Monday, June 09, 2008

Stevie Nicks at Hard Rock Live (Review)

(photo - Hard Rock 2007)
Stevie Nicks
Saturday, June 7
Hard Rock Live

Better than: Watching Stevie Nicks 10 years from now.

The body of Stevie Nicks turned 60 last month. Her voice has been 60 for a while.

Maybe it was all that coke in the '70s, or maybe it was that her vocal cords weren’t durable enough to handle her preferred mode of singing. I suspect it was the latter — Stevie’s always cited Janis Joplin as a prime influence, but she never had Janis’s chainsaw pipes, nor the dubious good fortune to die at 27. In the '70s, Stevie Nicks performed like a blues shouter even while her recorded output highlighted a voice better suited to witchy balledeering, and even back then her fans worshiped her primarily as a crone in the making.

She’s not in-the-making anymore — now she really is a crone, and her fans love her for it. They went genuinely apeshit at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino last night, with the first twelve rows erupting into near-moshing when guitarist Wally Wachtel ended a long solo by segueing into “Edge of Seventeen." The Hard Rock isn’t known for volatile crowds, and the reactions down front were more intensely physical than anything Aerosmith ever got in the same venue. Nicks fans are passionate people.

They’re also, I might add, exactly the same demo you might have seen at a Hillary Clinton rally a few short months ago. They are overwhelmingly white, female, and middle-aged, with a few old hippies tossed in for grit. There’s plenty of lesbians and skinny young white girls who can’t dance, but are willing to try. I counted four blacks in the auditorium. All of these people are madly in love with a white, 60-year-old woman with a sometimes-grating voice and a history of relationship trouble. Their devotion is so intense that, when fully demonstrated, it looks a little creepy.

In the case of the Nicks fans, you can understand why. Despite the shocking limitations of her vocal range — which I’m pretty sure doesn’t even span an octave anymore — Nicks’ performance is surprisingly muscular. Heartfelt too, which is even weirder (how a singer can stay attached to a song like “Gold Dust Woman,” which implores you to “Rock on ancient woman/follow those who pale in your shadow,” is anybody’s guess). Since Stevie’s touring in support of a greatest hits package (Crystal Visions), her current show sticks mostly to the lollipops that even non-Nicksians can dig, but she never sounds tired of the material. Last night, she seemed most engaged when tearing into the most obvious of chestnuts, like a huge, raucous version of “Stand Back” or the long slow build of “Rhiannon,” which she brought to an acceptably molten climax (she’s been fiddling with the end of that song since 1975, and only now has she finally gotten it right). She only seriously faltered when she tried doing something new, like a version of Zep’s “Rock’n’Roll” which was a whole helluvalot more staid than the original, or a version of Dave Matthews’ “Crash Into You” that made you appreciate Dave’s charms as a singer.

The set was under two hours but felt a little longer, probably because Stevie kept darting backstage to change bits of her costume. Since all of her costumes were pretty much identical, it’s hard to say why she bothered. If I were her, I would have used that time to do something about my boots. Stevie Nicks’ footwear looks like some kind of medieval torture device, equipped with huge, cruel heels that force her to do the entire show en pointe. This may be the reason Stevie refused to move around the stage during the show. Not once did she come over to our section, off to the side of stage left. She remained glued to the five feet around her monitors at center stage, and though she seemed mobile enough in that circumscribed little area, it would have been nice to see her up close — especially since those of us at the sides of the arena couldn’t see the video screen mounted behind the drummer (I assume that’s where it was mounted — like I said, I couldn’t see it). We were starved for visual stimulation, but Stevie didn’t care.

The long-time Stevie fan sitting next to me noticed this, and complained about it. She also noted that Stevie should stay the hell away from Dave Matthews songs, and commented on the unfortunate state of Stevie’s vocal cords. Even so, she said she “loved the concert” and thought it was “wonderful.” This is what it means to be a fan of Stevie Nicks, or even Hillary Clinton: it’s not the execution that matters, but the gusto of the attempt.

