Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stevie Nicks, Matchbox 20 up next on WTTW11's Soundstage

By Jennifer Thomas on July 16, 2008 12:47 PM

So you're channel surfing, and all of the sudden you realize you're watching an hour's worth of Stevie Nicks singing favorites like "Landslide" and throwing in covers like a brilliant version of Dave Matthews' "Crash."

That's coming up at 9 p.m. CST July 17 as PBS station WTTW11 continues its Soundstage series, taped concerts by big-name acts, most filmed on the station's intimate concert stage in Chicago.

The series runs on Thursday nights and has already featured Josh Groban, REO Speedwagon and Bon Jovi. Part II of the Steve Nicks concert is July 24. Matchbox 20 airs July 31 and Kenny Chesney on Aug. 7. Repeats are shown at midnight on Saturdays.

The series was resurrected in 2001 and has featured a mixture of acts including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Trisha Yearwood, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Alanis Morissette, Joan Baez, Michael McDonald, John Mayer, The Wallflowers, Heart, Dave Matthews Band, Peter Frampton, Train, The All American Rejects, Dashboard Confessional, Macy Gray and Jewel.

Looking at the advance copy of the Stevie Nicks show, she sounds fantastic in her first taped solo concert since 1987. The concert offers some unique material including Nicks performing "Sara," a song she doesn't usually do solo since she considers it "a signature Fleetwood Mac song" and her calling "Fall From Grace" the meanest song she's ever written.

Nicks also performs fan favorites like "Rhiannon" along with a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll." The crowd wasn't especially energetic, but that also means they're not interfering.

The Matchbox 20 show includes selections from the band's new album, "Exile on Mainstream." Rob Thomas and crew also throw in hits "3 AM," "Unwell" and "How Far We've Come." The musicality and vocals are strong, and there's a short, off-stage interview with the band.

Watching a concert on TV is no substitute for the real thing, but it has its perks, including more interaction with the performer. You get more than the "How you all doing tonight?" type of yell-outs at concerts, and instead get a little background behind the performer's work.

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