Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
From the beginning of her career - the early days with the Stone Ponics - through the years of small clubs to her present superstar status, Linda Ronstadt's voice has become ever more agile, clean and powerful.
Now, when it seems impossible that she could improve, she has shaken off the last traces of the shyness that once haunted her performances.
Dressed "Silk Purse"-style in cutoffs and tied up shirt, Ronstadt held Thursday night's overflow crowd at Merriweather Post Pavilion, where she is appearing through tonight, completely enthralled. Both her better-known numbers and cuts from her latest album were greeted with cheers and applause.
Ronstadt's voice is complemented perfectly by her choice of material. It is hard to imagine any other popular singer attempting the vocal pyrotechnics of such demanding songs as "Lose Again" or Willing Nelson's torchy "Crazy."
Since the departure of Andrew Gold, Ronstadt has rearranged much of the material to feature Waddy Wachtel and Kenny Edwards. With the extra emphasis on the electric guitars, the entire set has gained energy.
The concert was opened by gueststar Bernie Leadon. Leadon, former Eagle and Flying Burrito brother, reportedly fled the aerie to escape the rigors of touring life. Instead he seems to have opted for more basic rock 'n' roll.