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Houston Highlights

Written by Traci Jun 10, 2008 at 01:04 PM
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July 19, 1998

stevie_98_houston1 I just got back from Houston! I haven't had a chance to put all of my thoughts into an official review - but here are some highlights!

We left New Orleans Friday at about 6:00 p.m. and drove to Lafayette, La. to spend the night at my friend Kerry's house. We had planned a Stevie Fest. We watched the Stevie parts of Tape #29 from the Trading Post, the Bella Donna Concert video and the Dance. Kerry wasn't supposed to go to Houston with us but Friday night we were able to talk her into it.

I had 2 front row tickets and needed another ticket for Kerry. We left Lafayette Saturday morning and drove to Houston (3 hours). We checked into the hotel, got ready and went to the Woodlands early to find a ticket. Michelle and Kerry went to park the car and I walked up to the Box Office. I asked the lady if she still had any seats under the covered area - she said that she did - I said well I only need one - how close can you get me - she said (and this is no lie) how about row 1 pit center! I said ABSOLUTELY!

Now all three of us were in the FRONT ROW! My other seats were just right of center which was perfect because we could see her coming in and out of her dressing room. We took turns in the center seat.

stevie_98_houston2 Here is the best part - STEVIE DEDICATED LANDSLIDE TO ME!!!!!!! Talk about excitement! When it was time for Landslide, she said that they needed to pick someone to dedicate it to and Frank, her guitar player, looked out over the audience and I was standing up hoping to be the one and he walked over and asked me my name. He walked back and told Stevie my name and she said, "this is for Tracey". I couldn't believe it!

The whole show was AMAZING! She didn't do Stop Draggin' My Heart Around. Some other highlights were "Stand Back, the acoustic set, I Need to Know and Edge of 17." It was all good! At the end of Edge of 17 she came to the edge of the stage to shake hands with everyone. I GOT TO SHAKE HER HAND!! Her hands are really soft and she's so pretty! She has flawless skin! She was so sweet because she didn't just touch your hand and move on. She made eye contact with you and smiled and just seemed really sweet - especially with people who had children with them.

It was a wonderful experience! I'll never forget it and now whenever I hear Landslide I'll remember how AWESOME it was!
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A Legend

Written by Stacey Vernick Jun 10, 2008 at 12:58 PM
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

July 18 1998

We got on the road for Houston around 12:30 Friday afternoon. It was very hot, but we still took the t-tops off Karen's Camaro. We took the backroads from Austin since the Woodlands is on the north side of Houston and we wanted to avoid Houston traffic. Plus, this way is a lot more scenic. I don't know how familiar you are with this part of Texas, but the older houses in these little towns are all Victorian, very "Stevie" and "Big Love" video looking stuff, lots of antique shops with Tiffany (blue) lamps in the windows. Also, this part of Texas isn't flat like west Texas, it's very hilly. We ate lunch in Giddings, at a little family-owned diner. We also went through Brenham, where they make Blue Bell ice cream.

We started listening to The Dance CD and it was at one point during Silver Springs that I decided to start taking notes of all the little Stevie things we noticed on the road. During Lindsey's solo on Silver Springs, I was gazing out upon the Texas hill country and I just had a moment...I was finally on my way to see Stevie!

Some of the things we noticed along the way: A huge, iron WHITE WINGED DOVE over the door of a little church; a billboard for DREAM Ranch; another billboard for MAC Haik Realty and the signs for LEGENDS Greenery and THOUSAND (days) Trails campsite. When we went through Brenham, it was, "Oooh, look at that Big Love house, Aaaah, look at THAT Big Love house..."

We got into town, checked into our hotel and since we were so close to the venue, we decided to cruise by it. Chicago and Hall & Oates played the night before Stevie. Oh, one thing you need to understand about the Woodlands Pavilion, it's back in a residential neighborhood, surrounded by trees. The entire little Woodlands community has every street lined with tall trees and everything is hidden back in the trees. The mall, the pavilion, banks, gas stations, everything.

One of the streets to get to the venue is Research FOREST (of the black roses) Drive. Other street names we noticed all around the venue were (running in the) SHADOWbend, CATS CRADLE (like the back of Enchanted pic), Bear (silver) SPRINGS Place, CRYSTAL Lake Lane, etc. We also saw a sign for a garage sale on ENCHANTED Drive!

If you drive to the back of the venue, you'll get to the GOLD (dust woman) VIP parking lot. Okay, we were stretching for some of these, but it does make a fun little road game to play.

We went to dinner Friday night at Landry's. It's located next to a little lake with a huge fountain in the middle. A thunderstorm came through and there was a great lightning show.

