Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks dust off oldies

Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:00am EDT
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By Erik Pedersen

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A warm, invigorating breeze traipsed through the Hollywood Bowl as the boomer-fantasy pairing of Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks played the first of two nights.

And the coziness factor was ratcheted up as the co-headliners played hit after comfy hit for an appreciative veteran crowd that was out for a night of just that.

The L.A. stop on RaspFest '11, officially dubbed the Heart & Soul Tour, was a pleasing if occasionally uneven affair that juxtaposed Nicks' straightforward quasi-mystery and Stewart's broad-playing rock-star antics. She stood at the microphone, strumming occasional air guitar and making graceful little gestures; he peacocked around the stage, preening and teasing.

Ultimately, both were entertaining -- for the young, young at heart and otherwise. And that's what it was all about.

Nicks opened with a 70-minute set that she seemed more into than during her 2009 arena tour with Fleetwood Mac, likely invigorated by a new album due May 3. "The best year of Stevie Nicks' life just happened because of Dave Stewart," she said of the man with whom she wrote much of "In Your Dreams," her first studio record in a decade. Lead single "Secret Love," a likable mid-upper-midtempo track she'd sung on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" three days before, drew a genuine cheer from the sellout crowd.

The rest of Nicks' show mined her solo/Mac catalog, including three songs from her 2001 album "Trouble in Shangri-La." Dressed in trademark dripping, glittery gown, Nicks, 62, began with a vocally rough "Stand Back" but settled in by the time her six-piece band locked into the laconic/iconic groove of "Dreams." Her smoky vocal enveloped the 1977 hit.

Sometimes raspy, sometimes reedy, Nicks was at her best during crowd favorites "Gold Dust Woman" and the still-lovely "Landslide." During the latter, a video screen showed photos of her from infancy through stardom, many featuring her father.

A hard-rocking intro to "Edge of Seventeen" -- courtesy of guitarist Waddy Wachtel, who has played with Nicks for most of her 30-year solo career -- fired up the crowd. But its repetitive riff and lyrics were more grating than stirring, especially in the endless version that closed her main set.   Continued...