Thursday, February 15, 2024

Stevie Nicks Atlantic City Review "The whole show sparkles, literally and figuratively"

Stevie Nicks at Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena / February 10, 2024

By Jake Morell

For those who haven’t seen Stevie Nicks, the first thing you will take note of is her storytelling. The way she speaks between each song was a unique experience; one that isn’t as detailed, heartfelt, or even observed at other concerts. She has probably told these stories thousands of times, yet it felt like she was sharing a story with her best friends for the very first time on this evening in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It felt personal – much like the lyrics that make up the artist’s decade-spanning catalog.

Everything she touched upon was not without reason. She took three to five minutes each time to connect herself the setlist, herself with the audience, and herself with the musicians who helped make the songs we know and love today. For example, she told notable tales about Prince, her Fleetwood Mac family, and Tom Petty. As she eased her way into a beautiful performance of her hit with the latter rockstar, “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” amazing visuals with old pictures of the pair and that moment in time swirled behind her and the band. It was mesmerizing.

The whole show sparkles, literally and figuratively, but the way she takes fans on a journey by awakening multiple senses proves that this tour is the one to go to. It is the definitive Stevie Nicks.

A cosmic, bohemian artist, Nicks’ wardrobe is almost as notable as the songs themselves. Her outfit changes were usually just into a new robe, but with two of them being the original robes from album covers, they held special meaning outside of the way they float around her frame. As Nicks would hop backstage to toss on another look, her band would break out into insane solos. These instrumentals kept the energy up, impressed us all, and became introductions to the songs she was about to come back out and play.

This night in AC was the kick-off of this leg of Nicks’ tour, and like everything she does, it was curated perfectly. There were groovy moments, nostalgic moments, and funny moments, too. Stevie Nicks is authentic and we felt the authenticity in the room, and by the time the gorgeously in-tune encore of “Free Falling,” Rhiannon,” and “Landslide,” came around, that authentic nature had seeped into all of us. Leaving this concert meant leaving with a new appreciation for the songs and the woman behind the songs, but ourselves, as well.

Stevie Nicks has that magic. She always has. And the flow of a Stevie Nicks show is one of peace, ease, and harmony. The way she jumps from story to story and dives into song after song is effortless. Being a performer of passion, whimsy, and honesty is second nature to the rockstar. She told the audience about rehearsing in Atlantic City the week prior to her performance, how she loved the view from her room and the way it reminded her of her home on the pacific. The “Edge of Seventeen” singer could single-handedly change the reputation of the Garden State’s gambling hub with how highly she spoke of AC, the ocean, and the high energy aggression that she only amplified by taking the Etess Arena stage.

Overall, Stevie Nicks’ performance was amazing. She is one of the most talented vocalists for her age, and the talented band behind her was just phenomenal as they played off each other, but with each other, too. The production of show was amazing – from the visuals to the light show to the order of the setlist. To reiterate, we highly recommend anyone to go see her on this tour, because it very much is the definitive Stevie Nicks.

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