Sunday, March 19, 2017

Reviews Stevie Nicks with The Pretenders Live in New Orleans March 15, 2017

Stevie Nicks digs deep to deliver a personal show at the Smoothie King Center
by fox8live.com
Photo: Chris Granger


NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -
Expectations were high and should be when two iconic singers hit the same stage on the same night. Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde, leading Pretenders, know where that bar is and each hit it Wednesday night at the nearly sold out Smoothie King Center.

The Gold Dust Woman took her adoring fans on a trip through her entire catalog. Stevie dug deep to her beginnings in Buckingham Nicks to Fleetwood Mac and on through her more than three-decade solo career.

Nicks pulled out classics and reached into what she calls her “gothic box of lost songs” to deliver a deeply personal show. Nicks is quite the storyteller and dropped golden nuggets of her musical history.

“It’s a journey, it’s a trip, come with me,” Nicks encouraged the crowd.

While she opened with Gold and Braid, a track she recorded but didn’t use on her enormous solo debut Bella Donna, Nicks quickly dished out some fan favorites.

If Anyone Falls from her 1983 “Wild Heart” album followed before she described what it was like to cut a solo album as Fleetwood Mac became the biggest band in the world in the late 70‘s.

Nicks promised not to break up Mac as she pursued a solo career with Atlantic Records while trying to figure out how to “make a girl Tom Petty record.”

Her producer and then boyfriend Jimmy Iovine brought her a song from Petty and it catapulted Nicks solo career.

“Stop Dragging My Heart Around” fired up the crowd and when Chrissie Hynde stepped in to fill Petty’s vocals on the duet, it was a special moment to watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers perform together.

The fifth song of the night was finally a Nicks-penned Mac hit, “Gypsy” from their “Mirage” album. Fans jumped up and danced like it was 1982 while Nicks did her signature spin.

Her sense of humor firmly intact, Nicks then joked after her solo success she “went back to make a record with, who were they? Oh Fleetwood Mac.”

Determined to make sure no one would say her solo career was a fluke Nicks said she wrote a lot of songs while touring with Fleetwood Mac for “Mirage.” When the tour ended, she went back into the studio to cut “The Wild Heart,” which became her second multi-million selling solo smash.

“I was not going to be a one-hit wonder,” she said.

Nicks voice was strong as she worked her way through “Wild Heart,” “Bella Donna” and “Enchanted.”

Then Nicks dove into the story of her next song as she sat in her living room in 2005 drawing while the news on the TV kept going back and forth to the massive hurricane bearing down on New Orleans. She said as a writer “you’re like a news reporter,” and began writing a poem about what she saw happening here.

“I’m going to write a story about someone who lives in the city and loves the city.  People will survive, they will rise to the occasion because they are a great city.” The result is the heartfelt New Orleans from her 2011 album In Your Dreams. It was a moving tribute to the city.

The best was saved for last as Nicks and her talented and accomplished 8-piece band knocked out Stand Back, the lead single from The Wild Heart. When the song ended a graphic showing Prince and Nicks together was revealed. Nicks said. “Prince and I were friends.”

She said one day she heard a Prince song and basically wrote and recorded “Stand Back” over it. Nicks said that they couldn’t go any further with it though until she got in touch with Prince to get his approval. He just happened to be in L.A. and dropped by the studio. Nicks said he loved it, played on the record and wished her good luck. The song she was listening to when she wrote the song was “Little Red Corvette.”

All night Nicks proved her sing and songwriting chops take second place to no one and while up to this point she only performed one Mac hit, she would finish the night with a Fleetwood flourish.

Nicks rolled out a powerful version of “Gold Dust Woman” from the all world hit “Rumours” as the band found one of its many highlights of the night.

After a much too long band introduction, she closed out the set with “Edge of Seventeen” while more of a tribute to Prince played out on the screen.

The enthusiastic crowd wouldn’t leave until they got a little more and Nicks delivered with “Rhiannon” as longtime friend, guitarist and musical director Waddy Wachtel led the way.

A Nicks concert though could never end without one more song, one she wrote in Aspen, Colorado in 1973.

