June 8, 2005-Tweeter Center
By Lauren Carter
The crowd at the Tweeter Center Wednesday night June 8, consisted mostly of middle-aged men and women dressed conservatively in tank tops and shorts, but there were just enough top hats and lace shawls to know you were at a Stevie Nicks concert. However, Stevie Nicks wasn't the only artist performing that evening; Don Henley was also featured on the bill-a megastar in his own right.
Nicks and Henley first crossed paths when Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" knocked The Eagles' "Hotel California" off the #1 spot on the charts in 1977. To follow stints of artistic-as well as romantic-coupling, were parallel career paths that saw them achieve huge success as members of their respective bands and solo artists as well. It only seemed fitting that they would cross paths once again in 2005, both at the not-so-rock-star age of 57. And so, on this warm night in June, the "nightbird" and the "eagle" came together for a journey into the realm of otherworldly pop/rock.
Following a solo acoustic set by Juliana Ray, Henley took the stage and led off with "The Genie," but the show really began when he performed a stirring rendition of the Eagles classic, "Witchy Woman." The crowd erupted at the sound of the song's haunting first notes, and sang along with Henley to the shadowy chorus. Red lights blazed behind the stage to further the supernatural atmosphere.
Henley's set also included rockin' versions of his solo hits, "All She Wants to Do is Dance," "Boys of Summer," and the unique "Dirty Laundry," a song noted for its perfectly pulsating synthesizers. Henley also included the Eagles' popular tale of decadence and depravity in the song, "Life in the Fast Lane."
Henley's set climaxed when, during a performance of "Hotel California" (which already had the crowd in near-hysterics) Stevie Nicks emerged from the rear of the stage. Her blond hair and black wardrobe swaying in the breeze spawned wild, maniacal screams from the audience. Nicks alternated verses with Henley on the Eagles masterpiece, and then sang to brilliant versions of "New York Minute" and "Last Worthless Evening." Nicks sounded pitch-perfect; her silk-and-sand-paper wrapped quite nicely around Henley's smooth velvet.
Henley closed his set with an inspired version of "The End of Innocence," and then sang a flawless "Desperado" with a lone spotlight shining on the stage.
After a brief intermission, Stevie Nicks materialized from the darkness that had fallen in between sets. The stage was suddenly illuminated as the first notes of "Outside the Rain" drifted out to a mesmerized audience. Originally co-produced by Tom Petty, the song has Petty's trademark "blues-edged rock" sensibilities, and with its wandering melody that lacks a conventional chorus, is the perfect opening song for an artist whose body of work defies convention.
"Outside the Rain" flowed seamlessly into the Fleetwood Mac hit, "Dreams." Nicks was decked out in the signature garb that's as much a part of her concerts as the songs themselves-a layered black lace dress, a lace shawl (that would surely change with the songs she'd sing), and a microphone draped with lace and gold chains. Of course, she also wore the quintessential platform boots that add height to her 5'2" frame-though somehow her ethereal presence can fill up a space of any size, despite her petite stature.
set also featured "Enchanted," and a passionate performance of "Rhiannon,"
the end of which found Stevie spinning in her witch/ballerina way, which drove
the crowd wild. Henley
then joined Nicks on stage for moving renditions of "Gold Dust Woman,"
the Tom Petty duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," and a cover
of Bonnie Raitt's "Circle Dance."
After Henley's departure, Nicks performed a wild version of "Stand Back," featuring incredible opening drum solos and psychedelic blue spirals on the screen behind the stage, and then she launched into a moving performance of the ballad "Beauty and the Beast," to which the crowd responded with a standing ovation.
Nicks closed her set with an energetic version of "Edge of Seventeen," complete with images of white-winged doves superimposed on the Tweeter Center's digital screens. As the music continued on after Nicks' verses were done, she traveled around the edge of the stage to clasp hands with the hordes of screaming fans, ushered along by a bodyguard.
As Stevie and the band thanked the crowd and left the stage, select fans started to file out of the Tweeter Center. But the wiser fans knew the show wasn't over. Henley and Nicks would emerge for one last song-their signature duet, "Leather and Lace." The remaining crowd offered a thunderous amount of screams and applause, anticipating the return of these two beloved rock icons that had miraculously gotten better with age.
Henley and Nicks revisited the stage, fans that stayed were treated to a superb
rendition of the duet featured on Nicks' first solo release, "Bella Donna."
Nicks was wearing her ever-present lace shawl, and she pulled at it in a bittersweet
form of closure-offering it to Don as she sang, "Take from me my lace."
These were the last words of the song they co-wrote more than twenty years
before. The enchanting evening ended as Henley politely declined her offer,
and raindrops began to spill from the night sky.