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Glendale, Arizona Arena May 24, 2009

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Phoenix Rising

Written by Michelej1 May 26, 2009 at 08:04 PM
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Second verse, same as the first.

I think tonightís show was just as spectacular as Anaheimís, but then after awhile, you lose perspective. Itís all good.

At this juncture, if I had to list the highlights of the concert, Iíd be naming about 7 songs (which would include, Go Insane, Say You Love Me, IKINW and Gold Dust Woman, to start). A third of the show is absolutely stellar and Iíd say 60% of the remaining 66 is more than good. I like those percentages, especially since most of the songs have improved so much since the tour kicked off.

I only recently noticed one of the crew members spraying down the floor before the show. I suppose itís some chemical that keeps them from slipping on the stage.

Stevieís mic is not out when I arrive and I think perhaps she has fallen ill and wonít be performing tonight. I wonder how Lindsey will sound doing Rhiannon, but such desultory musings fall away when the assistant escorts the be-ribboned stand out at about 8:00 p.m.

I have little to add to the Anaheim review, but being every bit as long-winded as Lindsey Iíll note:

Before Dreams, Stevie notes that Arizona is her home and sheís thrilled to be there performing for them. In fact, although she fans her hand near her face, in a comical verklempt motion, I almost think I hear a genuine catch in her voice. But if so, itís gone in a second as she demands, ďletís get this party startedĒ in a playful deep voice.

As he outlines the Macís convoluted and complex history, Lindsey observes they are still ďa work in progress.Ē

For the Gypsy intro, Stevie says her parents were transferred from Los Aneles to San Francisco and thatís where she met Lindsey. When she explains how she encountered him in 1965 and never saw him again for 2 years, Iím imagining that she sometimes wish heíd disappear for another 2 -- or 20 -- years sometimes.

As Gypsy ends, Stevie turns her back to the audience and freezes and Lindsey joins her in the pose, bending into her back. Actually, itís eerily like what she and Waddy do at the end of GDW and Iíd rather not be reminded of Waddy at a time like this.

After Go Insane ends, Lindsey goes to the drum kit and crouches on the floor in a near fetal position. As John gazes at him nonplused, a Toby Keith song runs through my head:

I sobered up and I got to thinking:
Girl, you ainít much fun, since
I quit drinking.

Since John has given up liquor (assuming he has), I fear that he has lost the one layer of protection that shielded him from full knowledge of his bandmatesí utter madness.

In the Second Hand News introduction, Lindsey dedicates the song to his brother Jeff and points out if it wasnít for the elder Buckinham, Lindsey might not be standing before us today. So, heís the guy to blame, eh? Jeffís musical interests sparked Lindseyís own. Iím just wondering why Jeff is here in Arizona. Couldnít he catch the show in Northern California like he usually does? What a slacker!

Next, itís Stevieís turn. She says she is dedicating Landslide to, ďmy Mama and to the rest of my family members who are here tonight, too numerous to name.Ē Hmmm, from her less than enthusiastic tone, Iím guessing she doesnít like those other family members too much! I do think I saw Jessica in the audience. Well, it was a slight girl with blue hair anyway.

At the end of Landslide, Lindsey blows Stevie a kiss and she flutters her fingers, catching it like a butterfly.

I remember around the SYW tour, there was a guy who used to post who loved Iím So Afraid until he began to hear all the boots of it and found that Lindsey played the same song, note for note, every concert. That ruined the songís fever for him. He couldnít get swept away when he felt that Lindsey was just playing by the numbers. He didnít think the song was as mechanical in previous tours as he found it to be in 2003-2004. Well, I canít really tell about such things, but to this novice ear, ISA sounds more spontaneous this time around. Perhaps, tonightís guitar solo was no different from last nightís but the song has definitely evolved since the beginning of the tour.

At the first show, I was surprised that The Mac had dropped their triumvirate. They liked to play 3 rocking, fast songs back to back (like Tusk, Stand Back and GYOW) and received such a rousing response when they did that Lindsey even used this tri-recipe in his solo concerts as well. Back in March, I thought they had departed from the formula, because although it has a powerful ending, I thought ISA was too long and slow to be part of a hit trio. But today I donít think that any more. The ovation from ISA is so powerful that there is no break in momentum at all, from that song to the killers: Stand Back and GYOW. That section of the show is now a three part roller coaster ride.

I didnít understand the alternate words to Stand Back yesterday, but I heard them tonight.

One man did not fall.
He asked me for my love.
He said, take it all.

I love that! First, I like the attitude, with which she shouts ďtake it all,Ē but I also like the contradiction in words. First he asks for her love, but then he says take it all, as if heís the one giving, not asking. The truth is, he didnít ask for anything, he just wanted to give too much. More than she could accept. More commitment than she could stand. I love the line.

You know the little choreographed hip movements the back up singers do throughout the show? During GYOW, Stevie joined them. She was standing in front of them, but facing the audience, dancing in rhythm with them, sway to sway. She did this for a few seconds then threw back her head and laughed. Very cute.

I noticed the close of World Turning has changed: They donít use the recorded mix of vocals like they did before. Instead, after Mickís solo ends, Brett is playing keyboards, Lindsey comes in from the side on guitar. John eases back onto stage and starts playing, then Stevie enters and the full song resumes. This is very much like they did it early on in the Dance tour. Very effective. But still, this song is the one low (well, slow) point in an excellent show, for me.

People in the audience were asking Lindsey for his guitar pics. He handed them out, but he was holding one in his mouth before giving it to a fan. Yuck!

For Silver Springs, I also noticed a different lyric. Stevie says ďand did you say that you love her.Ē It is traditionally, did you say that she loves you.

I noticed that John was coughing several times throughout the show. He and Lindsey hugged during the final bows. Iíve seen them shake hands but I donít know if Iíve seen them hugging at the end since Ė well since the two BTM shows.

All in all, Iíd have to say that FM is as good in the desert as they were in the Sunshine State. Iíll upload pictures.

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