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The Dixie Chicks: An Evening With - Live at the Kodak Theater
Sony Music Video/Sony BMG . R4 . COLOR . 92 mins . E . NTSC


Once upon a time, tired of tromping around the country traps getting nowhere, sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison decided their Dixie Chicks baby – the name a take on Little Feat’s Dixie Chicken – needed an injection of new blood. So they roped in Bostonian singer Natalie Maines in hopes of scaling those there music charts. They were faced with just one problem, however – Nat refused to look like a regular from Bob’s Country Bunker with their hackneyed, rhinestone-encrusted Dale Evans wardrobes.

So, after ditching the Lone Ranger & Tonto for Dolce & Gabbana, the Chicks were well on their way to realising their dreams. A major record deal ensued, and they watched as their debut album, then their follow-up, stormed the charts, breaking pretty much any record they could wrap a lariat around along the way. Hell, forget those crappy rhinestones, they even done got diamond records!

After a hiatus whilst they defiantly took their label to court over their rip-off deal, the peace pipe was eventually smoked and they returned in 2002 with the Home album – a change of pace in that it was essentially a back-to-basics, acoustic affair. It’s around this time that we join the Chicks at the decidedly un-country Kodak Theatre in Hollywood for the launch of that album.

Unabashedly plummeting through the entire, at the time unheard disc, its newness doesn’t make one iota of difference to the fans, who literally whoop and holler along to every ballad and every bona fide hoedown the girls let loose, before a payoff with a quick greatest hits set. Complete with lashings of downright neighbourly in-between song banter from all three girls – Natalie with simply whopperous poodle-styled hair, a knocked-up (their words) Emily with a substantial baby bump and Martie slinking about with her fiddle – this here little concert is a dream come true for fans. Well, for the ones who dig them for their music, at any rate...

Track listing…

Long Time Gone
Travelin' Soldier
Truth No. 2
White Trash Wedding
A Home
More Love
I Believe in Love
Tortured, Tangled Hearts
Li'l Jack Slade
Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)
Top of the World
Wide Open Spaces
Cowboy Take Me Away
Goodbye Earl
Sin Wagon


Another questionable region 4 NTSC release, if you have the gear to actually view it you shouldn’t be disappointed with this fabulously sharp, snappily edited combination of full frame video footage and 1.78:1 (non-enhanced) filmed segments. The latter are generally treated “artily”, so the influx of grain and whatnot should be no cause for a-fussin’, otherwise things are quite pristine.

Everybody should be happy in the sonic department – assuming they have a thang for the twang, of course. A Dolby Digital 5.1 track does what every good live mix should, delivering the music from the front and the crowd from the back, just like being in the midst of the throng, although there’s little to no use of the poor old subwoofwoof, dagnabbit! If you’re a more traditional type, assuming you can call CD sound traditional by now, then the Linear PCM stereo mix should please all comers.

As for extras, well the pot’s a tad bare, with merely a discography covering the Chicks’ entire three albums, plus a few pages of biographical stuff.

Those who dig their politics but gag at their music should stay well away, but y’all who’ve been caught under the Dixie Chicks’ spell will find this here first DVD release of theirs more excitin’ than a star-spangled rodeo.

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  •   And I quote...
    "If you’re a fan then you’ll find this more excitin’ than a star-spangled rodeo…"
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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