The Week In Reviews

Britney, Fleetwood Mac, Nickelback, NKOTB and tobyMAC were just a few of the artists and bands whose performances were reviewed in local newspapers. Wanna see what you missed?

Fleetwood Mac in Boston – “Nicks had the spotlight early with an easy-thumping ‘Thunder’ and then a marvelously soaring ‘Gypsy.’ Buckingham’s really shone with the older tune ‘I Go Insane,’ ripping off brain-curdling guitar lines. Right after that Nicks came gliding out for a ‘Rhiannon’ that the rhythm section of drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie pushed into a pounding rock finish.” – Patriot-Ledger

Nickelback in Columbus, Ohio – “True enough, Kroeger’s fixation with sex and drink brought some of the evening’s biggest raves. But the sight of macho guys swaying to sentimental power ballads such as ‘Far Away’ while sloppily hugging their girlfriend or spouse indicated that Nickelback was striking another chord. Though after the carousing songs the romantic tunes might just have sounded like sweet-talking come-ons, nobody in the house seemed to take them that way.” – The Columbus Dispatch

New Kids On The Block in Tulsa – “They pulled out most of their infectious old dance-pop favorites and sweet bubblegummy ballads – ‘My Favorite Girl,’ ‘Step by Step,’ ‘If You Go Away,’ ‘I’ll Be Loving You Forever’ – and the fans gleefully danced, waved their arms or swayed to each song. If the choreography and vocals weren’t always quite as honed as they used to be, the vast majority of the audience didn’t seem to notice or care.” – The Oklahoman

Naughty By Nature in Toronto – “Last night at the notorious Circa nightclub in Toronto, Treach still brought fire, eventually ripping his wife beater undershirt into pieces and showing off massive arm muscles – if not also the gut of a 38-year-old man. It was a good hip-hop audience, guys almost exclusively wore hoodies and ball caps, women had two options: ball caps and hoodies or motorcycle boots with barely-there mini-skirts.” – The National Post

Phish in Hampton, Virginia – “Sunday’s show was an absolute success, and it had finally become clear that Phish was on its way back to reclaim their title as one of the greatest American live acts. Over the three-day period the group played more than ninety songs, with a different set list each night.” – The M.I.T. Tech

Photo: AP Photo
Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, Va.

/ tobyMAC – “With an LED display board tucked at the rear of the stage, the players’ platform movements were backed by video and plenty of colorful stage design. None shined more so than the singularly named Shonlock. His dancing and background vocals peppered the action, and they played nicely off of the generous Toby. Gabe Patillo and Nirva Dorsaint-Ready also took turns singing lead.” – The Grand Rapids Press

Dropkick Murphys in Boston – “Sometimes the music felt like an afterthought, a perfect soundtrack for the surrounding madness. Beer rained down from cans lobbed at the stage. A whirlpool of mostly young guys shoving off one another like crazed pinballs rippled across the floor. Bodies bobbed up and down like fishing corks in the mosh pit near the front.” – The Boston Globe

Britney Spears in Uniondale, NY – “From the tour’s title — ‘The Circus Starring Britney Spears’ — on down, the night was rife with blunt-force imagery: Ms. Spears locked in a cage and working her way out, Ms. Spears suspended in a picture frame, Ms. Spears as a ringmaster wielding a whip. During many segments of the show she and her dancers wore bondage-inspired outfits reminiscent of early-’90s modes of sexual transgression.” – The New York Times

Reba McEntire at RodeoHouston – “What gets McEntire over so well with the female demographic isn’t her looks or her sass. It’s always been her storytelling. The desperate party girl in ‘Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ or the silent longing of a woman who made choices early on, that still leave her wanting more, in ‘Is There Life Out There?’ The teenage prostitute in ‘Fancy’ goes through hell to get to heaven and comes out snarling and victorious on the other side.” – Houston Press

Adele in Tempe, AZ – “Accompanied by her killer band, Adele effortlessly poured through her songs while standing at the microphone, without any stage antics beyond moving her hands beneath her boldly colored poncho or playing with her hair during instrumental breaks. ‘Melt My Heart to Stone’ and ‘Right as Rain’ sounded even fuller live than they do on the studio versions, showing off the impressive range and depth of the singer’s voice.” – The Arizona Republic

Busta Rhymes in NYC – “His entertaining start-stop tour through his catalog on Tuesday covered more than 20 songs and skipped plenty of great ones. But what he performed was a testament to versatility: songs that emphasize his Jamaican heritage, ‘Make It Clap’ and ‘Uh Ooh (remix)’; roughneck anthems, ‘Ante Up (remix),’ on which he was joined by the rowdy M.O.P.; collaborations with Mariah Carey, ‘I Know What You Want,’ with Ms. Carey sadly absent. Nothing from his early days with Leaders of the New School, though.” – The New York Times