She was in such great voice and great spirits; when a gust of wind came up and almost blew her off the stage during "Rhiannon" she shook her fist at the sky and laughed, "Rhiannon, I know you're behind this. Stop it!" After graciously introducing her band she did a rocking, extremely loud rendition of "Whole Lotta Trouble". Then the band left the stage except for Stevie and her acoustic guitarist and she did "Landslide". It was the only song of the night I couldn't sing because I cried right through it. It was "The Dance" version that we've all gotten used to but, of course, Lindsey wasn't there to accompany her. I'm sorry to say that I missed his presence during that song. After "Landslide", there was a brief "storm interlude" which led into a raucous version of "Twisted". Stevie and the band then left the stage and an incredible percussion solo followed with Lenny Castro on his bongo drums. He was then joined by the drummer, Land Richards, and finally guitarist Carlos Rios appeared, playing the intro to "Edge of Seventeen". Stevie emerged, bathed in royal purple light, wearing about her twentieth cape of the evening. She looked stunning and sang sublimely. By now she could have been singing nursery rhymes and the audience still would have loved her. Two encores followed: "I Need to Know" (as she said, "What would a Stevie Nicks concert be without a Tom Petty song?") and "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You". For her last song, she wore the most beautiful shawl I think I've ever seen her wear and when she sang the line "...remember me", the audience cheered. We will remember her and we'll never forget our enchanted evening with Stevie Nicks.
She was so funny when she talked to us. It started to get windy (perfect setting for a stevie concert...almost a full moon too!) and she said, "I'm going to start this song before we all blow away" (sometime around Rhiannon) and the she puts her hands on her hips, got a funny look on her face, looks up and says, "ok, who's doing this!?" It was cute! At the beginning of the concert she was singing Outside the Rain and she shielded her eyes from the spotlight (it was really bright! but they toned it down a bit) and after the song she said, "Ok, I can't see you, but I know you are there!" and she went into her welcome and thanks for spending our evening with her and she loves us and stuff. It was amazing! Every song was great!! Stevie was so nice and so sweet.
And they had fireworks after the show!!!!!! But they didn't put the full set up because it was too windy. Her shawls were beautiful and I love that bindi!! She looked truely comfortable on that stage and she looked like she was having fun. I Need To Know was great....I don't know what that reporter was talking about. It was awesome!!!
Well, thank you Stevie for a wonderful, Enchanting night! And THANK YOU for coming to RENO!!!!!!
Stevie has influenced me so much that I am looking into my musical talent and am starting to sing. Stevie, thank you so much for taking the time to come to Reno and for the influence that you have had on my life. You, the way you live your life, wonderful personality, and songs have gotten me threw a lot in my life. I am forever in your debt!
I initially headed towards the box office to see if any new reserved seating would be available, but an amazing thing happened before I got there. This guy, who looked deathly familar tho I couldn't place him at the time, was selling his extra SECOND ROW seat for $50--face value! I couldn't believe it. In a blink, I pulled out $50 and snapped up that ticket! After I got to my seat, I realized I was sitting exactly where I had sat at Shoreline--slightly right of center. I'm thinking, this is totally unreal...lightening has struck twice! Of course, my state of euphoria would come to an abrupt halt when the guy who sold me the ticket would come staggering down the aisle and sit down in a big thump next to me. At that point, it occurred to me exactly where I had seen this person before. He was the crazy man, tripping on booze and god knows what else, that attended the Fleetwood Mac concert at Shoreline a year earlier. Does anyone remember this guy? He was the "entertainer" that night, and tonight would be his an encore performance--but I would give him NO appaulse. This guy was insane...he was bouncing in his seat, babbling nonsense and got up every few minutes to do his little trance dance--the same abnormally weird mannerisms as that Saturday Night Live nerdy Catholic girl character who kept picking her nose and falling all over the place.