A little song that she says took her “band to the top”, “Landslide.”

With Wachtel on acoustic by her side, Nicks was nearly pitch perfect on her signature song. It’s a simple song that tends to fill her fans with great emotion, bringing some to tears like the sweet woman sitting two seats away.

She wiped her eyes as Stevie said good night and a good night it was.


Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders teamed up for the best kind of nostalgia at New Orleans concert
by: Keith Spera
The Advocate
Photo: J.T. Blatty

The focus of Stevie Nicks’ current solo tour, she explained Wednesday at a nearly full Smoothie King Center, is “songs that I love to sing, not that I have to sing.” With that intention, she did herself, and her fans, a favor.

Her most fervent fans cheer whenever she so much as twirls around; they do not need to be force-fed a program of hits. Thus, her nearly two-and-a-half hour trip down memory lane, which included lengthy but charming and revealing stories, drew heavily from a cache of compositions that lingered for years in her “box of lost songs.”

Most of them deserved to be let out, especially by her full-bodied band led by Waddy Wachtel, the go-to session guitarist for the likes of James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Keith Richards, Warren Zevon, and, in the early 1970s, a then-unknown duo called Buckingham Nicks.

Nicks may well have been the beautiful, doe-eyed hippie-witch that every '70s male rock star wanted to date, but she was also relentlessly ambitious, determined to build a solo career independent of Fleetwood Mac. She wrote songs while on tour with the band; when her Mac-mates went on vacation, she went into a recording studio.

Unable to actually join Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, she settled for working with Heartbreakers producer Jimmy Iovine. The result was her multi-million-selling 1981 solo debut, “Bella Donna.”

That album’s lead single was the Petty duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which he wrote with his guitarist, Mike Campbell. On Wednesday, Chrissie Hynde returned to the stage following her thrilling opening set with the Pretenders to share “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Nicks. Their connection and mutual respect felt genuine.

While making the follow-up to “Bella Donna,” Nicks was “more famous, a little more spoiled, not as focused.” Still, she was determined not to be a one-hit-wonder. The success of “The Wild Heart” confirmed she wasn't. She recounted how that album’s hit “Stand Back” is based on the melody of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”; he came to the studio to approve her innovation and play on it.

Iconic Stevie Nicks performs in New Orleans, pays homage to the city
by Corrine Pritchett
Isunow.com

Rock and roll legend Stevie Nicks touched the hearts of many audience members Wednesday night at her New Orleans performance.

This performance was particularly special when Nicks told the backstory of her song “New Orleans.” She wrote the song during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

She said the hurricane had a “huge effect” on her and she found herself trapped in front of the TV screen, staying up to date on every aspect of the Katrina story.

It devastated her that an entire city and everyone who lived there had to go through the hardships of a natural disaster, especially an atrocity like Katrina.

She said she knew she had to write about it, but didn’t want it to just tell a tragic story; she wanted to inspire. She wanted to express that the city would make it through tough times.

“The people hope that their lives will get better,” Nicks sang. “I wanna get back to New Orleans, I wanna sing out in the streets of the French Quarter.”

It was clear that the crowd was thankful and emotional toward Nicks’ heartwarming performance of “New Orleans.” People were standing and cheering more than they had for any other song.

Aside from the moving “New Orleans” performance, she put on an all-around beautiful show. Her sets were different from others on past tours. She featured images of her artwork on the backdrop and shined bright, vibrant colors into the crowd and onto the stage.

Her unique voice was untouched by the effects of aging and as always, she had her iconic blue shawl and classic twirl.

She twirls to the beat of the melody as if the music takes her over. Audience members joined in with her, twirling their arms and dancing to the beat.

She crooned famous songs such as “Stand Back” and “Landslide.”

“Stand Back” was written after she heard a Prince song on the radio. She spent hours writing lyrics to the sound of his music. She joked on stage about how strange and nerve-wracking it was when she called Prince out of the blue.

She told him about the song and he came over within the hour. He was laid-back the entire time, and when she asked him if he wanted to record the piano and guitar part of the song, he managed it in under an hour.

