“I can’t even tell you how amazing it is to see you,” The Chicks‘ lead singer Natalie Maines told the crowd packed into St. Louis’ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on Tuesday night (June 14th). Except for a handful of scattered appearances over the last few years, it’s the group’s first such endeavor since 2017, their first since dropping “Dixie” from their band’s name in 2020, and first since the release of their country-chart-topping album, Gaslighter, that same year
“We had intended to see you in 2020, but a little something happened,” Maines continued, referring to the Covid-19 pandemic that scuttled plans for an arena tour which, with Covid caution still in mind, was moved outdoors and recast as this year’s 27-date amphitheater tour (get tickets here).
Despite the long break from the road, Maines and bandmates Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer were, for the most part, already in mid-tour form in St. Louis, nailing their familiar vocal harmonies and displaying their instrumental prowess while backed by a six-piece band that includes Maines’ 22-year-old son, Slade Pasdar, on guitar and keyboards.
As you’d expect, the two-hour show included many of the band’s major hits. But in large part, it focused on Gaslighter, with 10 of the evening’s 22 songs coming from the new album. The Chicks were surrounded by a dazzling array of floor-to-ceiling video screens and an uncluttered stage set that placed all of the backing musicians save for bandleader Keith Sewell on risers.
First, Patty Griffin opened the show with a lovely 35-minute set with backing from guitar ace David Pulkingham. (She continues on the tour through July 16th, returning on August 5th. In between those dates, Jenny Lewis will open for The Chicks.)