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Cincinnati, OH



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My review of last night's show in Cincinnati

Written by Leigh Krampe Jun 09, 2008 at 02:57 PM
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June 4, 1998

Let it be known that Stevie sure can throw a party. There had been a huge storm only hours before the concert started, and it seemed as though she had just blown in with the storm on the wind, her chiffon wings flapping. She was in perfect form, her voice clear and beautiful, her robes and dresses classic Stevie, and everything was simply Enchanting.

Being a fan of the fabulous Stevie since almost birth -- my mother sang "Beautiful Child" as she rocked me to sleep -- this was the time of my life. I dressed up along with the best of the Nix Chix in black lace and black chiffon and I could hardly sit still through the opening act, Boz Skaggs. He did pretty well, but I was a little bored after half an hour. He did have this great soulful backup singer who could totally wail.

Finally, Mr. Skaggs left the stage and things began to change, began to shift, like a strand in the wind in the web that belongs to all of us. What looked like a giant glittering fan spread out as the backdrop and drapery panels of cream colored silk and chiffon whispered in the black rafters. The band got into place and a man came out and read the definition of "enchanted" from a thick dictionary: "enchanted - charmed, very beautiful and magical, mystical, under a spell...".

I'm sure everyone felt under the spell of Goddess waiting in the wings. At last, everything went black, and the opening strains to "Outside the Rain" floated across the misty night. A roar erupted from the entire crowd, and there she was, simply radiant in her trademark clothes and her long hair shining. She was poised, calm, and powerful, waving little waves and smiling a huge smile. She effortlessly segued into "Dreams", twirling and waving her arms, still smiling.

Afterwards, she thanked us for braving the storm and chatted with the whole crowd of at least 10,000 for about three minutes. She explained that "this is her show" and she's gonna play what she wants. So, if we didn't recognize them, that was okay, as long as we enjoyed them. She was so cute and excited, like a little girl at her party.

We all recognized the next classic with the familiar dusky sitar sounds, clanging cowbells, and gold dust flying everywhere. She twirled and danced and sang to all of the Bella Donnas, the Wild Hearts, and the Street Angels out there singing along. "Gold and Braid" was next with traces of gold still floating about in the air over our heads and against the light of the rising moon.

Next up was a costume change and a move into a slightly slower, more soothing pace. The band seated on stools, Stevie sang her acoustic set of "After the Glitter Fades", "Garbo", and the wistfully beautiful "Rose Garden". Keeping up with the dreamy mood of that particular moment was "Sleeping Angel".

But then it was time to ROCK, my friends. "Enchanted" was swinging, "Stand Back" was absolutely fabulous, and "Whole Lotta Trouble" brought down the house with its sultry brass jive. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" was actually done justice by the I-think-he-used- a-little-too- much-bleach blonde guitarist named Frank and of course, Stevie was pointing into the audience and swaying to the beat.

The simply classic "Landslide" was next on the agenda. Stevie was fabulous and beautiful, as she always is, but that Frank's mediocre acoustic couldn't help but be overshadowed by Lindsey's powerful finger picked melodies that had graced the Crown Theatre, just up the river, just a few months ago. Yet it was still as beautiful and as haunting as ever. A timelessly Enchanting piece.

Thunder rumbled suddenly, and lightning flashed. Of course, that was just on stage, for a loud and luscious version of "Twisted", about storms and dangerous living. It was great fun, so my mom and I stepped over the bar, separating our seats from the aisle, and grooved to the music, like the White Winged Dove herself. Of course, the Riverbend Seat Nazis (NO SEAT FOR YOU!!!) immediately swooped down and moved us back to our seats. It was still a major rush.

Then the stage was cleared except for the percussionist whom I recognized from "The Dance" tour. He worked out intricate rhythms that echoed across the night like pounding hooves, telling us that something, something magical, something wonderful, was on its way. The drummer kicked in, pounding and crashing like the familiar thunder. Then we heard it. The guitar playing those familiar notes we all knew so well. And suddenly there was no one left standing in the hall except for the Nightbird singing "Come away..." in a beautiful white glittery dress, her blonde hair glowing like a halo. Everyone sang and danced along, even as Stevie collected roses, teddy bears, and a top hat from the first few rows. She nodded and smiled and laughed, an angelic vision to everyone. "Edge of Seventeen" ended the show with a beautiful and awesome BANG!!!

So the woman disappeared. But we were all awestruck, and I truly cared, but no one was so tired, so the woman reappeared and sang a great encore song that my mom picked out as a Tom Petty favorite. But then the lilting strains of "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You" floated into our hearts and Stevie thanked us all for a wonderful evening. She changed the lyrics around lightly, imploring us to "Remember her" and "Never forget her". That certainly will never happen.
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