--Brandon K. Thorp

Stevie Nicks - Hard Rock Hotel - June 7, 2008 (3 Pics)

Stevie Nicks performs in concert at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida on June 7, 2008.
Photo/Michael Bush

Wal-Mart + Fleetwood Mac = New Release

A quote from the New York Times surfaced today by Irving Azoff, founder and chief executive of FrontLine Management regarding the possibility of a NEW Fleetwood Mac release. (Azoff's partner in FrontLine is Howard Kaufman, Stevie's Manager, formerly of H.K Management) FrontLine acquired H.K Management in January, 2005. H.K Management at the time also managed Fleetwood Mac so I'm assuming they are now under the FrontLine umbrella.

The article is about the latest round of artists to release cd's and dvd's exclusively through Wal-Mart by-passing the major labels all together. The article doesn't indicate that this is new music from Fleetwood Mac, just that Azoff is talking to Wal-Mart about it's possibility.

Good news to me!!!!

"Mr. Azoff said that he was already talking to Wal-Mart about an exclusive deal for Fleetwood Mac's next release. “Classic rock really works there,” Mr. Azoff said."

New York Times

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Stevie Nicks' Visions Still Crystal Clear in Concert


Stevie Nicks proved 60 is the new 30, as the rock legend nearly sold out Hard Rock Live near Hollywood Saturday night -- just a year or so after her last appearance at the 5,000-plus seat venue -- with a hit-packed, lively set that found her in good voice and reinforced her stature as a rock and roll original.

Nicks might not move on stage with the gale force drive she tapped into in the Bicentennial year but who, aside from Mick Jagger, still can? Nicks is probably the only performer who can earn a standing ovation for merely twirling on stage, as she did during her third number, Stand Back. But given her familiar songs to draw upon, from a solo career and from her ongoing Fleetwood Mac catalog, and a distinctive voice that's grown richer over time, Nicks plays to full houses because she can. Saturday, she didn't take that blessing for granted. She sounded engaged, delivered all the expected favorites such as Dreams, Stand Back and Rhiannon with clarity and purpose, offered a rarely performed album cut (a mesmerizing How Still My Love, from 1981's Bella Donna) and threw in a few remakes.

Her audience ranged from a 10-year-old who was enjoying her first concert with her mom, to some overheated dude in the rafters who couldn't stop yelling, ''I love you Stevie!'' for most of the 105-minute show.

Still others were here to share memories (and we could here some of their stories because South Florida audiences just can't watch an event without providing a running commentary of their own): There's the first car they drove when, on its AM radio, they heard Nicks sing Rhiannon 33 years ago. Or the time they had big hair in the '80s when Nicks initially sang about a life lived on the Edge of Seventeen.

None of these fans' recollections were quite as musical or endearing as the star's own tales from the stage. In introducing If Anyone Falls, Nicks, whose band features sister-in-law Lori Perry Nicks on harmonies, told how she wrote the 1983 hit after one of her single friends tossed out a hopeful line, ``if anyone falls in love I hope it's one of us.''

''I thought that was such a good phrase I went home and wrote that song,'' Nicks said. Sorcerer, she explained, came about in the interim between the commercial failure of her duo album with ex-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham in 1973 and the pair's joining of Fleetwood Mac on New Year's Eve 1975. A tender Landslide movingly featured a video montage of her father Jess Nicks who died in 2005.

There weren't any major surprises in Nicks' set list. She's opened many of her solo tours with Outside the Rain since her first in 1981 and it was in lead position again. A convincing cover of Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll is now a regular encore. Of the two new additions -- Bob Seger's rollicking Face the Promise and Dave Matthews' acoustic Crash -- only the latter cover proved ill-advised despite Nicks' insistence she could sing a male song. She can. But her otherwise exceptional band, led by veteran guitarist/musical director Waddy Wachtel, ran ramshod over its slight melody. When Nicks charitably introduced Crash by saying 'it's the most fun I've had in 10 years,' our first thought was that she needs to get out more.

The uninspired computer-generated effects on a video screen also disappointed but some new tweaks, like a brief electronic keyboard pulse in the bridge of the rocker Fall From Grace, kept her music fresh and stylish. Overall, Nicks delivered a crowd pleaser that sets her up well for her next challenge: a proposed 2009 tour with Fleetwood Mac.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Peter Cincotti will open for Stevie in Cincinnati, New York & Holmdel

According to the National City Pavilion website, fellow Warner Bros. recording artist Peter Cincotti will be Stevie Nicks' guest at her June 26, 2008 show in Cincinnati. I think Stevie has a thing for Pianists.