“I walked him out to his car, and I believe he was driving a purple Camaro,” Nicks said at the concert, raising her arms above her head. “How perfect?”

She wrote “Landslide” in Aspen, Colorado, in 1973. It was there that she was visiting with Lindsey Buckingham, with whom she collaborated on her first ever album, “Buckingham Nicks.” She went out on the balcony, looked out at the snowy hilltops and wrote music. The words and meaning of the song came to her easily.

However, it wasn’t released until two years later, on the Fleetwood Mac album.

Nicks’ 24 Karat Gold tour was completely different from anything she had ever done by being personal and wonderfully unique.

Toward the end of the show, Nicks said, “It will never be me singing ‘New Orleans’ to New Orleans again,” and the crowd was overcome with emotional cheers. She closed the show with a breathtaking performance of “Rhiannon” followed by “Landslide.” At the very end, she inspired the crowd once more by saying, “Do what you want; follow your dreams.”

Stevie Nicks shared her Katrina story at a sold-out New Orleans show
by Justin Mitchell
Sunherald.com

I wouldn’t be surprised if I was the only person under 55 on the Gulf Coast who doesn’t get overly excited about live music or going to a concert.

Sure, I don’t mind going to a concert or two if I love the artist, but you won’t catch my diva self trekking through mud at a festival or standing in the sun all day to get stomped on by drunk people and smell patchouli and nachos while waiting for the headliner who is 45 minutes late.

It’s just not my thing.

My boyfriend, Alec, loves Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. Like, he really loves them. Me? I love singing “Landslide” in my car and recently learned the words to “Rhiannon” because Alec plays it about once or seven times a day.

When his parents got him tickets to see Stevie in New Orleans, I knew it was going to be a concert he’d remember forever. So I wanted to make it special for him.

And by special I mean I wanted to be on my best behavior to make sure he had a good experience.

“I know this isn’t your thing, so if you could just dance when I ask you to dance and record when I tell you to record, that would be great,” he told me as we were parking. Miraculously, we made it to New Orleans and parked with minutes to spare before Stevie’s opener, The Pretenders, took the stage, and we didn’t murder each other. Praise be.

I got Alec a beer and myself a Diet Pepsi and waited for Stevie to take the stage. The faint smell of pot (and a little bit of body odor, courtesy of the drunk dude sitting behind us) wafted through the air.

My phone was in my hand, ready for Alec’s command to hit record.

Stevie, whose voice is undeniably haunting, gravelly and beautiful, came out in one of her famous capes, and the lighters came out and people started to scream.

I watched Alec’s eyes get big. It seemed a magnet had pulled his entire body more toward the stage.

I was waiting for a tear or two to fall, but it was me who began to get emotional as Stevie told us a story about what she was doing as Hurricane Katrina barreled toward the Gulf Coast in 2005.

She was not working at the time, she said, and she loved to draw and make art when she wasn’t recording an album. Stevie liked to play the television while she drew, for background noise, but she rarely watched it. But when she saw Katrina, she said she became mesmerized and watched the hurricane’s track as it got closer and closer to the Mississippi Coast and New Orleans.

The storm moved her. She felt an immediate connection with her fans in the South. Then and there, she finished a drawing she’d started in the ’80s. It was her image of Hurricane Katrina. She had never shared it with anyone until the concert Wednesday.

I was going to take a picture to share, but I decided the memory was more important than the photograph.

Then, she played a song about New Orleans she had recorded in 2010 and stored away in what she called her “Gothic box of lost songs.”

The crowd got teary-eyed and watched as Stevie sang about Mardi Gras, balconies, beads and daiquiris.

As she sang, I was reminded of my life-changing Katrina experience, when my junior and senior English teacher told a class of scared, confused juniors that things were going to be OK after the hurricane ravaged Hancock County.

Remember, Kay Lovelace Palombo told us, home is going to be fine because the birds have returned to the trees and they are chirping. It was at that moment I knew things were going to be OK.

And when Stevie was singing Wednesday, that feeling came back again.




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