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A Joyful Noise

Written by Mike Jun 10, 2008 at 01:19 PM
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July 27, 1998

There sho' 'nuff was a joyful noise in the hills above LA last night...

And our gal - she had it goin' ON!!!! Having never seen Stevie live in any capacity, my only point of reference has been the HBO concert, Red Rocks and the Dance. None of those video-taped concerts prepared me for last night. Having read the wonderful reviews posted here for the Enchanted tour, my expectations were high; in fact, I was concerned the stakes may have been elevated too high - but my concerns were groundless. Stevie was positively giddy at times, releasing high-voltage energy and full-leverage rock and roll. She was totally into the show and the crowd, soaking up the vibes and beaming them back over the audience. There are several time-framed moments etched in my mind: Her entrance; her interaction with the band and audience; her voice on After the Glitter Fades; the "don't leave me" refrain from Rhiannon; the boogeying in Stand Back; the way her hair curved over the bare left shoulder and nestled there during Sleeping Angel; but mostly - even more than the music - it was her smile. A smile that was, at times, both high-wattage and demure, but constantly there on her lips and in her eyes.

I must also say that I was unprepared for the intense crowd response. This is L.A., folks. You know the rap: laid-back; blase; unimpressed. Not this time. Not this night. This crowd was loud and raucous. They seemed to drive Stevie, at times, to lose her train-of-thought and attempt to offer up spontaneous and sputtered words of gratitude, which ofttimes dwindled into sputters. But while her words may have fallen short in expression, they were effective in their gratitude and appreciation.

Security was real, real tight. The news later that night reported that the theater had tripled their security and that Stevie's people had doubled theirs. There were many people walking around with walkie-talkies throughout the building, inside and out. I was concerned that this stalker issue would effect Stevie's stage manner negatively, and I think many in attendance felt the same and made a concentrated effort to make her feel safe and secure, and she responded in kind. She was talkative from the get-go, and acknowledged that it was great to be home and that she woke up in her own bed that morning knowing she would be amongst friends and family that night.

One last thing, and if you've read any of my posts before, then you know to indulge me and I certainly don't mean any disrespect......Stevie is one SEXY WOMAN!!!! I don't care what goddang age she is. Sensuality is ageless and this woman floated my boat! Sorry, but it had to be said :-)

Well, that's if from my end. All in all, not only was my initiation beyond my hopes and expectations, but I was also left with a deeper and greater respect for Stevie as a person and an artist. Given how completely devoted and accepting her audience is, it would be very easy for Stevie to coast - she rocks the house just by simply showing up - but she doesn't fall back on the love of her audience: she reigns it in and uses it to charge her performance and the music, walking offstage leaving nothing behind.

Gotta give it up for Stevie: she is one very cool lady!
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