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Qudos Bank Arena, March 29

They sold this tour - pretty much sold out this tour actually - without a show here in a decade, without any new songs, without any interviews or TV appearances.

The Dixie Chicks didn't have to make nice.

Which is as funny now as it was when that phrase was their defiant reaction to reactionary blowback to "the incident" (a certain comment in 2003 about a fool of a president, who looks positively Roosevelt-like by comparison with the incumbent).

For whatever else you say about them, Emily Robison, Natalie Maines and Martie Maguire are darn nice. And darn good at making pop country feel like something real and not cashed up faux.

And while we're there, darn clever to straddle - or is it subsume? - a couple of genres without feeling like an Urban box ticking exercise.

Played on by Prince's Let's Go Crazy, ending the show with a Ben Harper song and, alongside a minor Dylan (Mississippi), their long-time favourite interpretation of Stevie Nicks' Landslide and performing another Prince number, Nothing Compares 2 U, they brought their take on Beyonce's own cross-genre moment, Daddy Lessons.

Eccentric. Eclectic. Or maybe it's just that they're clever enough to figure that a good song is a good song (and a great song, in the case of their three Patty Griffin covers, is a great song) whether it has a fiddle and pedal steel or a double-necked guitar and string section.

Add a dash of score-settling feminism, via Goodbye Earl and Daddy Lessons, some brisk bluegrass comic affection for the inner bogan inside every Texan (and Australian) sophisticate in White Trash Wedding and Sin Wagon, and some straight country moments like Traveling Soldier, written by Robison’s and Maguire 's father, Bruce Robinson, and you've got yourself a show.

Not ultimately a great show, to be fair. There were too few moments when the sisters' voices joined in for harmonies; the sisters were in fact a little disconnected - smiling and present, for sure but secondary - for the first half.

And it took the acoustic bracket, 10 songs in, to move the ambient feeling from semi-mechanical/friendly professional to something nearer the warmly engaged we remember from 10-15 years ago. At least it took that long to reach the distant corners of the room.

But you aren't going to go home without heart when there's Top Of The World and Landslide on the set list are you?

And though they began the encore by declaring they were Not Ready To Make Nice, we knew otherwise.

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