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February 2, 2008:  Honda Center, Anaheim, California

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Stevie Nicks at the Honda Center (Cal State)

Written by Michele Jul 31, 2008 at 11:27 PM
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hondacoverWell, HAEWAFY was back in the setlist. It just turns out it wasn't in STEVIE's setlist. To tell you the truth, the school's use of the song as a group anthem wasn't half bad.

I missed HSML and Sorcerer, but this was a wonderful show. Stevie sounded amazing and was very energetic, but being there was like walking the razor's edge between pleasure and pain. Some of the amateur songs performed about hope and dreams and orphans made me suffer in ways I've never experienced at an SN concert: well, I've never suffered that way except when Stevie does Circle Dance, Rock and Roll and Beauty and the Beast in her freak costume. Other than that . . . this agony was a first.

The Cal State students put on a show that started off with several corny numbers, but improved with Marc Cherry's comedy. Marc is kind of a hefty guy. At one point he came out in a fake pants and top, with a ruffled collar and sleeves, his version of Leather and Lace (with music from that song). When he introduced the school president he pointed out that Stevie accepted the invitation to perform as soon as it was offered, which made him wonder if maybe Stevie and the president, Milton Gordon, could have been intimate once a time. Maybe they had a rendezvous at the Costa Mesa Motel 6, where they were no longer educator and rock star, but just a man and a woman giving in to forbidden love. After describing the imagined lust between Stevie and Milton for some time, Marc apologized and explained that he'd been on strike too long, he needed to write.

THEN he said that the Fullerton students had a bunch of production numbers to show us. What?? I'd already seen a bunch of production numbers from them, I wasn't expecting still more. But it continued. Marc started singing himself (Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat) at which point the impatient crowd started shouting out "Stevie, Stevie!"

Marc ignored them and started telling us more about Stevie, how she'd sold 80 million records, was inducted into the RNRHF as part of FM, still had a solo career at an age when most people start to retire and, "most important," he told us that she's still hot. This culminated in a surreal tribute to Stevie herself. The dancers came out in "Stevie" attire. The women wore corset vests and flowing gypsy skirts and they gave us Stevie's life story in song. Huh!? At points it was gag-inducing.

They used Tina Turner's Overnight Sensation, Overnight Success, talked about how she and Lindsey formed Fritz (really?) and opened for Hendrix and Joplin. Then, they talked about how Stevie lost her friend Robin to Leukemia and to accompany this tragic tale, started singing It's a Wonderful World, made famous by Louis Armstrong. At that point, I wanted to die. I asked the people at my table to just start torturing me. I wanted waterboarding, but they wouldn't oblige, so I nearly used my jacket to tie myself to my chair and pour Aqua Fina down my own nose. I just wanted to escape.

They sang HAEWAFY while the side screens told the stories of foster children who had benefitted from the school's Guardian Scholars program. Actually, the song sounded good with a choir.

Finally Marc said he would stop torturing us and he introduced Stevie with vigor and excitement as if she was coming out right that second, but I knew she couldn't because her crew was still setting up her stage. So, after everyone applauded thinking Stevie was going to emerge any second, we got the entire Bootylicous instead, then 2 more looooong songs before Stand Back actually broke out.

I looked for Stevie to enter center stage, but she came out from the side.

After the first song she said that everything was written for her on teleprompters, but she wasn't going to read what was written. She was just going to speak from her heart: Welcome to Cal's 50th anniversary and she said that she was so touched by the tribute to her that she wanted to cry. Well, I wanted to cry too Stevie. I did cry.

For IAF she said someone told her "if anyone falls in love, it should be us" and she thought it was a great line with which she totally agreeed.

For Crash she said that she needed to explain why it was in the setlist. When she prepared for Soundstage she asked lots of people to appewar with her [I wish she'd tell us exactly who she asked], only to find out that no one could come. That hurt her feelings, but they all had good reasons for not being there. Anyway, although no one showed up, she had still practiced all of these songs [I wish she'd tell us exactly which ones] and she just fell in love with this one by Dave Matthews. She said it's a song told from a boy's point of view, but she was going to sing it from a woman's point of view.

This was the first time I'd seen Crash live and I enjoyed it. I thought that Stevie was a little stiff movement wise, but vocally she was great. Midway through Lori started singing the verses with her and I appreciated that harmony.

For Dreams she said it was the 12th song on Rumours. Written after they'd been recording for 3 months. She said Fleetwood Mac threw her out of the studio because they had "real" music stuff to work on and they wanted her to get lost So, this guy said, "I have a key" and so she said she would follow him wherever he was going. He took her into this room that happened to be Sly's. She said in the over three months that they'd been recording there, no one had ever seen this room before. No one had known about it. At this point, the story sounds salacious to me. This guy took her into a room with a bed? I have a feeling that he didn't take her there to write. But she said she had her piano with her, so . . . Anyway, she says that's how Dreams came about. "Thank you Sly Stone." I feel she should thank Fleetwood Mac for throwing her out in the first place.

She does a little hula dance at one point during Dreams and that's when I first began to fear that there would be no HSML and I'd seen my last hula shake of the night.

For IDWTK she says it was written by her favorite rock star who is playing the Superbowl tomorrow which she thinks is really big. She tells us all to pray for him.

For the band introductions she says that Jimmy is their "golden angel". She says that Lenny is a master percussionist, which is a step down from Taku being her favorite percussionist. She says Carlos is full of grace and one of the loves of her life. She said Lori was her partner crime and that Jana has now been introduced into their world of "criminology." She says she's known Waddy since 1972 ever since she and Lindsey were living with their producer. Waddy is someone she's known as long as her parents (?). There are just few people that you've known that long in your life. And he's been her musical influence and inspiration for as long as she can remember.

For Landslide, she said she didn't really write it about her father, but he thought it was about him and she just said, "Daddy if you want it to be about you, then it is." So, the song was for all the fathers and her father too.

Edge of Seventeen was absolutely on fire. At first, Cal State had its dancers on the sidelines and let them come to the stage for the Edge walk. Watching them do their fake dancing was more than I could stand, but they soon let the authentic fans up to the stage. After the walk, Stevie made contact with all of her band members, from Lori to Al. She kind of ruffled Waddy's hair as she passed him.

As the Cal State performers gathered on stage with Stevie, she again said she was going to talk from her heart instead of reading from the teleprompter. She said it was so important that we were out there supporting the school and the students who need art and love and all the world has to give. And she reminded us to go out and vote.


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