines voice. What a fantastic talent she is. Between the various instruments that Strayer and Maguire played (and the lush harmonies they provided too), it made for a terrific show all around. The only compliant I have is that they had a video camera guy was on the stage constantly front of the ladies and it got annoying after a bit.  Otherwise, like I mentioned, this is a can’t miss show!

Editor’s note: The opener Ben Harper wanted the rights signed over from us to him in order to photograph his performance. We declined and hope all others planning on reviewing and photographing his set do the same! 





Sin Wagon

Texas Man

Julianna Calm Down

Taking the Long Way

My Best Friend’s Weddings

Sleep at Night

Ready to Run

Top of the World (Patty Griffin cover) 

Wide Open Spaces

Tights on my Boat

Daddy Lessons/Long Time Gone

Cowboy Take Me Away

Landslide (Fleetwood Mac cover)

Rainbowland (Miley Cyrus cover)

Don’t Let Me Die in Florida

March March

For Her

Everybody Loves You

White Trash Wedding

Not Ready to Make Nice

Goodbye Earl

We would like to thank Jordynn Gould from Brooklyn Made presents for the credentials to review the show.