Monday, March 20, 2023

Stevie Nicks Live in Las Vegas March 18, 2023

Stevie Nicks honors Christine McVie in Vegas tour stop

By John Katsilometes 
Pics: psushawn

Stevie Nicks’ crowd at T-Mobile Arena wondered when would be the tribute to Christine McVie.

Nicks held it to the end, sending thousands home with some words from the wise. Like the rest of the show, the moment and message were from the heart.

“When you look at somebody that you love, in your own family or just a friend, and you know that you don’t pay enough attention to them sometimes, remember that sometimes doesn’t come again, someday,” Nicks said, having bowed at the end of “Landslide,” the Fleetwood Mac classic from 1975. “You will always regret that. So, make up the friendship bracelets, and reach out to the people you love, because it’s really important.”

Nicks’ voice wavered as she reached the end of this sentiment, as she closed with, “I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Thank you.” She made sure those were last words the Vegas crowd heard from her, spoken not sung, a tribute to McVie, who died last November at age 79, after what reps described as “a brief illness.”

Saturday’s was the second in Nicks’ current tour, where Billy Joel will join on select dates. Nicks said she was somewhat limited, footwear-wise, by a broken foot. No high heels on this Strip appearance. “Its’ goodbye Di Fabrizio, hello Balenciaga,” she said, drawing laughs and a cheer.

This is Nicks’ first tour since McVie’s death. Clips of the collaborators and friends, who spent some some six decades (on and off) in Fleetwood Mac, played on the big screen. With an acoustic-guitar warmly accompanying, Nicks sang the aching lyric, “Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’, ‘cause I’ve built my life around you. But time makes you bolder, even children get older. And I’m getting older, too.”

Nicks reminded the crowd that she will be 75 soon, in May. She covered Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” written by her friend Steven Stills in 1966, “When I was in high school,” as Nicks said.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer dealt freely from the Fleetwood Mac hit catalogue and her own solo career. “Dreams, “Gypsy,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Sara” and “Rhiannon” were recast, thrilling the crowd, many whom could have been in Nicks’ graduating class at Menlo-Atherton High in the Bay Area. “If Anyone Falls,” “Bella Donna,” “Stand Back,” and “Edge of Seventeen” were among her solo hits. The powerful “Soldier’s Angel” was a show of support for Ukraine, “Fighting for all of us,” as she said, in the war with Russia.

Nicks dropped in the wonderful“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” her 1981 duet with Tom Petty. “If it weren’t for this song, I wouldn’t be here up tonight. I would’t have a solo career,” she said.

Nicks also covered Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” in the three-song encore. It was another love letter to a departed friend, another reason to make up a friendship bracelet.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Stevie Nicks Live in Seattle March 15, 2023

Stevie Nicks Kicks Off 2023 Solo Tour Like a Woman Possessed: Review - Nicks' impassioned set honored Tom Petty and Christine McVie

By: Robert Ham

By way of introduction to “Gypsy,” a song from her former band, Stevie Nicks recalled how she would center herself when, as she put it, she “got a big head about the Fleetwood Mac thing.” She would take the mattress from her bed, set it on the floor, festoon it with draperies and pillows, and then sit down in the middle, reminding herself, “I am still Stevie.” It was a humbling moment, undercut by her comment that she has beds on the floor in “all of her houses.”

But to Climate Pledge Arena crowd witnessing the opening night of Nicks’ spring concert tour (tickets are available here), the slight 74-year-old on stage was hardly just Stevie. This was the gypsy. The bella donna. The witchy woman. The blonde beauty that launched a dozen Lindsay Buckingham songs and inspired Walter Egan’s 1978 smash, “Magnet and Steel.” The iconic figure who could send the crowd reeling simply by spinning around in a circle billowing out one of the many colorful shawls she sported throughout the evening in Seattle.

