Friday, April 01, 2011

(Review) Nicks played the ethereal goddess to Stewart’s strutting showman

Can two rockers in their 60s boogie like stars half their age?
Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks’ answer is “yes.”
By Lauren Carter
The Boston Herald

photo credit: Steve Babineau
The raspy sexagenarians brought their joint to the TD Garden on Wednesday, delighting a not-quite-capacity crowd of mostly middle-aged fans. The pairing made sense. Both Nicks and Stewart boast multi-decade careers, a deep catalog of hits and distinctive yet complementary rock aesthetics. Both are dreamy in entirely different ways.

Nicks played the ethereal goddess to Stewart’s strutting showman. At 62, she exudes radiance and spirit onstage, still as much a singer/songwriter as ambassador to her mystical universe of gold dust women.

Her vocal range is more limited now; the signature platform boots have been replaced by wedge-heeled ones; and her otherworldly twirls are closer to bows and twists. But many things remain unchanged, in-cluding her flowing blond hair, the fabulous layers of black lace and chiffon that comprise her rock star costume, the crack band anchored by guitarist and musical director Waddy Wachtel, and, most importantly, the songs.

Nicks’ set list featured solo hits like the effervescent “Edge of Seventeen” as well as Fleetwood Mac classics “Dreams,” “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.” Surprises came in the form of the throbbing, moody “Secret Love” from her forthcoming album, “In Your Dreams,” and a new set-closer, the piano-assisted ballad “Love Is.”

Nicks returned for a pair of songs during Stewart’s set and their two worlds briefly collided. It proved to be the night’s only eyebrow-raising moment. While the energy was there, the vocal chemistry and the song choices — “Passion” and “Young Turks” — were questionable.

In the remainder of his 90-minute set, Stewart proved he’s the “soul” portion of what’s billed as the Heart & Soul Tour. At 66, the man once known as Rod the Mod still flaunts all the must-have rocker trappings: an excellent hairstylist, a variety of brightly colored outfits that toe the line between fun and bizarre (his fuchsia suit was a standout), and a collection of songs that stand the test of time, including “Maggie May,” “Reason to Believe” “Some Guys Have All the Luck” and arena sing-along “You’re in My Heart.”

Stewart’s sandpaper crooning is as much the draw as his cheeky showmanship. He worked his sleek, white stage set with zeal, from his opening cover of the O’Jays’ “Love Train” to his show-closing disco inquiry “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy.” Gracious, charming, just a little bit naughty, Stewart booted soccer balls into the audience during “Hot Legs” and wiggled his rear end frequently.

“Everyone’s a winner tonight!” he declared midset. It was hard to disagree.

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