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Nicks delights in rare area solo stop

Saturday night concert finds legendary singer showcasing solid new album

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Stevie Nicks in concert Saturday night. (Blade photo by Joey DiGuglielmo)

Stevie Nicks, in her first D.C.-area solo concert since the 2006 “Gold Dust Tour,” played Jiffy Lube (formerly Nissan) in a Live Nation-backed concert Saturday night that found the beguiling singer/songwriter lavishly showcasing her new album but also parsing her set list with plenty of hits to mostly keep everyone happy.

Copies of the set list floating through the crowd before the show — as well as reviews from other stops on the current “In Your Dreams Tour” —  were a tad misleading. While Nicks technically only sang 14 songs (six from the new record), it didn’t feel as skimpy as it looked on paper. With several anecdotes peppered throughout, two lengthy solos (one keyboard, another percussion) and a few lengthy outros that gave the band time to jam while Nicks changed clothes, it felt pretty robust, clocking in at nearly two hours. With Nicks’ impressive discography, both solo material and her decades of work in Fleetwood Mac, I’d hoped she’d slip in a few more songs but the evening admittedly had a nice flow. She never seemed rushed, never plowing through her set like she was crossing off a grocery list.

The evening’s most pleasant surprises were twofold: first, the proximity to Walter Reed nearly choked Nicks up as she introduced the jangly, sparse “Soldier’s Angel,” an ode to the troops that, despite its faithful live rendering, worked better live than it does on the album. Second, Nicks’ vocals were astoundingly sturdy. She didn’t wail and tear it up like she did in the old days, but there was a strength and shimmer to them I’d never heard before. She was aware of it too and credited vocal coach Steve Real, with whom she duetted on “Leather and Lace,” with the improvement. You never expect bell-like clarity from Nicks — the sandy patches in her timbre are a big part of her calling card — but she’s still finding largely untapped wells of reserve in her instrument in her fourth decade of performing. Pretty amazing. It was most noticeable on long, climactic notes on “Moonlight,” chestnut “Landslide” and show closer “Love Is.” The only disappointment is that she and cohort Dave Stewart didn’t capture more of it on the new album, where it’s only hinted at.

The new cuts — she’d been out of the studio for nearly a decade — stood up surprisingly well to her classic cuts. She also seemed to genuinely enjoy herself. At times she defers too much to Mac-mate Lindsey Buckingham when they perform together and can come off nearly catatonic compared to his wild man stage antics, but Saturday night she helmed her tight, nine-piece band in a sizzling, exquisitely paced show.

Stevie’s set:
1. Stand Back
2. Secret Love
3. Dreams
4. Moonlight
5. Gold Dust Woman
6. Soldier’s Angel
7. Annabel Lee
8. For What It’s Worth
* piano interlude
9. Rhiannon
10. Landslide
11. Ghosts Are Gone
* band intros
12. Leather and Lace
* percussion solo
13. Edge of 17
14. Love Is (encore)

 

 

 

 

 

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Miscellaneous

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Bars & Parties

Beyonce vs. Rihanna dance party

Music provided by DJ Just Different at Union Stage

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R² Productions LLC and Union Stage are teaming up to host  R² Productions’ inaugural “MEGA Dance Party” on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at Union Stage at The Wharf.

The event will be a night full of dancing to music by pop stars Beyonce and Rihanna. DJ Just Different will be performing at the event. 

General Admission tickets cost $25 and Premier Plus tickets cost $35. For more information about ticket purchases, visit Union Stage’s website.

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Miscellaneous

The evolution of the open house

The more sophisticated the advertising, the more the events flourished

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From car giveaways in the 1950s to today’s QR codes and virtual events, agents have used diverse strategies to draw buyers to open houses.

In the early 20th century, there were no exclusive agreements between a seller and a real estate agent. Any broker who knew of someone wanting to sell could participate in an “open listing” by planting his sign in the yard of that person and competing with agents from other brokerages who did the same. To the victor who obtained a buyer went the spoils of commission.

The rules began to change in 1919, when being a real estate broker now required a license. An agent might handle only one property at a time exclusively, but an “open for inspection” period could be used to introduce a model home or new community to the buying population. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, Dallas homebuilder, Howdy Howard, hosted one of the most successful open houses of all time in the 1950s. During the first 12 days of the event, an estimated 100,000 people attended, drawn by free sodas and the ultimate prize for the buyer – a new Cadillac.

Soon, brokers began hiring additional agents who could handle multiple properties. Unlike Howard’s marathon open house, agents would now host them for a few hours at a time, usually on a Sunday, to whet the appetite of the buyer pool. 

Classified advertisements with a description of a property would be placed in a local newspaper and potential buyers would review them with their morning coffee to decide which houses to visit later in the day. 

Marketing in newspapers went from a few lines of black and white text to a photo of a home’s exterior, to a multi-page spread that included both photos of houses and the agents who represented them.

The more sophisticated the advertising became, the more the open house flourished as a marketing tool, not only for the home itself, but also for the agent and the brokerage. It allowed agents to prospect for buyers for that home and others, and converse with neighbors who might want to sell their homes as well. 

Soon, the sign-in sheet was born, used by the agent to capture the contact information of a potential client or customer and to let the seller know who had visited his home. While sign-in sheets or cards are still used, some agents have gravitated to electronic applications, using a tablet computer instead of paper for the same purpose.

Fast forward to the early 2000s in D.C., when open houses became the primary source of showing property. An agent would enter a property into the multiple listing service (MLS) on a Thursday, entertain no showings until Saturday, host an open house on Sunday afternoon, and call for offers either Sunday night or Monday. The open house allowed agents to send their buyers rather than accompany them and serve multiple clients at once.  

The delayed showing day strategy referenced above has since been supplanted by the MLS’s Coming Soon status. Agents can now email or text links to upcoming properties to their clients in advance of showing availability and the clients can view photos, read property descriptions and disclosures, and schedule future visits accordingly.

Enter COVID-19. Due to the proliferation of the virus and the subsequent lockdown, the real estate world had to accommodate new public health requirements. 

One of the first things to go was the open house. Even agent showings were constrained, with visitors limited to an agent plus two people and additional requirements for wearing masks and disposable shoe covers and gloves. 

Overlapping appointments were not allowed, showings were limited to 15 to 30 minutes, and bottles of hand sanitizer sprung up on kitchen counters everywhere.

Ultimately, technology and ingenuity provided new marketing avenues for agents that included 3-D virtual open houses, Facetime and Duo viewings, videos, property websites and QR codes. Many of these marketing techniques remain, even though traditional open houses are coming back post-lockdown.

But are they really necessary? Certainly not for all types of properties. 

I believe the days of using a public open house to procure a buyer are limited. Agent security has become a concern and the desire for in-person viewings during a specific day or time has waned. 

On the other hand, Internet marketing and social media have a much wider reach, so much so that some people now feel comfortable buying a home – probably the most expensive item they will ever purchase – without even stepping into it until after closing.

After all, if we can work in sweatpants or pajamas while Zooming corporate meetings, how can naked virtual reality house hunting be far behind?

Valerie M. Blake is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia with RLAH Real Estate. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.

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