Monday, April 21, 2008

Stevie Nicks thrills Mohegan Sun crowd

by The Republican
Monday April 21, 2008, 9:23 AM


UNCASVILLE, CT - While it may not have been as it was billed, the "Very Best of Stevie Nicks," the Sunday night performance at Mohegan Sun turned out to be the least of Stevie Nicks. The singer recited her biggest hits during a too short 13-song set in front of a sold out crowd.

Except for a few occasions, most notably a relatively earnest version of "Rhiannon," many of Nicks' offerings were more recited than rendered with any passion. If it was the "best" it was only in relative sense.

She opened with "Stand Back," relenting to her trademark twirl with her outstretched arms draped in a sheer cape. Following with "Enchanted," and "If Anyone Falls in Love," the night seemed filled with nostalgic promise.

Nicks can still hit all the notes and while her vocal mix both on stage and off (she spent much of the early part of the night adjusting the volume on her ear piece) seemed a little harsh, it was more the memories the songs inspired that carried the performance.

The first real stumble of the night was an ill-advised cover of Dave Matthews' "Crash" a song Nicks has recorded for an upcoming PBS "Soundstage" show that will air in the summer. It was a truly amateurish interpretation of the song.

Nicks recovered with the aforementioned "Rhiannon," and followed it up with "Dreams," telling stories of how the songs were written. She also offered some insight into the early years when she and Lindsey Buckingham were dropped from Polydor "waiting for Fleetwood Mac to come find us," and she went back to waiting tables.

"It's not very show biz-like to stand up here and tell these stories but what do I care," she said. "I'm almost 60 years old." After digesting that morsel of reality, the crowd was rescued with strong versions of "Gold Dust Woman," and "Landslide," which Nicks dedicated, as always, to her late father.

She introduced the band, and the audience tolerated a drum / percussion duet and Waddy Wachtel guitar solo simply because they recognized the riff of "Edge of Seventeen."

Nicks was called back to encore and delivered a strong cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll," finishing the song with a primal scream. She finished the show with "Beauty and the Beast."

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