Nice as it was to imagine her quietly meditating on the floor, from the audience’s worshipful cheers and thoughtfully chosen outfits (leather and lace, velvet and denim, and lots of top hats), the woman on stage will always be more than just Stevie.

Nicks did a lot of spinning on Wednesday night. She reacted to the music ecstatically, moving about the stage nimbly in spite of an apparent broken toe that forced her to forgo her usual high heels for more sensible shoes. “Goodbye Di Fabrizio, hello Balenciaga,” she quipped. At points throughout the evening, especially during the psychedelic coda of a particularly intense rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman,” she appeared possessed, enraptured. At the end of the song, she stood at the back of the stage lit by a spotlight, arms akimbo, and looking like she might levitate off the stage at any moment.

She remained earthbound however, grounded by humanizing moments throughout the night. She slipped off stage regularly, likely to recharge in some fashion before a particularly demanding song. And her voice has been audibly tempered by decades of use and abuse. She can no longer hit the high notes in “Dreams,” but that’s what backup singers are for.

There was a sense that Nicks was returning to the stage to deal with some unfinished emotional business. For the most part, she let the gigantic video screen on stage do most of the talking on that front. Though she referenced the war in Ukraine when introducing the raging “Soldier’s Angel,” commenting that Zelensky’s forces were “fighting for all of us,” the power of the moment came from the clips and photos of the conflict that spooled out behind her. Photos of Prince were intercut with animated images of doves throughout the performance of fan favorite, “Edge of Seventeen.”

But two of her friends and collaborators seemed foremost on her mind. The presence of the late Tom Petty loomed large over the evening. Her band took the stage to the sound of “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” Her classic duet with Petty, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” was placed prominently in the early moments of the 90-minute set, as legendary guitarist Waddy Wachtel, a member of Nicks’ airtight touring band, handled the other vocal part. And to kick off the encore, she leaned into a poignant rendition of “Free Fallin’,” complete with photos of Nicks and Petty sharing stages and a microphones.

The emotion finally spilled over at the end of the night when Nicks started to choke up as she commented that this concert was one of her first times on stage since the death of her Fleetwood Mac bandmate, Christine McVie.

That moment — and the nods to her fallen comrades — went from far beyond a simple tribute. The compounded losses appeared to have given Nicks a stronger urge to make even a fleeting emotional connection with the people around her, be that her backing band or the thousands of ticketholders before her.

As the band settled into a taut groove, extending out the final minutes of “Edge of Seventeen,” Nicks made her way to each member of the group, holding their hand briefly or simply locking eyes. She then moved to the lip of the stage, waving and interacting with the audience in hopes of fostering that strange but powerful artist/fan relationship. Feeding them the hits and basking in their applause wasn’t nearly enough; Nicks sought to make as many people as she could feel seen and appreciated. Further proof that no matter what she may tell herself, she will never be just Stevie.

Nicks’ 2023 headlining tour continues through June, and she’s also joining Billy Joel for the “Two Icons, One Night” co-headlining trek. Tickets to all of her shows are available here.

Outside the Rain
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
If Anyone Falls
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
Fall from Grace
For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Wild Heart
Bella Donna
Soldier’s Angel
Stand Back
I Sing for the Things
Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Sara (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Edge of Seventeen
Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty cover)
Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac cover)

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel Inglewood, CA March 10, 2023

Review: Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks keep fantasy alive at SoFi Stadium


Stevie Nicks slumped against a microphone stand, steadying herself with both sparkly gloved hands, and bowed her head for 10 or 12 seconds as the final chords of “Landslide” rang out through Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium on Friday night.

Concluding her set on the opening date of a joint mini-tour with Billy Joel, the singer and gothic-hippie style icon had just performed her signature acoustic ballad in front of an enormous video screen showing photos of her with Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie, who died in November. We saw Stevie and Christine harmonizing; we saw them holding hands; we saw them whispering into each other’s ear, sharing some joke made only funnier by its secrecy. Now, Nicks — onstage for the first time since McVie’s death — lifted her head, her eyes seeming to glisten under the stadium lights.