Edit June 8th:
Peter Cincotti will also be Stevie's guest to open her shows at Jones Beach (Wantagh, New York) June 28th and also June 29th in Holmdel, New Jersey.

Stevie covers Bob Segers "Face The Promise" in Biloxi (Vids and Pics)

Stevie Nicks in Biloxi at the Hard Rock Live - June 5, 2008
Stevie's take on another cover. This time out Bob Seger's "Face The Promise" from his September, 2006 release of the same name. It's the first time Stevie's covered a Bob Seger tune. Covers seem to be becoming a habit of hers, but she actually did a pretty good job I think. I would have prefered her to throw in something of her own that she either hasn't done in years or at all, but that's just me.
Pics and Vid credit: Jazzy from The Chain

Click for more vids from Biloxi

The Uncorked Tour Heads To Europe

Euro Blues Fest Scores Mick Fleetwood's New Band
Friday, Jun 6, 2008
Rock legend and Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood's new group, The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, will make its international debut this summer, headlining one of the largest blues festivals in Europe.

The International Notodden Blues Festival, which organizers expect 40,000 fans to attend, will take place July 31 to August 2 in Norway. The lineup for the 21st outing of the fest also includes... (full article)

Biloxi Set List

Stevie played the Hard Rock Live in Biloxi tonight (June 5th)... Below is the unconfirmed setlist. And I have to say... Although I'm happy Stevie added HAEWAFY back in... (about 5 mintues ago I posted a video of the same tune and said I think she should ad it back in the setlist), I'm slightly confused by yet another cover tune being added to her set! She's got a massive amount of tunes that she could play of her own that she either hasn't played in years, or hasn't played live at all... Not sure what the deal is with that... Is she afraid they don't Rock enough!?

Anyway... Big thanks to Stephanie over on The Ledge for being the first one in with the setlist. The order may not be as listed, but she did open with Outside The Rain / Dreams.

Set list

  1. Outside the Rain
  2. Dreams
  3. Stand Back
  4. Sorcerer
  5. If Anyone Falls
  6. Landslide
  7. Crash
  8. Fall from Grace
  9. Face the Promise
  10. Gold Dust Woman
  11. Rhiannon
  12. How Still My Love
  13. Edge of Seventeen


  1. Rock and Roll
  2. Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Nicks is still promoting her 2007 CD/DVD release

Posted on Thu, Jun. 05, 2008
Stevie Nicks writes another solo chapter
The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)
Stevie Nicks began an abbreviated schedule of late spring and summer solo dates April 18 in Reading, Pa., hoping no doubt to continue the string of generally glowing reviews she received for her 2007 dates both with Chris Isaak and on her own.

Link to full article

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Lindsey Buckingham Under The Skin Tour Stats - 2006 & 2007

I've been collecting tour stats for Lindsey's 2006 & 2007 Under The Skin Tour. I actually forgot I had these. This listing of 15 dates are the only dates reported to Billboard that I could find. Many many dates from the tour are missing. I saw his first Vancouver show in November, 2006 and couldn't get over how great it sounded in a small venue... Love it! Anyway, I think from these 15 shows, you get an idea of his draw during the tour.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Stevie's NYC Billboard Ad For Borgata Shows.

Found this on Flickr and thought it was pretty cool! A billboard can be
seen on your way to Lincoln Tunnel in NYC advertising
Stevie's two June Atlantic City dates...
(click to enlarge)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Update: Lindsey's performance at the John Stewart Tribute

Update on Lindsey's appearance at the John Stewart Memorial Tribute in Malibu on May 3rd:

Lindsey performed solo on "Lock all the windows" which was described as unBELIEVEable! and also performed "Never Goin' Back Again" stating that the style he used on that was learned from John on the Kingston Trio albums.

The John Stewart band with Buffy Ford Stewart and Shana Morrison on vocals and Lindsey lead them all on a kick-ass version of "Gold" which ROCKED! Russ Kunkel on congos.

There's also talk that this could be released on video in the future.

[details all courtesy of: CALIFORNIA ROADMAN from]