Saturday, October 08, 2022

Stevie Nicks enjoyed two triumphant nights in Southern California

Stevie Nicks Current Tour A Joyous Celebration Of A Rock Icon By Both Fans And Artist
by Steve Baltin

At the time of his death from cancer in 2016, David Bowie was widely and rightly regarded as arguably the greatest rock star of all time. Certainly, he is very high on the short list. However, Bowie did not have a top ten studio album in the U.S. from 1983's Let's Dance to 2013's The Next Day.

Fame is an insanely fickle game. And you can take all the top scientists and statisticians in the world, lock them in a room for a year and they would never be able to figure out the algorithm for fame. It does not exist.

Take the case of the iconic Stevie Nicks. This past weekend Nicks enjoyed two triumphant nights in Southern California, first headlining night one of Eddie Vedder's Ohana Festival Friday night. She followed that with a sold-out show Monday before an adoring crowd at the Hollywood Bowl.

So, what changed? As stated, it's hard to know for sure since fame is determined by so many moving parts. But one can point to quite a few factors and speculate. There was the insane TikTok "Dreams" phenomenon that catapulted that Mac song back to the top of the charts. Then there was Nicks induction into the Rock Hall as a solo artist in 2019. And, maybe most of all, the incredible admiration she has received from a new generation of stars, from Harry Styles and Taylor Swift to HAIM. So between TikTok and Harry Styles billions of fans under 20 have had a chance to discover Nicks and her status as a true rock and roll queen. On Friday, at Ohana, Pearl Jam frontman Vedder joined Nicks to sing the Tom Petty portion of "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."

Maybe far more important than what brought about the well-deserved renaissance is that, as she showed at both shows, Nicks is thriving with the adulation. Nicks has been very careful touring as a result of COVID so in the last few years she has done only a handful of appearances.

It was very evident watching her last weekend how much she missed the road. During a show-stopping "Gold Dust Woman" she twirled and danced around the stage with the reckless glee of a 20-year-old in a mosh pit. Between songs she engaged with the audience so much that during the Bowl show, before the beautiful "Soldier's Angel," dedicated to the people of Ukraine, she joked with the crowd about being on a script so as not to run too long and go over.

She told stories about why she chose to cover Buffalo Springfield's 1967 classic protest anthem, "For What It's Worth," as her latest single, and about the creation of "Landslide." That she could make the crowd laugh as she told a story about writing it in a random millionaire's mansion, then bring the crowd to tears with a perfect version of one of the 10 most poignant songs ever penned in rock was just part of the magic of these shows.

So maybe the better question is what makes these shows so special to Nicks, who is clearly at the absolute pinnacle of her performance because she is so clearly loving being on the road.

Again, this would be speculation, though I did speak to the forthcoming and captivating Nicks for 90 minutes in 2020. At that point she offered a profound tribute to fallen friends like Tom Petty, who she honored multiple times at the Bowl. She came out to Petty's "Running Down A Dream" and covered "Free Fallin,'" in the encore. At the time of our talk she spoke about losing so many friends.

So maybe having suffered so much loss, Nicks is appreciating being on the road and the rapport with her friends with a renewed vigor. Or maybe she just missed touring. Whatever the case may be Nicks showed at both shows the admiration and love between her and her growing legion of fans is very mutual and appreciated by all. The result is an incredibly joyous evening celebrating a true rock icon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely love her saw her at shoreline June 12 2022 will be there in Phoenix Nov 5 2022 she is brilliant passionate, a joy to experience God bless Stevie Nicks

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