Showing posts with label Vancouver - 24 Karat Gold Tour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vancouver - 24 Karat Gold Tour. Show all posts

Friday, December 16, 2016

Review Stevie Nicks Live in Vancouver Dec 9, 2016

How Stevie Nicks Blinded You With Nostalgia
Vancouver Weekly

Two years ago Stevie Nicks released her eighth solo album 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, to critical and commercial success. Online music database All Music dubbed the re-recorded set of demo songs ‘the best sounding record she (Nicks) has made since 1983’s The Wild At Heart’.

Fast forward to October of this year, where Nicks alongside her band and talented friends Waddy Wachtel (whom she met in the pre-Fleetwood Mac days of 1973) and backup singers Sharon Celani and Lori Perry (backup singer for Nicks since 1981) embarked on a 27 date 24 Karat Gold Tour in support of the album by the same name.

Now in the final stretch of the 24 Karat Gold Tour, Nicks found herself in Vancouver’s very own Roger’s Arena. Entering the converted hockey arena wearing a flowing but subdued black dress, Nicks let her accessory scarves do the flashy work for her on round one of her ever-shifting stage attire. The 68 years young Nicks has had no problem maintaining a legion of fans since her Fleetwood Mac debut 41 years ago alongside then partner Lindsey Buckingham, and this latest stop-off in Vancouver was no different.

As with all of her prior 24 Karat Gold Tour stop offs, Nicks’ opened the night with “Gold & Braid”, “If Anyone Falls”, and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, respectively.  

The tambourine-wielding Nicks was joined on stage by The Pretenders front-person Chrissie Hinde for “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, as she has nightly this tour.Whatever nostalgia felt by the crowd for having witnessed Hinde open the night with The Pretenders followed by Nicks headlining the very same stage was trumped by the sight of the two powerhouses of rock sharing the spotlight at the same time.  It can be argued that the career of the 1998 Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nicks has nothing left to prove. Though looking at Friday’s show as a snapshot, ignoring the over 40 top 50 hits, or the 140 million records sold Nicks was at times underwhelming.

The same fans that would sell Friday’s Stevie Nicks show as being ‘timeless’ or ‘flawless’ were among the many frequently checking their watches and peering about disinterested.

Though social media has largely dusted golden praise over the ‘reigning queen of rock ‘n roll’, what has widely gone underreported was the audio quality at Roger’s Arena Friday night. Early in the performance, the unaddressed concern about an audio mix saw long-time friend, touring guitarist, and backup singer Waddy Wachtel’s vocals overpower the conventionally (thought of as) powerful voice of Nicks. Tough to ignore for some, perhaps due to nostalgia many fans in the building seemingly did just that. However, it was not just a poor mix in the building responsible for a repetitive vocal tone that one wouldn’t quickly attribute to the legend had they not been there to see Nicks live.

Was fan-nostalgia to blame for the level of absurdity that came with the overjoyed cheering Nicks received simply for twirling in a circle? A move the artist has no doubt mastered since she could only pronounce her own name as ‘Tee Dee’, the origin of how Stephanie became ‘Stevie’ Nicks. Does this same overjoyed audience react with similar vigour when their three-year-old spins in the living room?

At the age of 68 and nearing the successful completion of an impressive tour, Nicks should be afforded some grace. The twirl move that was once saved for the crescendo of “Rhiannon” was in the defence of Nicks, resurrected due in part to her role as the White Witch on FX Network’s American Horror Story: Coven. Moreover, the move was often emulated by fan favourite character Misty Day, who played by Lily Rabe was infatuated with Nicks in the show.

After all, the public perception of Nicks has always been the rumoured witch’s most powerful spell. Numerous adulterous relationships, marrying her recently deceased best friend’s husband, multiple addictions and interband dramas have been the catalyst(s) to many an artist’s demise professionally; at least a dissolve in public opinion; not so, however for Stevie Nicks.

As evidenced Friday night, Nicks can twirl into the environmentally superconscious city of Vancouver wearing a fur jacket from head to toe, and not a peep of recreational outrage is heard out of the usually aghast (at such behaviour) Lotus Land.

The verbose and often erroneous explanations resulting in very little new information that took place between songs would be considered by any other artist to be the ramblings of a musician seeking relevance in the twilight of their career. With Stevie Nicks such long-winded loquacious tails were merely regarded as charming anecdotes.  

What can never be taken away, however, is the ability of Nicks to write masterpieces both lyrically and musically in her songs. The pursuit for relevance need not extend beyond the innate ability Nicks has to write beautifully accessible music. With the sensitivity of Nicks to capture emotion even decades after having originally penned (the piece), the integrity of her song writing was never once lost Friday Night in Vancouver.

