Sunday, August 08, 2010


Classy Stevie Nicks wows S.B. Bowl crowd
Singer's show a benefit for 8-year-old family friend
By Marjorie Hernandez

It was a night of classic hits as veteran crooner and multiple-Grammy winner Stevie Nicks wowed fans at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Aug. 4 with a barrage of her popular ballads and rock ’n’ roll jams— all to benefit a young girl battling a rare skin disease.

Nicks, who has been working on her seventh solo studio album, took a break from recording to kick off a five-show mini tour at the bowl. In an interview with The Star last month, Nicks said proceeds from this Santa Barbara gig would go towards paying hospital bills for 8-year old Cecilia, a daughter of a family friend who is fighting rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer.

Nicks got the party started early with a spirited performance of Fall From Grace, a rocker from her 2001 Trouble in ShangriLa album that got audience members dancing in their seats. She followed it up with the ballad Outside the Rain. The 62-year-old Nicks looked radiant with her long blond locks and signature bohemian-textured skirts and colorful wraps, which, she joked, are “so old they would disintegrate in front of your eyes.” But they never do, just like me,” Nicks said with a laugh as she launched into “If Anyone Falls.”

Nicks’ cast of talented veteran musicians included longtime lead guitarist and music director Waddy Wachtel, guitarist Carlos Rios, percussionist Taku Hirano, drummer Jimmy Paxton, pianist Daryl Smith and keyboardist Ricky Peterson.

One surprise included the band’s rendition of Bob Seger’s “Face the Promise,” which delighted the enthusiastic audience as Nicks’ raspy voice played off the guitar riffs nicely.

Age is nothing but a number and Nicks proved she still has the vocal chops to hit her notes during a rousing performance of “Rhiannon.” On that 1976 Fleetwood Mac hit, she was ably backed by vocalists Lori Nicks (her sister-in-law) and Sharon Celani.

One of the highlights of the show included a beat master back-and-forth between percussionist Hirano and drummer Paxton, who took turns showing off their skills for more than five minutes before Wachtel appeared on stage and hit the recognizable chords of “Edge of Seventeen.”

The audience jumped to their feet as Nicks belted out the lyrics with strong conviction, while Wachtel and the band also wowed the crowd with their unrelenting energy on stage.

Nicks closed her nearly 90-minute show with an understated but powerful performance of “Love Is,” backed only by her vocalists and Smith on piano.

Before Nicks exited the stage, she thanked the Santa Barbara crowd for helping 8-year old Cecilia and her family, proving that class never goes out of style.

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