Okay, Saturday, the big day. We had lots to do. Bought champagne for pre and post-concert partying, bought film for the camera and another roll for Karen to keep in her purse in case mine got confiscated, took my RIANON license plate to a florist and had a bouquet made around it. I picked out a card with hearts on it and wrote, "Stevie, thank you for always being the poet in our wild hearts." Karen had a red and white carnation bouquet made also. Oh yeah, couldn't forget to do my nails, blue-green toenails flashing, which I made sure to point out to Tracey when I met her at the show. ;-)

While we were getting ready, I said to Karen, "I wonder if Stevie knows that fans like us get as nervous as I'm sure she does before a show." Have another glass of something French, champagne, okay, I'm better now...this was my 8th or 9th time seeing Stevie solo and I still get the jitters.

One drawback of the Woodlands, you have to walk awhile on the trail through the forest from the parking area. A bee was very attracted to Karen's bouquet and it was freaking me out 'cause I'm allergic to bee stings. Lots of people were making comments to us about the flowers.

Security doesn't find my camera when we go in, cool. Of course, we had to go check out our seats right away. We were on the aisle, middle section, Row 2, on the Carlos side (also keyboard player Kevin, more about him later). Yeah, baby! Tracey came over and found me (little did she know then that she'd be the lucky Landslide dedicatee, is that a word?) My friend from Waco was sitting right next to us, but they moved closer to the middle and I never saw him again after that. It did seem like there were some empty seats in the pit all night.

Now we're thirsty, time for a drink and check out the goods. We both brought plastic shopping bags to haul our crud (thanks to whoever it was on the Ledge for giving me that idea). I asked the T-shirt girl if she would let me pick out everything I wanted, and then I would come back and pay her as soon as the concert was over. She said "no." Whatever, I bought 2 T-shirts, 2 tourbooks (bought one for a friend who couldn't go), a keychain, both pins and the magnet.

I really had planned to watch Boz, but I ran into an old friend from San Antonio and had to talk with him for awhile. Then, this little boy comes running up to me out of nowhere, "Excuse me, is your name Stacey?" (not the first time that would happen tonight). I said, "Yes," he said, "from the internet?" It was Classic's son, he led me straight to her and her husband. Unfortunately, we didn't get much time to visit, I knew Stevie was going to start soon and I definitely wanted to be in my seat.

The pit security told us that we should put our flowers on the side of the stage for one of Stevie's security people to pick up, that Stevie wouldn't be taking anything herself. We decided to hang onto them anyway.

Okay, here comes Chris w/ the Enchanted introduction and you know the song list, here are my highlights:

Stevie gave her flowers to the girl in front of us and off to the right, who started crying immediately, it was cute.

Outside the Rain and Dreams - I'm still getting over the shock of our seats and how GOOD Stevie looked!

Enchanted - LOVED IT!! I noticed she sang, "It's just a light through the night" instead of "voice through the night."

Gold Dust Woman - Yes, I did the spider fingers, but Stevie didn't really do them, she did do the "shadow" fingers. The "go hooooooome" was awesome...

While setting up for the acoustic set, Brett was playing the intro to "Rooms on Fire." I don't remember anybody else mentioning this, so at first, Karen and both thought they were going to do it.

After the Glitter Fades was flawless - I noticed she hit a couple notes even higher than the studio version.

Garbo was excellent - gave me goosebumps.

Rose Garden - I had eye contact with Stevie on this one - she saw me twirling my finger with her on the "roses dangling down to the ground" line....

Sleeping Angel - I have always loved this song and if there was ever part of the concert where I almost lost it, this was it.

I think Stevie forgot she had to change because she stayed at the microphone as if waiting for some music and then realized, "Oh, I'm supposed to be changing now," and she ran off, it was funny.

Throughout the entire concert, we had MAJOR eye contact with Kevin Stoller, the keyboard player behind Carlos. It was so intense, that I even said to Karen, "I can't look at him anymore, every time I do, he's watching us, it's starting to freak me out." But, it was still fun.

Rhiannon - Stevie screwed up at the beginning, she started to repeat "Would you even try," when she should have gone into another verse. It threw everyone off for a second, but they recovered nicely. I think it was during this song where her microphone cut out for a second.

Gold and Braid - I couldn't help thinking about Hayley. It was great...

Whole Lotta Trouble - Okay, this is when things started getting crazy...the deadbeat couple who was sitting down the entire concert, left their 3rd row seats behind us. Toward the end of this song and before Landslide, a guy came up behind me and was talking on a cell phone. He had a laminated crew pass around his neck. I suddenly had a flashback to the Van Halen grid system and thought Kevin had sent a roadie down to give us passes. That wasn't the case, but I was close. The guy behind me kept talking on his phone and looking at me. Then, he says, "Excuse me, is your name Stacey?" I said, "Yeah, who wants to know?" He went back to the phone and told me to wait a second, then he hands me the phone!! Keep in mind, this is at the end of Whole Lotta Trouble and it's loud! It was my friend Lisa, calling from Austin. The guy with the phone works for the promoter and she met him at a recent concert in Houston. She wanted to come to Stevie, but changed her mind (she's not a diehard fan). Anyway, she said, "That's my friend, he's going to get you backstage." He had already given Karen a pass and sent someone back to get one for me. I told Lisa "Thank you, and I really need to go, because it's Stevie and I'm in heaven right now." Landslide had already started, so I missed Tracey's dedication. :-( I would have loved to have seen the look on her cute li'l face!

