Good luck, ladies!

Dixie Chicks Set to Open Their U.S. Tour
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Under tight security, the Dixie Chicks were getting ready for their first concert in the United States since the Texas trio’s lead singer spoke ill of President George W. Bush almost two months ago.
The Dixie Chicks were set to open the U.S. leg of their world tour in Greenville on Thursday night. During a March 10 concert in London, as war with Iraq was looming, lead singer Natalie Maines told the audience: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
Maines, a Texan, and the other members of the country band say that since then they have received more than complaints — their lives and livelihoods have been threatened.
Maines’ comment also sparked war supporters to plan an anti-Chicks concert Thursday featuring the Marshall Tucker Band. Now, it’s not just the Dixie Chicks who are receiving threats from a country divided over the Iraq war.
Even in South Carolina, heavy with flag-waving patriots, some are feeling the pressure from war protesters.
“Just as people are unhappy with Natalie Maines, people are unhappy with us,” said radio talk show host Mike Gallagher, who is promoting the anti-Dixie Chicks concert about 30 minutes from here in Spartanburg. Dixie Chicks ticketholders have been able to trade for free VIP passes to the Marshall Tucker Band show, Gallagher said.
The band’s lead singer, Spartanburg native Doug Gray, said he also has received threats but that’s not going to stop him from taking the stage Thursday night. Gray, a sergeant in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969, said it took him about a minute to decide whether his band should play. Maines “said something in another country she shouldn’t have said,” Gray said.
Gray, 55 and the only remaining founding member of the band, keeps the situation in perspective, saying he knows his concert probably won’t affect the Dixie Chicks, who have sold out most of the 59 concerts for this tour — including the Greenville show.
“It’s not going to hurt them as much as people would like it to,” Gray said. But “it’s really good for us.”
Maines and the other Dixie Chicks — sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire — have said the fallout was too harsh for the offense and they’ve always supported U.S. troops even though they questioned the war.
“We know some of our fans were shocked … and upset, and we are compassionate to that,” Maguire had said. “My problem is, when does it cross the line? … When is writing a threatening letter OK?”
After Maines’ remarks about Bush, radio stations began boycotting the Dixie Chicks, even though she publicly apologized later.
The group’s song “Travelin’ Soldier,” which was No. 1 on Billboard’s country charts around the time Maines made the remark, tumbled afterward.
Security will be tight at both concerts Thursday. Metal detectors will be used for the Dixie Chicks’ show at the 15,000-seat Bi-Lo Center, where a man in a pickup truck passing by Wednesday night yelled: “Dixie Chicks go home.”
There also will be a significant security presence for the Marshall Tucker Band. Gallagher said security and catering for the anti-Chicks show was being donated.
Gallagher came up with the idea for the alternative concert to raise money for military families “while sort of tweaking Natalie Maines … at the same time.”
He said the project is a partnership with Feed the Children of Oklahoma City.
“We’ve been delivering truckloads of food and personal care items to military families all over the country,” Gallagher said. “We’re going to raise tens of thousands of dollars for military families in this one night alone.”