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'Chicks' rule

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By Calen McKinney

"It's been two long years now

Since the top of the world came crashing down

And I'm gettin' it back on the road now

But I'm taking the long way

Taking the long way around"

-"The Long Way Around," Dixie Chicks

I'm no stranger to nearby concert venues. I can be found most often traveling to Louisville and Lexington for shows, but I'll never pass up a road trip to see a good band.

My parents took me a few weeks ago to see one of my most favorite bands, the Dixie Chicks, in concert at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. Oh, yeah, and some band named the Eagles performed, too.

In the interest of full disclosure, my parents didn't volunteer the trip. I found the concert date online and was so excited about possibly going that I practically begged them to take me.

I know, I'm 27 years old. I should be over the stage of begging my parents to "please, please, please" take me somewhere. But I just couldn't help it ... it was the Dixie Chicks!

The Chicks haven't toured since they stated publicly in 2003 that they were ashamed that former president George Bush is from their home state of Texas. After that, their career floundered and still hasn't quite recovered.

I have always loved the Dixie Chicks. Just listen to their lyrics. If you love some country twang girl power music, you've found your next iTunes download.

Though lots of people hated the Chicks after their infamous public bashing of Bush, it made me respect them even more.

Lead singer Natalie Maines only said what the entire world was thinking. And how many others have made similar comments about Bush?

So combine their catchy sound, powerful lyrics (see "Goodbye Earl" and "Not Ready to Make Nice") and their fearless attitude, and they became one of my favorite bands of all time. Seeing them perform live was on my "Bucket List."

That's why I was so excited to go to this concert.

And the Chicks ruled.

They played for about an hour to a crowd of people who were likely all about my parents' age. It was definitely a different scene than I am used to. I'm not used to being one of the youngest in the crowd.

I could tell by the applause that not everyone, though, thinks the Chicks rule.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that the Eagles performed, too?

They have been together for 39 years ... 12 years before I was born. Talk about feeling young.

The Eagles rocked, too ... impressive for men who have likely been on tour as long as I have lived and are at or nearing the age for an AARP membership.

The concert was awesome ... the perfect mix of girl power and boys singing about being boys. So, thanks, Mom and Dad for a concert I will never forget.

u u u

For my fellow Twihards out there, wasn't "Eclipse" great?

The third in the "Twilight" series, "Eclipse" tells the story of (spoiler alert) Victoria's demise and Bella and Edward's engagement. It also shows Jacob give one last shot at winning Bella's heart before it stops beating.

I will admit, some of the movie dragged and seemed somewhat jumbled together. But, on the whole, "Eclipse" is my favorite of the series so far. What's better than a good vampire fight and the tent scene where Jacob and Edward have their rare heart-to-heart talk?

But the movie made me sad, too. It means the end is near. With only the two "Breaking Dawn" installments left for the big screen, the "Twilight" movies are almost over.

Let's hope "Breaking Dawn" leaves Twihards full.