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The Chicks @ AO Arena review and gallery – iconic sisters bring country to the big city

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Featured image and gallery: Ben Redshaw

The Chicks’ renowned country and folk music filled Manchester’s AO Arena on Tuesday. The Dallas sisters brought the excitement, as they had everyone up and dancing as soon as they entered the stage. When the three appeared, fans were screaming and ecstatic from the very first beat.

But first came country and pop icon, Maren Morris, as support for the evening. With more than 1.5 million Instagram followers, Morris has grown in popularity over the years. As she took the stage, the lights went out, and everyone was getting ready for the party of the year.

The well-known song ‘Circles Around This Town’ had the gathered crowds strewn throughout the arena dancing. When Morris played ’80s Mercedes’ with an acapella opening showcasing her vocal abilities, she captivated everyone’s attention in the room. 

‘Once’ was the song that significantly lowered the mood later in the set. This song is a reflection of Maren’s experience following a chance meeting with her ex-boyfriend’s mother soon after their separation. When she played ‘My Church,’ one of her most well-known songs, Morris put a strong cap on her performance.

The audience was delighted during the intermissions between shows to hear all of the best 90s pop tunes, including ‘You’ve Got the Love’ and ‘One Way or Another.’ Combining the great 90s female artists like Shania Twain, Blondie, and Florence & The Machine.

The lights dimmed once more, and everyone rose to their feet. The Chicks opened the performance with ‘Gaslighter’ as the curtain descended after an amazing light display. The crowd erupted in cheers as the country anthem came to an end, giving the Texan sisters a very enthusiastic welcome to Manchester.

The Chicks played songs that fans had been waiting for throughout the entire night, including ‘Texas Man,’ ‘Wide Open Spaces,’ and even a medley of ‘Daddy Lessons/Long Time Gone Medley.’ Their acoustic portions switched up the set, effectively establishing the mood for the traditional western songs and introducing American culture to the UK.

Not only did The Chicks put on an incredible performance with their outstanding western vocals, but they also had a very great visual display with pop art that was influenced by 90s art and really made the stage pop. With images and lyrics to their songs, the audience enjoyed a really engaging experience.

Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Robinson performed not only their best songs but also covers of some of the all-time greats in the country genre. The audience was given more than they anticipated at this amazing concert, with songs including ‘Travelling Soldier,’ ‘Landslide,’ and ‘Rainbowland’ by Bruce Robinson, Fleetwood Mac, and Miley Cyrus.

The Chicks closed the evening on a high note with ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’ and ‘Goodbye Earl’ as the final two songs of the evening in a lengthy encore that included a whopping additional set of five songs. Fans in the entire arena were ecstatic about the performance tonight; they will be talking about it for years to come.

Wrapped up the UK portion of their tour in Manchester, it was a magnificent way to go out. They have one more UK show set for this year at British Summer Time, the largest festival in London, where they will be opening for the great rock icon Bruce Springsteen.

Maren Morris supporting the Chicks at AO Arena

The Chicks performing at AO Arena

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Ben Redshaw

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