Thursday, February 14, 2013

Video / Review: Stevie Nicks at Hammerstein Ballroom - New York City with Sound City Players

Stevie Nicks with the Sound City Players
Hammerstein Ballroom - New York City - February 13, 2013
Photo by Michael Jurick - More Photos at JurickPhoto
Blasts from rock’s past
Old-timers at Hammerstein

Stevie Nicks, in trademark black chiffon, was the logical closer. She debuted a new song co-written with Grohl (ehh) — one of the few nods to the new in a shamelessly nostalgic evening. But a more apt note was struck when Grohl plucked an acoustic guitar to accompany Nicks’ Fleetwood Mac classic “Landslide” and the graying audience sang along to the lines, “Children get older/I’m getting older, too.”

Full Show Review at New York Post

Dave Grohl's 'Sound City' Celebration Takes New York
By: Griffin Lotz

The most remarkable thing about Stevie Nicks' closing set was the sudden silence around her during the Fleetwood Mac delicacy "Landslide." Most of the song was just Nicks and Grohl on 12-string acoustic guitar, a late shock in a night otherwise dense with fuzz and flayed-harmony choruses. Grohl is, by nature and charm, a rock dude, but his film gives the right time to the quieter, reflective pop Nicks and others made at Sound City, including her 1973 rarity, Buckingham Nicks, and 1976's Fleetwood Mac. There could have been more of it in this show.

And Nicks' husky alto deserved a greater boost in the PA during the harder stuff, especially her Sound City album feature "You Can't Fix This." But Nicks' inner Janis Joplin-in-sorceress'-lace came out strong, undenied, in the evening's finale, a "Gold Dust Woman" soaked in crying feedback at the start, with Nicks driven by the Foos to a howling, shouted anguish at the end.

Full Show Review at Rolling Stone

Dave Grohl's All-Star Sound City Superjam Hits NYC
Spin Magazine

The final guest of the night, Stevie Nicks, began in euphoric fashion as she and Grohl addressed each other like a feuding couple in "Stop Dragging My Heart Around." Then she got serious. "A year ago my godson, who had just turned 18, went to a frat party and died of an overdose," she said. Nicks dealt with the experience by writing a poem, which became the motivation for the haunting "You Can't Fix This," one of most moving cuts on Sound City. The song began with tribal drums, delicate guitar picking and foreboding vocals: "Dancing with the devil / Call it respect call it fear / But we never allow the devil to come to the party," sang Nicks in the verse. The chorus was hooky, yet melancholy, concluding, "Friendships break like glass / and the Devil pours another glass."

After the morose drama, Nicks picked the mood back up with a trio of Fleetwood Mac hits. "Dreams" was the low point; Nicks was unable to reach the high notes, so she restructured the song into a more monotonal arrangement, which Grohl had trouble following. But "Landslide" which featured Grohl on acoustic guitar, underscored how mystical Nicks can be when singing in her register. The show closed with "Gold Dust Woman," which began with an extended near-psychedelic vamp and peaked with crashing cymbals and brash guitar strums. Johannes played distorted mandolin and the song flowed through an extended vamp then ended with the exultant chorus, in which Nicks instructed the crowd to "Pick up the pieces and go home."

Full Show Review at Spin Magazine

Dave Grohl Leads All-Star Sound City Concert in New York City
by Dan Reilly

Then came the final act to join the Sound City Players: Stevie Nicks. After duetting with Grohl on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," the Fleetwood Mac singer told a story about how her godson fatally overdosed at a frat party, and she started writing a poem to cope with her grief. Grohl called her up a few days later to ask her to be a part of the movie, and the poem ended up becoming the song "You Can't Fix This" once they hit the studio together. It was an emotional moment amidst such a light-hearted night, and a great reminder of how many of these songs could help people through their pain.

Following "Dreams," the rest of the band stayed back as Grohl picked up a 12-string acoustic to perform "Landslide" alone with Nicks. As if he needed to get in some more of the heaviness following that beautiful rendition, Grohl returned to his electric axe and led the band in a feedback frenzy to kick into a shattering version of "Gold Dust Woman" to close out the show. Sadly, there was no all-star encore jam, but who could complain about that?

Full Show Review at Spinner


Anonymous said...

There are some songs that shouldn't be transposed to a different key. They simply lose their magic... and Stop Draggin' My Heart Around is one of them. A friend of mine once said, "Stevie, if you can't sing a song the way it was meant to be sung, then don't sing it, or get the f--- off the stage".

Anonymous said...

It sounds as if she has a bad cold, or does she always sound like that????

John said...

Yes, it sounds like Stevie has a cold. I hope she rests up before going into rehearsals with FM. I just worry that she's going to wear herself down before she even hits the road on what is turning out to be a very long tour. I worry, too, about the condition of her voice. It seems very fragile as of late.....The ole gal always seems to pull it together, though. :-)

Anonymous said...

I was there -- she was definitely fighting a cold or something. Her voice was a kinda rough, and she coughed a couple of times off mic. She sounds better on the vids than she did live. Not like I cared, I'll take Stevie any day, sick or not. It was a rocking show.

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