Friday, March 01, 2024

Review Stevie Nicks delivered a ‘funky fabulous party’ of a concert Wednesday night

[Review] Stevie Nicks: Live in Concert
New Orleans showed nothing but love for Stevie Nicks on Wednesday night – and Nicks showed it back!

As promised, Stevie Nicks delivered a ‘funky fabulous party’ of a concert Wednesday night at the Smoothie King Center. 

Photos: Kathryn Holden

Vanessa Carlton
There are no words in the human language that can describe what it feels like to watch Vanessa Carlton perform her 2002 hit, “A Thousand Miles” live. And although that was one of the highlights of her set for me, she is much more than her twenty-year-old tracks. From her electric piano work to her magnetic vocals to her profound lyrics, Carlton captivated the crowd during her 30-minute-long set.

The Pennsylvania-born singer-songwriter walked onto the stage and the first words out of her mouth were, “I’m here, pinch me” before going into her first song, “Carousel.” She prefaced each song with commentary that gave a glimpse into how each one came to fruition. It’s worth getting to the venue early for the warnings of red flags, the backstory of her nickname ‘Miss Vanilla’, and how MTV censored her in 2004 (and hearing some deep cuts because who doesn’t like to be put onto new music.)

Stevie Nicks
She and her band opened with “Outside the Rain,” from Nicks’s album Bella Donna before taking the crowd into one of Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic tracks, “Dreams.” 

“I started [the tour] in New Orleans…almost two years ago. That was our first show of this entire tour. I thought it was gonna be like maybe a year, it’s still going,” Stevie Nicks afterword. Nicks performed at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. She was scheduled to return to the Big Easy in April 2023 but the show was postponed and then later canceled due to a COVID-19 infection among her touring group. Ten months later, Nicks made it back and it was worth the wait! The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and one of Rolling Stones’ 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time, Stevie Nicks, graced the city on Wednesday night with an unforgettable show. 

Dressed in all black, the 75-year-old singer-songwriter was joined on stage by a six-piece band and two singers. For over two hours, she performed a mix of her solo hits and songs from her time with Fleetwood Mac from “Rhiannon” to “Edge of Seventeen” to “Soldier’s Girl.” She even included a few covers including Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” and Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.” 

We took a trip down memory lane as Nicks shared stories about her life – from how she and Tom Petty’s collaboration, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” came to be to writing Fleetwood Mac’s hit “Gypsy” during a time in the 70s when she needed to find herself and stay grounded. The nostalgic storytelling gave fans a glimpse into how the musical legend created some of their favorite songs.

Throughout the night, she also had some quick outfit changes where she would throw on colorful shawls that were tied to the songs she was performing. For example, she wore the original royal blue ‘Bella Donna’ cape and a shimmering black and gold one that was tied to her song, “Stand Back.”

One of the highlights (and you had to be there moments) was when Nicks performed “New Orleans” in New Orleans. Another was Nicks not being afraid to use her platform to encourage attendees to call leaders in Washington and ask for money to be sent to Ukraine to help stop Putin’s mission. And the most heartfelt moment of them all was her dedication to the late Christine McVie during her performance of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” Nicks was very open about her grieving process and how running to the stage has helped her through one of the greatest losses she’ll ever experience. It’s true what they say, music can heal and her fans have helped heal her soul. 

If Stevie Nicks is ever in a city near you, don’t hesitate. Buy the ticket. It’s not every day you have the chance to witness greatness live – and even at 75 years, she hasn’t lost her touch!


Edge of Seventeen

Review Stevie Nicks Live in New Orleans February 28, 2024

Chatty Stevie Nicks acknowledged and defied the passing of time during New Orleans concert


Less than two years after dedicating 'Landslide' to Taylor Hawkins at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, she sang it for Christine McVie at the Smoothie King Center

Early in her songs-and-stories session at a full Smoothie King Center on Wednesday, Stevie Nicks gave herself and her bandmates a free pass: “If we make a mistake, we just go, ‘We’re old.’”

Superstars of the 1970s, now deep into their seventies, are bowing out. Elton John and KISS have concluded long farewell tours. The Eagles were recently in New Orleans as part of their Long Goodbye Tour.

At 75, Nicks hasn’t said anything about retiring. Nor should she. She is clearly comfortable in her own skin, comfortable being in charge, and comfortable with where she stands in life.

And as she demonstrated Wednesday, she is still committed to quality, to employing real humans to make real music in real time with real instruments, topped by a voice that still sounds real good.

Following the COVID lockdown, Nicks returned to the stage at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. She considered Wednesday’s gig part of the same tour, albeit a tour with an intermittent itinerary.

A set that spanned two hours and 15 minutes managed only 18 songs. Nicks prefaced most with a story as long as the song itself. That verbosity didn’t allow momentum to build across multiple songs strung together.

