Stevie Nicks holds one of the most substantial 1980s pop music legacies thanks to her work alone and as a member of Fleetwood Mac. Her show Saturday night at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods casino in Mashantucket was her final stop on a brief run of summer dates, a fresh chance to polish up that chest of memories, even if Nicks is not quite capable of getting them to shine like they once did.
A husky, nasal edge is still her voice's defining trait, but a tool with fewer fine motor skills than it once possessed. The 62-year-old Nicks hammered away in the most general of fashions at her opener, "Fall from Grace," though she had some trouble competing with the robust chug of her 9-piece band.
Nicks sang with an almost detached quality, tugging at the long fabric strands that dangled from her microphone stand while floating through "Outside the Rain" with a nonchalant remove from any spark it may hold. Her phrasing had a scattershot quality, doing the popular Fleetwood Mac song "Dreams" no favors.
Nicks draped her voice over lyrics like it was a horse blanket, which made for a shapeless inflation of "Sorcerer" and a rasp-lined meander through "Gold Dust Woman" that was more insistent than artful. Her singing was the least melodic component of "If Anyone Falls," splattering against its roomy sway.
The show was a dawdler, taking nearly two hours for 15 songs, among which were covers of Tom Petty's "You Wreck Me" and Bob Seger's "Face the Promise," each a feasible vehicle for the percussive jabs that remain within her vocal range. Songs from her own history are much as they ever have been, but her stewardship of them has changed, to the point that she was most effective when she dialed back her singing, resorting to nearly spoken-word handling to make "Landslide" a cool, understated treat.
Nicks remains one of rock's most prominent shawl advocates, sporting them for a number of tunes and holding one aloft while spinning slowly to the bounding pulse of "Stand Back" when not trumpeting its lyrics. Her closing delivery of "Edge of Seventeen" was so much filler in a rendition that had more than its share, from the dragged-out drum solo that preceded it to the flabby jam that extended its back end.
She avoided tunes from her forthcoming album in the encore as she had during her show — she has spoken out against posting of clips online as spoilers for new work, and so isn't giving anyone the chance. Instead, she served as more of a passenger than driver in Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll," but moved to a comfortable finale with a stroll through the puffy "Love Is," evoking hints of the past without ever quite recapturing it.