Well, these crew guys offered to take us backstage right then and there to watch the rest of the concert from the wings. I said, "There's no way I'm leaving this spot until after Edge of 17."

Twisted was wicked cool and everything everyone has already said about it.

Toward the end of the song, I told the scrawny high-school security kid that it was time for us to be able to move up to the stage. Poor thing, he was so naive...he said we'd all have to get past him and 3 other security guards first. I said "Watch!", grabbed Karen, and got up there as soon as the bongo solo started. We put our flowers on the stage and beat our hands on the stage, inches away from Stevie's microphone. The rest of the pit joined us, the girls in the 4th row who were where I thought Phillip would be, ended up right next to me. Karen and I moved our flowers up against the monitor so they were out of the way. The girl next to me looked like she was about to cry. She told me her friend bought their tickets and had her believing they were on the lawn. She didn't know they had 4th row until they got there and she wanted to cry all night.

Stevie and Sharon finished their duet at the microphone and it was time. She started stage right, as usual, I'm getting more and more crushed by the people behind me, but it was cool, I wasn't getting hurt or anything. Karen was on my left, with both hands up, Stevie grabbed both her hands and squeezed, then she reached over Karen, I'm getting more crushed at this point. I put up both my hands and Stevie grabbed them both and squeezed! I told her I loved her. As she moved on to the others, I rubbed my hand across the top of her velvet boots and her dress brushed across the top of my hand. I noticed the 2 security guards following her left our flowers exactly where we put them. We pushed them further back so nobody else would take them.

While Stevie was still making her way down the stage, my friend from San Antonio was right behind us, he had made it down from the 11th row. We gave him our spot and let our crew friends lead us backstage. Through a maze of equipment, cables and wooden sidewalks, we end up stage right, standing amongst the equipment. Wow, what a different view from here. I saw Tracey, the 4th row crying girls, and my other friend up against the stage. I missed her introduction, did she say the Tom Petty thing? Anyway, I still hadn't taken any pictures all night, the only people I saw getting away with it were not using flash. Karen and I both decided I HAD to take a picture. When "Has Anyone...." started, I dug out my camera and went for it. As I said in my earlier preview post, one of Stevie's people got a little miffed about that, I told him I wouldn't take any more, but I had to get at least one or nobody would believe where I was. He laughed about it.

The first person we run into is Kevin. He asked us if we had a good time, I smiled and said, "Didn't it look like we were?" He laughed and said the girl in front of us looked like she was having MORE fun (she had a shawl and kept playing with it). Then he wanted to know if we were going to the "band party" at the hotel. Now, I don't want to imply anything or be misinterpreted, but isn't Kevin the one that handed some passes to a 13-year old girl earlier in the tour? Hmmm, I'm way too old for him!! They were staying downtown, a good 45 minutes away from the venue. Our crew friend asked if Stevie was going to do a meet & greet and Kevin said he wasn't sure, that she's been hanging out in her room a lot more, but you never know. Later, we found out that they had chartered a plane for her to fly straight to Denver after the concert.

On our way down the stairs to the VIP area, we ran into Don and Carlos. (Travis, you'll be happy to know that I did refer to him as "The Tree!!"). They actually said hello to us first, our crew friend said, "You two don't need any help from me, you seem like you know everybody already." We laughed and told him they recognized us from the audience.

Land, the drummer was sitting at a table with his father and a bunch of kids. I thought they might have been relatives too, but he was asking them their names. Lenny came over to meet Land's father, Christopher Nicks gave teddy bears to all the kids. Mindy Stein came over to that table also.

I didn't get pictures with anyone or ask for anyone's autograph. :-( It seemed like everyone was in a hurry to leave and there just wasn't a good opportunity. We went to the production office with our crew buddies and hung out in there for awhile. I got out my tourbook and was pleasantly surprised to see that Stevie has the same big, pink Wembley arena poster that I have. Also, the picture of Stevie and Herbie and Robin on her mantelpiece, see the blue sun and moon candle votives? I've got those too, there's a star that goes with the set also.

Enchanted? Yes!!!! The entire evening was enchanting...I will gladly invest the bucks to be in the first 5 rows for every future Stevie and (hopefully) Fleetwood Mac concert. There is just nothing that compares to being surrounded by true fans (except for the deadbeats behind me who left early.) Looking around at the crowd and noticing the ones who knew all the words to Garbo and Sleeping Angel, the ones who can't take their eyes off of Stevie, the ones who know every hand gesture, the ones who cry tears of joy, the ones who sing at night...

Thank you, Stephanie Lynn Nicks, YOU are a legend and yes, you are a priestess of something...never change...never stop...
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