But it did give fans insight into her thought processes, personality and world view, plus behind-the-scenes glimpses of her life and career.

She recounted long and frequent visits with injured soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. Sympathetic to the plight of soldiers, she strongly supports American aid for Ukrainian troops. Her song “Soldier’s Angel” concluded with a blue and yellow Ukrainian flag blazing on the LED screen above and behind her.

She recounted thinking she’d finished recording her 1981 “Bella Donna” album, only to be told by producer Jimmy Iovine that it lacked a proper single.

Not to worry, Iovine said: Tom Petty, whom Nicks idolized but had never met, had written a song that would be perfect for her. An overdressed Nicks showed up at Petty’s studio and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” was born.

Forty-three years later, she and her band cranked up a crackling version at the Smoothie King Center, with Nicks emphasizing the final “stop!”

She once thought “Fall From Grace” was “too mean-spirited” to perform. But her perspective shifted: “It’s not mean-spirited. It’s energy.” Sure enough, it was the most energetic and driving song up to that point in the show.

She thanked Stephen Stills for writing Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” in the 1960s “so I could sing it 3,000 years later.” It’s a fine song, but that time may have been better spent with a Fleetwood Mac cut.

In the early 1970s, she and then-paramour Lindsey Buckingham were dirt poor when Fleetwood Mac first hired them. Their $250 weekly checks seemed like a fortune, she said. When those checks increased to $1,000, Nicks considered herself truly rich. After her mother introduced her to the concept of taxes, she and Buckingham hired an accounting firm to handle their money.

Having money and success “is a big deal, but it’s not everything.” She then dedicated “Gypsy” to the “waitresses and waiters and cleaning ladies” who work as hard as she once did.

Even at the height of Fleetwood Mac’s success, Nicks envisioned a solo career with her own band. It would feature two “girl singers” standing up front with her, not in the background. And there they were on Wednesday.

As talkative as she was, Nicks never got around to introducing the bandmembers. That brawny band was led by guitarist Waddy Wachtel. A first-call session guitarist from the 1970s to the present, Wachtel has contributed to at least a couple hundred albums, plus countless live shows.

His extended guitar excursion settled into the chugging riff of “Edge of Seventeen.” Guitars also drove a strong “Stand Back.” As the drummer hammered a big finish on “Gold Dust Woman,” Nicks air-drummed, shook her curls and rocked out.

Just as she did at Jazz Fest, she revived “New Orleans,” a love letter to the city she penned after Hurricane Katrina. “If Anyone Falls” had a satisfying punch to it. She held out and massaged the final “know” in “Dreams.”

Since the 1990s, Nicks has relied on vocal coach Steve Real to keep her hearty contralto in tip-top shape. On this tour, he also joins her onstage to sing Don Henley’s part in “Leather and Lace.” Nicks and Real did the duet justice.

Underscoring just how close her connection was to Petty, a recording of his “Runnin’ Down a Dream” blasted from the P.A. to signal the start of the show. Nicks and the band opened the encore with Petty’s “Free Fallin” as a scrapbook of Petty pictures, including one from Jazz Fest, filled the screen.

A faithful take on the Fleetwood Mac classic “Rhiannon” followed by “Landslide” closed out the night. At the 2022 Jazz Fest, Nicks dedicated “Landslide” to her pal Taylor Hawkins, the Foo Fighters drummer who had recently died.

This time around, she sang “Landslide” for Christine McVie, her longtime Fleetwood Mac bandmate and confidante. As photos of the late McVie faded in and out on the screen, Nicks, accompanied by Wachtel’s light touch on an acoustic guitar, navigated the lyrics’ unflinching acknowledgment of the passing of time.

She is well aware that she is no longer the wild young chanteuse she was in the 1970s. And well aware that she doesn’t need to be.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Stevie Nicks is heading to London... BST Hyde Park July 12, 2024


Stevie Nicks headlines American Express presents 
BST Hyde Park on Friday 12 July 2024, 
full lineup to be announced 

BST Hyde Park presale goes live at 10am GMT Monday 4 March. 
Get access to the Stevie Nicks presale through their website.

Tickets go on general sale at 10am GMT Wednesday 6 March.

VIP tickets, hospitality packages and payment plans are available. 

For more information, visit the BST Website

Monday, February 26, 2024

Stevie Nicks Live in Hollywood Florida at Hard Rock Live Feb 24, 2024

 Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, FL February 24, 2024

Photo: Hard Rock Live

Wild Heart + Bella Donna

Free Fallin

Stevie Nicks Live in Greenville, SC February 21, 2024

 Stevie Nicks Live at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena



Sunday, February 18, 2024