When Stevie came out at around 8:45, the crazy guy got worse--screaming at everyone how "Stevie's gonna do it...she's gonna do it!" I didn't know what the hell he was referring to until Stevie started to twirl during "Gold Dust Woman." At that point, the guy was howling and waving his hands like chains of smoke from a cigarette with a few unexpected jerks thrown in to totally confuse us all. He had gotten so out of hand that some ppl around me were getting extremely irritated, to the point where security had to be called over to remove him (which I should have probably done in the first place when the guy started pawing me like his age-old drinking buddy). When asked to leave, the guy refused to budge. Security even tried to pick him out of his chair, but the guy stiffened his body and was essentially impossible to remove. After 3 minutes of this intrusive scene-- occuring during the awesome acoustic trilogy, attracting everyone's attention, probably even Stevie's, security finally gave up and let him be on the condition that he tone it down the rest of the evening. Fortunately for us all, he did. *whew*
Anyway, the rest of show went without incident and I finally able to enjoy the concert, which was overall very good. Stevie's vocal performance was a little reserved in parts, talking over lines instead of compelling us w/ her trademark wails. This was very apparent on "Outside the Rain," where she surprisingly talked thru "can you tell me is there anyone in this whole wide world that can ever replace me." "Enchanted" also seemed to be better on other nights. Stevie didn't quite finish all the lines on that one, which was kinda weird. But "Gold Dust Woman" seems to be flawless everytime she does it on this tour. I'm always so entranced by her mannerisms during this song, which are expressive and mysterious. And the twirls...well, I guess I could understand where the "crazy guy" was coming from when he started to howl. It's certainly fun to watch when Stevie practically embodies the spirit of her songs in her dancing.
Everything else was solid, but without too many surprises. "Edge of Seventeen" was kind of fun because Stevie couldn't get to the fans to shake hands since there was a big gap between the stage and the audience. She playfully threw up her hands as if to say "I'm sorry I can't shake your hands" and walked across the length of the stage waving to everyone instead. It was equally as charming for me, though I'm sure most there would have preferred that hand shake!
The Reno Hilton Amphitheatre is built in the hotel parking lot with a street running directly behind the stage. My sister Karen and I drove down to the venue early (about 4pm) to check out the action from the unsecured backstage access road. We weren't lucky enough to catch the soundcheck (if Stevie even did on at all) but we did watch them rigging the lights and big spider web scrim and steel backdrop. Stevie's busses were parked right there, too. We wondered if maybe she was inside watching us as we cased the joint!
Choosing to avoid the crowds, we drove back to Karen's house and began the mandatory pre-concert party activities. We knew leaving our seats to buy drinks mid-show would be out of the question. Karen's husband was kind enough to chauffeur us back to the theatre, which allowed us to arrive as Michael McDonald was finishing up his set. We sat on the lawn outside the hotel and listened to his last 4 songs. It was an awsome setting, overlooking the Wizard-of-Oz-like illuminated downtown Reno buildings and 50-foot jumbotron Hilton marquee flashing full color photo ads for "Stevie Nicks-Tonight!!". It was really quite surreal and magical, and of course the anticipation was overwhelming. It had been 8 years for me since seeing Stevie at Red Rocks in Colorado during the Mask tour. This would be the "New and Improved Stevie, Now Available Without Klonopin!". Sadly, my FIRST Stevie concert (Tusk, 1980 Honolulu) is completely gone from my memory no thanks to MY own high school excesses!
We waited 10 minutes after Michael finished before going inside. Our plan was to arrive at our seats just as Stevie began. When we went in, there was no line whatsoever and security seemed non-existent. The ticket taker asked us "Do you have a camera?". We said "no" and that was it. No search, no nothing-amazing. The Best Buy coupons were all gone but there were lots discarded on the ground so we picked some up. Strange how there is no indication on the coupons of what is actually on the "free" CD. The tour merchandise of course was all overpriced and mediocre at best, but I really didn't want anything anyway after getting that fabulous 60-page book with the box set.
We arrived at out 10th row seats which were farther away from Stevie than I expected. The stage was quite huge: about 8 feet high with a 10-foot wide impassible pit of scaffolding and a 4-foot high wall in front of the audience. It was obvious that Stevie would be doing no handshaking. Oh well. Most of the flower bouquets thrown to her ended up in the pit! The one bunch that actually landed at her feet elicited a big smile and chuckling "Thank You" from Stevie in the middle of a song.
