Tuesday’s show at the Sprint Center was a jukebox bonanza, a career-spanning showcase by two performers with dozens of hit albums and scores of Top 40 hits between them.
Rod Stewart was the headliner, but he appeared first, to introduce the opener and co-headliner, Stevie Nicks, who came fashioned and equipped like the main event: with a seven-piece band, two backup singers and her own video show.
Nicks spent her 70-minute set digging through her solo catalog, playing a song (“Sorcerer”) off her upcoming album, covering a Tom Petty song (“You Wreck Me”) and obliging everyone with four of her best-known Fleetwood Mac titles: “Dreams,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.”
She and her band set cast the same warm, mid-tempo vibe for most of the set, except for the Petty cover and then the raucous 12-minute version of “Edge of Seventeen,” which also drew the biggest ovation.
I didn’t notice any Rhiannon/gypsy fashion in the crowd, but it’s obvious Nicks remains a heroine to a lot of women who have looked up to her since the “Fleetwood Mac” album. She is 62 and doesn’t have the dance moves nor the vocal range, heft or timbre she did back then, but she can still handle those tunes, especially “Landslide,” one of the evening’s highlights.
She would return during the main set to join Stewart on two songs, but not before he arrived amid a gale of glitz and glamour and lit the fuse on a set that lasted 15 minutes short of two hours.
He is 66 years old but also the father of a 2-month-old son ... forever young and sexy, indeed. Tuesday’s show was his second in Kansas City in less than two years (he was at the Sprint Center in July 2009), his third in four years (Kemper Arena on April 13, 2007). Anyone who has been to more than one of those knows he doesn’t change his show much. Tuesday’s 21-song setlist had 14 songs in common with the show in ’09.
It would have been nice to hear something more meaningful like “Mandolin Wind,” “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” “Country Comfort” or “Gasoline Alley” instead of “Tonight’s the Night” or (for lord’s sake) his cover of Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s a Heartache.” But Stewart and his orchestra of dancers, singers and musicians – including Kansas City native and drummer/percussionist Matt O’Conner -- have this show down pat, polished to a Vegas-revue sheen.
He brought out Nicks early so they could duet on a song from each catalog. She chose “Passion,” one of his more inconsequential hits. He chose “Leather and Lace,” which she originally recorded with Don Henley. It was a peculiar matching, peculiar in an amusing way: She, dressed in black, seemed bemused by his randy-dandy-ness, exemplified by his neon-gold suit coat and the women in his troupe, who were dressed in skimpy, cherry-red cocktail dresses. During one of his wardrobe changes, he gave the stage to his backup singers/dancers, who performed the Eddie Floyd hit “Knock on Wood.”
In the same manner he launched and volleyed soccer balls all over the crowd (he still has slick foot skills) – another of his rituals – Stewart tossed hit after hit after hit at a crowd of about 9,000. The response would not hit fever pitch all night, but it did percolate a few times, like during standards like “Twistin’ the Night Away”” and “Reason to Believe.” The loudest cheer may have been when the videographer focused in on the Kansas City Chiefs logo on the side of O’Connor’s kick drum during his solo.
He ended his formal set with “Maggie May,” letting the crowd sing the first verse for him. He sandwiched that one between “Hot Legs” and then his encore, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy.” I don’t know about sexy, but it’s evident a lot of fans still think both of these stars are appealing and attractive and worthy of a night on the town.
Stevie Nicks: Stand Back; Outside the Rain; Dreams; Secret Love; Sorcerer; Gold Dust Woman; You Wreck Me (Tom Petty cover); piano interlude; Rhiannon; Landslide; Edge of Seventeen. Encore: Love Is
Rod Stewart: Love Train; Tonight’s the Night; Havin’ a Party; Passion (with Stevie Nicks); Leather and Lace (with Stevie Nicks); Forever Young; The First Cut is the Deepest; This Old Heart of Mine; Twistin’ the Night Away; Some Guys Have All the Luck; Downtown Train; Reason to Believe; You’re In My Heart; Sweet Little Rock and Roller; It’s a Heartache; Rhythm of My Heart; Knock on Wood (backup singers); Have I Told You Lately; Hot Legs; Maggie May. Encore: Do Ya Think I’m Sexy