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Fog Lifts: Dixie Chicks Play to Cheers

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For their first concert in the US after the Great Controversy, would the Dixie Chicks be booed, cheered, boycotted, ignored, or celebrated? At least for 15,000 in Greenville, SC, the controversy appears to be over:

    A sold-out crowd cheered, clapped, danced and sung along during the Dixie Chicks’ summer tour kick-off concert, showing little concern for the controversy that has surrounded the band since a member criticized President Bush over the war with Iraq.

    ….the Chicks soon realized their fans still loved them. About 15,000 of them sold-out the Bi-Lo Center on Thursday. If there was a boo as the band appeared on stage, few could hear it.

    “I think it’s a good idea if we start every single tour right here,” Maines said. “Y’all have been an awesome crowd.”

    Maines didn’t wait long to address the problems that have arisen from her comments. “We have a plan for this,” Maines said. “If you’re here to boo, we welcome that. We’re going to give you 15 seconds to do that.”

    And when Maines counted to three, the sold-out crowd erupted in cheers and the Chicks broke into “Long Time Gone.”

    ….Thursday seemed to be nothing but fun for the Chicks.

    “They said you might not come, but we knew you would,” said Maines, as fans whistled and pounded the backs of their seats.

    ….Maines mentioned Bush just once, right before the band started its encore. “They just told me that the president has announced that the war is over,” said Maines, referring to his speech aboard an aircraft carrier earlier Thursday night.

    Before the concert, about 15 protesters milled outside the arena, carrying sings saying “The three French hens” and “Nothing Dixie about these Chicks.” [AP]

If those numbers hold – 1000-1 pro-Chicks – their troubles will soon be over. Texas will be the real test.

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