Monday, August 30, 2010

(Review) Stevie Nicks a strong, elegant, presence at Foxwoods

By Margaret Smith
GateHouse News Service
August 30, 2010
Mashantucket, Conn. —

The glamorous trappings were there – the black lace, the white shawl, blond hair – but for Stevie Nicks and her packed house at MGM Grand at Foxwoods Saturday, the thread throughout was the beat.

The Fleetwood Mac principal and solo performer, synonymous with all things ethereal, took to the stage with an elegant presence underscored by a strong, percussive sound. Her imagery and characters may have a celestial touch, but her delivery was firmly planted on terra firma.

With a back screen projecting elemental images – such as falling rain, and for “Edge of Seventeen,” the archetypal white-winged dove, soaring in dream-like slow motion through space – the set list was a delight for Nicks fans with much-loved favorites, such as “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” and “Stand Back.”

But, the woman who gave rock its feminine side also drew inspiration from some of the guys -- with inspired renditions of songs by Bob Seger, her long-time friends Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and ended with a nod to the past – Led Zeppelin’s “Rock And Roll.”

Standards such as “Gold Dust Woman” – the dark, heady exit cut on Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” – probably did as much as Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” to inspire a generation of gothic bands. On this night, the song’s sepulchral spirit lived again, only fresh, new, and disquieting as ever.

Nicks gave a much-deserved nod to her band, and long-time musical director, Waddy Wachtel, for helping to bring the vitality to a body of work sometimes dismissed as flighty and delicate, and detached from worldly cares.

But this has never really been true. Few coming of age songs resonate are as plaintive “Landslide,” which evoked a spontaneous, choir-like response as the audience sang along. Or “Edge of Seventeen,” which is more than about a longing for a forbidden love; it’s a mature woman’s acceptance of its truth.

And, “Still of The Night ”and “Outside The Rain,” from Nicks’ first solo album, “Bella Donna,” not as celebrated as other songs from this album, but jewels in their unadorned arrangements, and lyrics filled with passion and yearning for resolution.

In recent years, Nicks has infused a great deal more playful banter with her audience in her shows, with charmingly self-deprecating references to “Alice in Wonderland” and many warm salutes to people in her life who have inspired her works. It's hard not to feel that everyone is friends at her concert, because that is how she treats her audience -- another enduring Nicks hallmark.

The only missing feature was a signature of Nicks’ performances – changes of costume, each signifying various facets of the identities evoked in her songs.

But this too many signify a sea change – in case anyone should doubt it, it always has been about the music, and a great music maker who now as ever does more than just rock a little.


Anonymous said...

Loved this review!!!

Anonymous said...

Is she still doing the stage walk ? i hope that NEVER changes i have two handshakes and some awsome pic's for my memories.

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