This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Taylor Swift in Paris; Eric Clapton in San Francisco; Lizzo in Tampa Bay; Fleetwood Mac in Auckland, New Zealand; Dave Matthews Band in San Francisco; and ZZ Top in Burgettstown, Pa.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP – Taylor Swift headlines this year
In this picture, she struts the Wango Tango stage at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, June 1.
Taylor Swift @ Olympia Hall in Paris, France, Sept. 10 – “You couldn’t buy tickets to this show. Instead, fans from 37 countries around the globe were able to win access through various competitions, meaning the crowd is full of diehard Swifties kitted out in homemade merch and brandishing handwritten signs.
“The result of having fans from across the globe is an electric atmosphere. The lyrics to each song – even those that have only been out a few weeks – are bellowed back to the singer, and revellers hush one another while Swift is talking so they can hear her better. Other personal touches include a ginormous screen showing messages that fans had written, and LED wristbands that flicker and flash in sync to the music.” – Hannah Mylrea / NME
Eric Clapton @ Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 11 – “The fans were thrilled to see him take the stage, but they grew noticeably less enthusiastic as the night progressed and Clapton continued to skip the rock hits and meander through the blues. The one early highlight was Clapton’s popular take on Bob Marley’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff,’ which was delivered with a bit more intensity than usual, especially when it came time for the slowly escalating guitar solo.
“The vibe got more sleepy from there as Clapton entered into a four-song acoustic segment, which nearly lost the crowd until he picked out the opening notes of his most popular acoustic number — ‘Tears in Heaven.’” – Jim Harrington / The Mercury News
Lizzo @ Yuengling Center in Tampa Bay, Fla., Sept. 10 – “For the majority-female crowd, Lizzo’s words landed like gospel from on high. It was as if they’d all bought tickets for a pop show but wound up in a self-empowerment seminar — only no one complained, because at a Lizzo concert, they’re basically one and the same.” – Jay Cridlin / Tampa Bay Times
Greg Allen / GregAllenPhotos.com – Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac
Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
Fleetwood Mac @ Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, Sept. 12 – “At first the crowd was typically Auckland. Sitting through the apocalypse of that opening song and barely nodding their heads to keyboardist Christine McVie’s mega-hit Little Lies which immediately followed. It felt like people were waiting for an invitation to cut loose and jump up out of their seats.
Taking matters in hand Stevie Nicks, clad in her traditional witchy black, addressed the crowd right after. ‘Let’s get this party started,’ she said as the band floated into her sublime hit Dreams and the crowd finally woke up.” – Karl Puschmann / New Zealand Herald
Dave Matthews Band @ Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 10 – “Who knew that ‘Back in Black’ and ‘Stayin’ Alive’ were essentially the same song? Dave Matthews Band and its frontman have made a living out of experimenting—both in the studio and onstage in front of thousands—so it’s nice to imagine how the group would have figured that out by accident. DMB broke out a rollicking mash-up of the AC/DC and Bee Gees tunes two thirds of the way through its nearly three-hour show at the new Chase Center.” – Roman Gokhman / Riff Magazine
ZZ Top @
KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa., Sept. 11 – “The Burgettstown crowd was old enough to sing along with ZZ Top’s cover of the old coal mining country ode ‘16 Tons.’ The band had dusted off that song while in London in a show with Jeff Beck, explained Gibbons, who then conjured a fiery Beck-ish intro borrowing from the British guitar genius’ ‘I Ain’t Superstitious.’” – Scott Tady / Ellwood City Ledger