Whether the Reigning Queen of Rock n Roll continues to go her own way post 24 Karat Gold Tour, or she picks up the pieces to go home; the landscape of music will forever be changed for the better thanks to the enigmatic sorcery of Stevie Nicks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reviews Stevie Nicks Live in Vancouver December 9, 2016

Most reviews so far on this tour have been favorable... Some reviewers get it... some reviewers don't, and that's totally fine, it's basically their personal opinion.

The unbreakable Stevie Nicks casts a spell on Vancouver (PHOTOS)
by Rob Feller

Photo: Rob Feller - Click Through To View More

Roughly 5,000 classic rock fans braved a snowstorm to catch a “landslide” on Friday night, as the incomparable Stevie Nicks brought her 24 Karat Gold Tour to Rogers Arena.

The singer, whose raspy voice and crazy vibrato dominated radio during the second half of the Seventies, recently released 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault, a stunning compilation of shelved demos that spans her five decade-long career. And even though she has a tremendous catalogue of songs to choose from, Nicks kept her canvas relatively small on Friday, mostly concentrating on her work as a solo artist.

After opening with a lovely take on 1981’s “Gold & Braid”, she warned us that the evening would be unlike any other Stevie Nicks concert we’d previously witnessed. After finishing two back-to-back Fleetwood Mac tours, “I really needed to do something else,” she explained. “I needed to break out.”

So armed with what she called her “dark, mystical, gothic trunk full of songs”, Nicks proceeded to take Vancouver on what she called “a journey…through the snow.” Fans expecting a Fleetwood Mac retrospective were forced to make do with just a handful of Mac tracks (“Gypsy” and “Rhiannon” both made the cut), but the gold dust diva’s repertoire is so huge that it was easy to forgive a setlist omission here and there.

Nicks’ performance was punctuated with lots and lots (and lots) of stories from her storied career. Some of them were fascinating, like how she wrote “Stand Back” as a companion piece to Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” and somehow convinced the Purple One to play most of the instruments on the song. But a lot of Nicks’ schtick fell flat, and one excruciatingly long monologue that involved a pregnancy, a dirt road, and an upright piano sent many fans to the bar for a break.

When it came to the music however, the singer captivated the crowd with her haunting vocals and heartbreaking lyrics. Highlights included “Edge of Seventeen” and encore “Landslide”, and although she doesn’t try to hit high notes of the original composition anymore, her smoky, husky tone nicely complemented the song’s world-weary lyrics.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Pretenders opened the show and managed to run through 15 classic hits and album cuts in just under an hour. Fiery frontwoman Chrissie Hynde dedicated her set, which included a kickass version of “Brass In Pocket”, to her friend Nicks and said that performing with her “is like being on tour with Elizabeth Taylor, except she can sing.”

And like her touring buddy, Hynde was also a fan of the Vancity Blizzard of 2017. “My guitar has some cracks in it from the cold weather,” she said. “But I’m glad that it has some scars from Vancouver!” Hynde later surprised fans by joining Nicks onstage for a duet of “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” which probably sounded cool on the tour bus but was a hot mess when we saw it.

They missed notes, botched lyrics, and broke out into a full-on private conversation mid-song while their backup singers carried on without them. But the Vancouver crowd was so hot and bothered by the sight of two rock goddesses sharing one mic that they turned a blind eye (and a deaf ear) to the shaky performance.

Review: Pretenders Get Real while Stevie Nicks Drags in Vancouver
by Robert Collins

On paper, last night’s double-header of Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena seemed like a match made in Queens of Rock heaven. The reality, as is often the case, proved different.

The party pooper, it turned out, was Stevie Nicks. Promising a new type of set, featuring not just hits but personal favourites she’d unearthed and rerecorded for her most recent “24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault” album, the issue wasn’t the choice of songs, but the way she went about her performance.

It all started so promising. Nicks was accompanied by Chrissie Hynde singing the Tom Petty parts for “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” the Pretenders’ frontwoman unable to get all her words out after descending into giggles almost immediately. Hynde’s laughter was a rare moment of spontaneity. Instead Nicks chose to punctuate every song with a lengthy, egotistical and over-rehearsed anecdote about its creation. The music, when it eventually arrived, was well sung and polished; “Gypsy,” “Stand Back” and the timeless “Gold Dust Woman” all standing out. But by insisting on eating up endless minutes by trawling out irrelevant tales from her charmed life, what could have been a party often felt more like a series of history lectures.

“I’m not wasting your time, am I?” she asked audaciously midway through introducing her band, a process conducted in a musical vacuum sucking up time that should have been spent playing at least two songs. The Vancouver crowd, polite to a fault, mumbled “No,” but they were thinking otherwise.

