The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
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STEVIE NICKS


DAVE STEWART

 

BRIAN McFADDEN


WA ATHLETICS STADIUM, PERTH

26th NOVEMBER 2011

 

 

Stevie Nicks www.therockpit.net review 2011 Perth

 

 

 

DAVE STEWART & BRIAN MCFADDEN

 

 

Stevie Nicks www.therockpit.net review 2011 Perth

 

 

It’s the first time we’ve been out to the newly opened WA Athletics Stadium for a show and we may well be onto a winner here. It’s a nice outdoor venue that comfortably held the 5000 crowd here to see the Stevie Nicks/Dave Stewart show on what was initially quite an unseasonably cold and windy November Perth night, that by the time Stevie Nicks hit stage had turned into quite a pleasant evening as far as the weather was concerned, and a great night as far as the music…

 

 

Brian McFadden I must admit was a surprise inclusion onto a bill headlined by two great legends, a bit like the unnecessary garnish you don’t want to eat. Still he did a fair job with an acoustic set that as he himself confessed ‘I’m not going to play any of my own songs as you wouldn’t like them and you’d be really bored.’ You have to admire his honesty if not the complete lack of irony that by taking that thought to its logical conclusion you would end up with ‘What am I doing there?’

 

 

In truth he seems like a nice enough guy, his banter onstage was witty, but at the end of the day he has a decent but unremarkable voice and a career based on hype rather than substance, all the way from boy-band Westlife to Australian Idol, and despite his huge profile isn’t shifting the songs at all. Smacks a little of a last roll of the dice to me… What the industry fails to understand is that Rock fans are fans for life whilst the increasingly odious and manufactured ‘pop’ industry is as fickle as hell and based on the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ principle.

 

 

Saying that I enjoyed his cover of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ and Richard Marx’s ‘This I promise You’ just as much as I would have at the local pub, listening to the local band…

 

 

DAVE STEWART

 

Stevie Nicks www.therockpit.net review 2011 Perth

 

 

With Brian safely out of the way Dave Stewart is an entirely different proposition, this man is a legend, and anticipation is high as I’ve never actually seen him before in any of his various incarnations.

 


 
What we get is a real show packed full of some great music. Dave certainly knows how to create a spectacle and the stage seems to be crammed with players and action which every photographer of course loves.

 

 

Stevie Nicks www.therockpit.net review 2011 Perth

 

 

With a selection of songs from his latest ‘Blackbird Diaries’ album, and of course some rather rocked-out versions of Eurhythmics favourites: the highlight of which to me had to be the bluesy soulful ‘Missionary Man’ (which Dave recalls playing on top of cars outside the Sydney Entertainment Centre many years ago) Dave doesn’t set a foot wrong all night.

 

 

The new stuff is remarkably good and fits nicely with the obviously more familiar back catalogue (a trick Stevie will repeat later). Probably the best of the new ones is album opener ‘Beast Called Fame’ which is enough for me to decide to grab a copy at the merch stand.


   

 

Backed by three great female singers who really come into their own as Dave breaks into ‘Here comes the Rain Again’ and ‘Sweet Dreams’ Dave is mystified why the security are stopping people from dancing. He’s right; there are just some songs that call for dancing.

 

 

Stevie Nicks www.therockpit.net review 2011 Perth

 

 

It’s always welcome to see the electric sitar being broken out, and Dave takes up the gauntlet for the song he penned with Tom Petty ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’. It’s another highlight in a great night and with WA’s own Lucky Oceans in the band doing his thang on steel guitar, the ten piece band owns the stage.

 

 

 

Dave will return during Stevie’s set later in the night, to accompany her on the material from the album she is here to promote and which he produced, but he’s already made this a memorable night.

 

 

STEVIE NICKS

 

 

Stevie Nicks www.therockpit.net review 2011 Perth

 

 

 

Enigma and golden-voiced Stevie Nicks last hit these shores with Fleetwood Mac a couple of years back and tonight she’s outdoors again, albeit at a smaller venue. With photographers safely banished to the distant soundboard and the crowd encouraged to not take photos of film so that Stevie can give her maximum performance she may cut a distant figure to the majority of the crowd but her sound is massive.

 

 

 

Always impassioned and still a little out-there Ms Nicks none-the-less delivers a great set that takes in her too biggest Mac moments – Rhiannon and Dreams  to the delight of a crowd that has been warned that this is not to be a ‘greatest hits’ set – she’s done that. What we get tonight is an exploration of half of her new CD and the choicest cuts of a solo career that has had its peaks over the last few decades.

 

 

 

Stevie Nicks www.therockpit.net review 2011 Perth

 

 

We also get a few, at times, mildly rambling monologues about her life and some of the songs, that range from heart-warming to intriguing, but lets face it do tend to goon a bit when we are here for the music.  Most interesting perhaps, are her stories about the Edgar Alan Poe song and the military hospital visit that led to a couple of truly memorable songs. But we are also reminded that it was here in Australia that she found the inspiration to pen her first new CD in a decade.  Yes, it may well have been the result of a chance visit to see a movie of questionable artistic merit – but the result was fine.

 

 

In a set that you wished wouldn’t end, in front of a crowd that are half loud and vocal and half subdued and relaxed it’s hard to argue that tonight was a winner. Even the wind dies to a whisper as she took the stage.

 

 

As for the new album, with Dave Stewart producing and joining her onstage at several junctures, the overwhelming reaction was extremely positive. By and large the newer material fitted nicely, wasn’t too much of a musical departure (which is a good thing) and allowed the band to do their thing flawlessly.  

 

 

A great night at a great new venue for Perth.

 

By Mark Diggins

Images by Mark Diggins