“There’s really not much to say,” she told the tens of thousands in the crowd. “We just pretend that she’s just still here — that’s how I’m trying to deal with it.”

Finding new emotional purpose in well-worn material — in lines like those in “Landslide” about getting older after having built your life around someone — is probably the most you can ask of a veteran rock star on the road for the umpteenth time. It’s a way to keep the classic music alive, even (or especially) when it’s painful; it shows there’s use left in the old songs, not just for the audience but for the artist as well.

There are less noble reasons to tour, of course, some of which were in evidence Friday. Maybe you want to show off a voice, as Nicks did, that still sounds great at age 74 — low and smoky, with an imperiousness that can suddenly melt away to reveal pure need. Maybe you want to crack some dad jokes, as 73-year-old Joel did, about his lack of dance skills, just before his band struck up the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” and he flailed around for a minute like an adult-aerobics Mick Jagger.

And maybe you want to make some money, as both stars certainly will on a leisurely run scheduled to touch down once a month or so through November. (Primo floor seats for the duo’s next concert, in Arlington, Texas, are available for $2,250 a pop.)

But for those watching, a moment like Nicks’ moving “Landslide” — its reminder that honesty and finesse can happen in the same place at the same time — is the reason to show up for an operation like this.

Do Joel and Nicks make for an odd combination? He’s Mr. New York, she an avatar of West Coast cool; his songs look back to the tidy structures of the Brill Building, hers the haunted romance of Welsh folklore. Yet each began racking up radio hits around the same time, in the mid-1970s: Two years after Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” was named album of the year at the Grammy Awards, Joel won the same prize with “52nd Street.”

More to the point, both singers outlasted the FM era to endure well into the MTV age — a testament to radio’s career-building power, sure, but also to their understanding the emergent value of a visual brand. At SoFi, Joel still scrunched up his bulldog’s face while Nicks kept twirling in her glittering shawl.

Besides, how much sense does a joint bill of boomers even need to make? (Recall that Nicks toured a decade ago with Rod Stewart, of all people.) As Joel told The Times in an interview last week, McVie was just one casualty of the war of attrition that time is waging against his generation. “Dropping Like Flies” was his joking title for the next possible tour. That would really only sharpen the catch-’em-while-you-can pitch embedded in “Two Icons — One Night,” as the current show is called.

Here they joined forces for a pair of unlikely duets: her “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” in which Joel sang the part made famous by the late Tom Petty; and his “And So It Goes,” for which they stationed themselves at opposite ends of Joel’s grand piano. Neither performance convinced you that they had finally found their musical soulmates; both performances made you glad nonetheless to see two artists reaching toward each other.

Other than “Landslide,” highlights of Nicks’ set included a lustrous “Sara,” which online record-keepers say she hadn’t performed solo for a decade and a half, and a juicy take on “If Anyone Falls” that led you to think about how much modern pop music Nicks was groundworking between the years of 1975 and 1983. (No “The Wild Heart,” no Miley Cyrus; no “Bella Donna,” no Lana Del Rey.)

Joel did that too with “Just the Way You Are,” which sounds now like a blueprint for guys like the Weeknd and Bon Iver and their ideas about the obsessions concealed by shimmering surfaces. Mostly, though, he seemed less interested in casting new light on his music than in showcasing its durability: Before “An Innocent Man,” he said he was worried about hitting the song’s high notes, then nailed each one — wouldn’t you know it? — with precision to spare.

His hits were many and varied, from “My Life” and “Movin’ Out” and “Allentown” to “Only the Good Die Young” and “The River of Dreams” and the inevitable “Piano Man.” For his encore Joel rose from behind his piano and grabbed a mike on a stand to belt out “Uptown Girl” and “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” as his band cranked the guitars. The songs were arguing that things never change — another fantasy to believe in even when you know better.