Our timing plan worked great. Within 2 or 3 minutes Chris was doing his dictionary introduction. I was surprised how old and raggedy he looked; I forgot that this man is fortysomething. Most of the photos I've seen are obviously from years gone by. Anyway, the moment had arrived, out came Stevie blazing across the stage with those two-ton boots and that fabulous arm- swinging clunky stride! She flung her flowers across the big pit into the audience, turned around and went straight to Don Boyette. Stevie began yelling into his ear and waving her arms. Although her back was to the audience, I could see through my binoculars that she was pretty pissed about something. It was wonderful to observe such a true, human moment. Don passed on the message to a crew person. Without missing a beat, Stevie spun around with a big smile, stepped up to the microphone and burst into Outside The Rain. During one of the instrumental parts she scooted back over to Don and repeated the arm waving episoode. I just loved it! I guess the problem was taking longer to correct than she expected.
From the very first note out of her mouth, I was blown away with the power and clarity of Stevie's vocals. Here was a consummate professional HARD at work. Her concentration was so intense, her energy so tangible. It takes your breath away just being in her presence while she sings. The audio quality was impressive: crisp and clear with the perfect volume. It didn't hurt our ears but was loud enough to reverberate through our bodies with every drum beat and pick of the guitar. It was totally exhilarating and sensational.
Stevie of course had all the beautiful dresses and shawls, the most spectacular being the elegant red rose lacey print dress she wore for the acoustic set. All of her shawl changes took place on stage directly in front of our seats. We watched through the binoculars as her makeup and wardrobe ladies meticulously touched up her makeup and smoothed out even minor wrinkles in her costumes. The constant warm desert wind blew her hair up and back over her forehead, exposing her full beautiful face for the entire show. No bangs, no concealing headwear! Just a purely natural mature woman with none of the insecurities or shyness of so many of her earlier solo shows.
The winds were such that no set was erected. The spider web scrim we saw earlier in the day had been taken down. Only the metal framework remained. The draperies were completely absent, leaving a hugh black box of a stage. All of the lighting for the drapes and rear scrim were intact, but with nothing to project onto, the colored lights instead dazzled the stage and performers with a constant rainbow of changing hues. Again, I just loved it! This was the only solo concert I have ever seen Stevie perform with no stage set. It really had that great old raw, down and dirty rock-and-roll look of the Rumours and White Album tours.
During Gold Dust Woman Stevie spun around 5 full rotations! During Stand Back she danced, danced, danced uninhibited at the side of the stage and then made in back to her microphone in 3 big leap-spin rotation moves! I've never seen Stevie travel so much distance in just 3 spins. Then came that big spectacular kick. Yeah! It made me think of the US festival when she ran all over the stage then jumped down to the lower level risers in that big flying leap.
Gold and Braid was the vocal highlight of the show. She sang it exacly note for note as she had back in '81 but with so much more energy and conviction. Nobody sat through that one. Rose Garden had a wonderful new verse at the end, and Edge of Seventeen ended with the beautiful new lyric "I know what it sounds like, it sounds like I...Love...You...".
As everybody else has written, Twisted was indeed better than the 2 CD versions, but not nearly as powerful as the live '96 versions Stevie did in Florida, Boston, and Columbus. I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned this. I assumed those recordings (on both audio and video) were fairly widespread.
One amazing footnote to end on...The security let the crowd up to the stage DURING the band introduction (six songs before the end of the show!). As soon as we noticed people up there, Karen and I left our seats, walked calmly past the ushers, and effortlessly took our place at the wall in front of Stevie! I couldn't believe it. No pushing, no shoving, no packed-in bodies. Everybody maintained their own standing space and many people in the first few rows never even left their seats! It was perfect.
This is my first ever internet posting after years of trading tapes with other collectors worldwide. Hello and thank you to all of my correspondents over the years. Thank you for helping me compile my incredible audio and video collection. What a joy it has been to have such meaningful relationships with people I don't even know personally. I love you all very much. Mahalo, David.
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