It’s not that Stevie Nicks didn’t have an example of how it should be done. Two hours earlier Chrissie Hynde (still looking like she’d been poured into her jeans at 66) had stepped on stage, strapped on her Telecaster and ripped into a set effortlessly mixing high-octane recent tracks like “Alone” with new wave classics like “Message of Love,” “Private Life” and “Middle of the Road.”

There’s no substitute for authentic cool; a quality Hynde revealed in everything from how she wore her guitar to her ad-libs on sharing a stage with Stevie Nicks: “It’s like being on tour with Elizabeth Taylor.”

The songs were the stars. The chiming powerpop of “Back on the Chain Gang” (seriously, what a great song) was followed by ballsy ballad “I’ll Stand By You” and the dreamy Kinks cover “Stop Your Sobbing.” The delivery was relentless.  Resistance was futile.

“Have we got time from one more?” asked Hynde at the show’s end.

She didn’t wait for a reply, launching immediately into “Brass in Pocket,” a perfect finale to a great rock and roll set. No stories. No narcissism. All killer, no filler.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Review Stevie Nicks Live in Vancouver December 9, 2016

Photos: Rogers Arena Facebook
Stevie Nicks / The Pretenders
Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC, December 9
By Laura Sciarpelletti (Photo Gallery)

Vancouver welcomed two of music's most celebrated and iconic rock stars Friday night amidst unusual amounts of snow and the buzzing of impending witchy enchantment. Both Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde — ages 68 and 65 respectfully — were in fine form, showing no signs of slowing down, but rather hopeful for a full future with the continued support of their fans and the freedom to explore their vast musical repertoires.

This goes doubly for Nicks, whose voice could not have been more raggedly perfect and who opened up her "dark mystical gothic trunk of songs" for her pet project the 24 Karat Gold tour. Determined not to give her beloved fans the same old tired Stevie set list they have no doubt heard countless times over the years, Nicks pulled out some demo gems.

Nicks' choice to put Hynde and the Pretenders in the opening hour-long slot set the tone for a female-rocker infused journey. The Pretenders were the light part of the show, not able to entirely escape that aged rock star persona associated with so many successful '80s musicians nowadays. From the Kinks cover of "Stop Your Sobbing" that brought them their first hit, to fan favourites "Middle of the Road" — wherein Hynde delightfully whipped out the harmonica — and "Brass in Pocket," the group certainly gave fans what they were looking for, but nothing further.

Alternatively, Nicks has built up a persona so impenetrable and mysterious that the term "aged rock star" could never apply to her. Thrilled at the notion of Vancouverites not experiencing snow often (her limo driver told her), Nicks promised the packed Rogers Arena a "journey through the snow." Donning a black flowing dress and playing with glittering scarves, Nicks gave continuous background narrative to the early days of her solo career.

While giant light bulbs bobbed up and down from the ceiling and images of moons and dancers were projected onto the screen behind her, the warm and funny Fleetwood Mac alumnus reflected fondly on her relationships with the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and her late friend Prince. The former gave her her first single "Stop Dragging My Heart Around," which Hydne joined in for.

From there Nicks took the crowd on a witchy tour; between "Bella Donna" and the more recent "New Orleans," Nicks pulled everyone into her world of femme fatale notions and rock'n'roll nostalgia. Gleefully showing the crowd that she still had the original Bella Donna silk chiffon cape, the blond chanteuse conjured up memories of her short but impressive 1981 tour and the long-lasting determination to prove that her initial solo success was not a fluke.

Wielding a signature tambourine and flailing her arms about, Nicks gave onlookers "Starshine," a song co-written with Petty but never released. When she ripped into the thundering and epic "Edge of Seventeen," Nicks paid tribute to the wonderful man in purple with a Prince photomontage on the big screen interspersed with images of doves.

Perhaps one of the most endearing parts of this tour is the presence of longtime friend, musical director and session musician Waddy Wachtel. Having been alongside Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham from their early days in L.A. to countless recordings and tours with Nicks, Watchel is a continuous presence that helps to connect Nicks to her early days as a commercial success, while also giving her solid guitar backing.

Ending with the always lovely "Rhiannon" and "Landslide," Nicks alone was projected onto the screen in all her caped glory, as if to speak directly to each adoring fan. This tour has shown that Nicks' particular brand of stage presence and mystical persona does not get old, but rather appears fresh in its own way. Her vampy vocals and forlorn writing style continue to penetrate the hearts of multiple generations and it's clear that her trunk of songs is not limited to Fleetwood Mac and '70s hits.