Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks and Zac Brown Band played to an enthusiastic crowd last night in the O2 Dublin as part of Country2Country, a two day music extravaganza that is also going to London's O2 this weekend.
The line-up from last night will be in London tonight, so any Londoners interested should click here.
Also, any Dubliners around this evening should check out the line-up for tonight, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Chris Young. Tickets can be purchased here:
Last night, Dixie Chicks came on after opener Dierks Bentley had warmed up the crowd, dressed in 80s rock-inspired looks, including long silver chains and leather pants. Front-woman Natalie Maines sported a new hairstyle, shaved at the sides and back with only a short mohawk left on top. The band's fashion choices complimented their style of playing on the night, with amped up versions of their standards, including 'Goodbye Earl', 'Sin Wagon' and 'Landslide'. They played a few other favorites, but there was a palpable energy in the air when they launched into their soaring anthem 'Not Ready to Make Nice', which they wrote about the aftermath of their famous comment about George W. Bush. It was a goose-bump inducing moment, with fans jabbing their index fingers in the air in time with the music. Despite the ferocity with which they play, Natalie appears to prefer to be more soft-spoken these days, and in addition to a quiet 'thank you' or 'thanks y'all' after every song, she introduced the backing band with only a quick mention of the other chicks: 'that's Marti and that's Emily, and I'm Natalie'. These are consummate performers who know their audience well and are comfortable enough to let their music speak for itself. In addition to their own songs, they played a beautiful rendition of 'Wrecking Ball' that gave Marti an ample violin solo, and they finished up with Bob Dylan's 'Mississippi'. Fans will not be disappointed with the chance to sing along, and anyone else will enjoy their talent and passionate skill.
Though there were some Dixie Chicks fans who clearly left before the headliners Zac Brown Band got started, the support for this band was unreal, with audience members chanting 'ZBB! ZBB!' The award-winning band from Georgia had a non-stop, fast-paced set prepared, which showed their range both vocally and musically, with songs that would be suitable for good old-fashioned hoe-downs and others clearly influenced by spanish guitar and island reggae. While every musician in the seven-member band was extremely talented, fiddler Jimmy De Martini stole the show with his furious fiddling, and Daniel de los Reyes was incredible to watch on the bongos. Definitely a band to see live, their energy and stamina is unbelievable.
The opening act, Dierks Bentley, was great to get the audience in the mood for the evening, covering a U2 song and taking an audience member up on stage to rock out. Dierks was excited to be playing in a venue with fifty-three rows, as he remembers a time when he was lucky to play for fifty-three people. The man himself is both talented and charismatic, and his songs are standard country fare in the vein of Tim McGraw, with a lot of heart and personal history.