Passion makes for great music and it’s no secret that the Dixie Chicks are passionate about their country and their values. It’s also no secret that they aren’t afraid to talk / sing about it when someone threatens those values.

The Dixie Chicks perform in Ottawa photo Ron Pettitt

Well the USA has a new president and Natalie, Martie and Emily aren’t happy about it and they had no problem getting the Ottawa crowd fired up. No sooner had the girls taken to the stage when someone, not far, behind me yelled out “we hate Trump too”.

The trio returned to Ottawa for the first time since their appearance at RBC Bluesfest in 2013 and brought every bit of magic, and passion, with them on Friday night as they did that night in July.

Emily Robinson of the Dixie Chicks performs in Ottawa photo Ron Pettitt

For two hours the Chicks put on a show that was a feast for the ears as well as the eyes. The giant screen behind the stage was filled with some of the most incredible imagery I’ve ever seen at a concert. From naturescapes to cityscapes to some awe inspiring laser art featuring the Dixie Chicks themselves.

Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks performs in Ottawa photo Ron Pettitt

From the opening notes of “Long Way Around” the energy started to build very quickly and when, midway through their set, they launched into “Goodbye Earl”, featuring a video montage that included images of Donald Trump, the roof of the Canadian Tire Centre blew clean off. The crowd was screaming so loud and the energy so high I’m certain people living near the arena could singalong.

It wasn’t all about the high energy though, what would a Dixie Chicks show be without some of their more mellow songs? The trio’s performances of “Landslide” and “Travelling Soldier” were simply breathtaking. They even managed to crank out the song they performed with Beyoncé at the CMAs, something Maines told the crowd was never supposed to happen.

Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks performs in Ottawa photo Ron Pettitt

“I remember 10, or so, years ago I told our manager that we would never go to the CMAs again. And then Beyoncé called and asked if we’d perform with her at the CMAs and I was like sure when and what song?” she told the crowd. The song was “Daddy Lessons” and, in true Dixie Chicks fashion, it generated a backlash against the CMAs by people saying Beyoncé had no business on a country awards show. I say to hell with what others think. Music is music and if the Dixie Chicks want to sing with Beyoncé all the power to them!

It’s been 11 years since Taking The Long Way, with its smash hit “Not Ready to Make Nice”, was released and you could feel the electricity charging in the crowd waiting for the inevitable moment. That moment would come not long after an explosion of ticker tape during “Sin Wagon”.

Emily Robinson and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks perform in Ottawa photo Ron Pettitt

The trio left the stage for what seemed like an eternity but when the first notes of the encore rung through the Canadian Tire Centre the sold out crowd exploded, again.

Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks performs in Ottawa photo Ron Pettitt

The Dixie Chicks capped off the show with a message, a message for Trump and a message for everyone. The message was delivered via a powerful performance of Ben Harper’s “Better Way”.

Once again the Dixie Chicks impressed and I, for one, look forward to their next trip through the region.

The DCX MMXVII world tour wraps up later this week at Bud Gardens. At the time of posting great seats are still available for both remaining Canadian dates (Hamilton, April 17 and London, April 18). For tickets and more information visit