PHILADELPHIA – They aren’t the most obvious of pairings – Mr. Baseball Cap New Yawker and The Ethereal Goddess of Capes.
But Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks’ co-headlining romp through stadiums is effectively billed as “Two Icons, One Night” because despite their stylistic differences, their catalogs share the commonality of depth and endurance.
Their encore songs alone – the mesmerizing “Rhiannon” and sensitive “Landslide” for Nicks and a string of jukebox favorites including a bouncy “Uptown Girl” and pungent “It’s Still Rock And Roll to Me” for Joel – would top most artists’ repertoires.
But for these two, those songs are a mere smattering of their creative brilliance in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and exactly what a football stadium packed with fans wants to hear.
No surprise at the mighty roar of a crowd response Friday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, the third show of the joint outing that will play cities including Baltimore, Minneapolis and Arlington, Texas, through March.
A tribute to Tina Turner
As with recent performances, Nicks took the stage at sunset for about an hour and 45 minutes and Joel closed the night with two hours of radio fodder and fan favorites (hi, “Captain Jack”).
Though no one expects – or wants – any drastic deviations from their adroitly crafted setlists, a couple of spotlight moments emerged.
Joel, 74, offered Tom Petty-esque vocals to counter Nicks, 75, on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (it wasn’t the tidiest of duets as Joel missed his cue to start singing and then his microphone blanked for several seconds). And during Joel’s percussive “River of Dreams,” he and his exemplary band swung into Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High,” with the multifaceted Crystal Taliefero belting and brass masters Mark Rivera and Carl Fischer coating the tribute with spiky horns.
Stevie Nicks conjures spirits, expels emotions
Nicks, looking resplendent in layers of black, her crimped blond hair flowing halfway down her back, offered her comforting warble on both solo and Fleetwood Mac treasures.
The overlooked “If Anyone Falls” paired with “Gypsy,” allowing Nicks’ two backup singers to add plushness to the choruses.