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Flint Journal (06/20/2005), Henley, Nicks generate warmth, if not heat < Stevie Nicks < Main Page

Flint Journal (06/20/2005), Henley, Nicks generate warmth, if not heat

Flint Journal, June 20, 2005 

Henley, Nicks generate warmth, if not heat
by Doug Pullen

CLARKSTON - There are a lot of hits, a lot of stories, a lot of years and a lot of miles between them. Yet Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks and the Eagles' Don Henley never toured together, with their bands or as solo artists, until this month.

With a solo tour looming and the future of her band in doubt, Nicks invited her old friend and former boyfriend Henley to join her on a 10-city tour, the ninth stop of which was Saturday night at DTE Energy Music Theatre.

They didn't generate the kind of heat they might have 30 years ago, when real sparks flew between them. But there was a genuine warmth when Nicks and Henley shared the stage for three songs during his opening set, three more during hers and an encore of "Leather and Lace," the one hit they recorded together. They didn't generate the kind of turnout you'd expect either, especially from artists with their star power and track records. The 16,000-seat amphitheater was little more than half full, probably because the reserved seats cost a hefty $90.

Both played it safe, relying almost entirely on their solo and band hits instead of surprises. Both sets had a perfunctory quality, at least at first, and it's too bad that neither singer let their bands cut loose a little more.

Henley's set built slowly as he and his salty tenor warmed gradually on an evening cool enough to prompt the Texan to pull on a light coat.

Henley said a friend of his who lives in northern Michigan told him that summer in Michigan was "three months of bad sledding." His show was nearly 90 minutes of smooth sailing, his voice and six-piece band picking up steam as the night progressed.

His dozen songs balanced the obvious with the durable, with a timely "Dirty Laundry," a soulful "Heart of the Matter" and a poignant, faithful "Desperado," which closed the set. Nicks lent her husky bellow to a perfunctory "Hotel California" and lovely versions of "New York Minute" and "The Last Perfect Evening."

Nicks' set was no less hit-filled, but it was more uneven, due largely to instrumental breaks that allowed for several costume changes and adjustments. Like Henley, it took a few songs for her voice to get into shape. The crowd ate up the songs from "Rumours," the classic Fleetwood Mac album from 1976 that made her a star, and loved the histrionics of "Stand Back," with journeyman Waddy Wachtel providing the chugging guitar line.

But Henley's reappearance made things more interesting - the ex-boyfriend singing the part of the other ex-boyfriend (Mac's Lindsey Buckingham) whose philandering inspired "Gold Dust Woman," which ended with the pair slow dancing.

He also filled in ably for Tom Petty on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and duetted sweetly with Nicks on Bonnie Raitt's bittersweet breakup song "Circle Dance."

Henley discovery Julianna Raye opened with a brief set of Joni Mitchell-inspired folk-pop. She's got a beautiful voice and a bright future with better material.

That's not the issue with Henley and Nicks, who, at 57, look and sound pretty darn good, even if they did play it safe.

Date: 2005-06-20         Number of views: 1811

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