Sunday, May 19, 2024

Review - An enchanting evening with Stevie Nicks in San Antonio, TX May 18, 2024

Concert review: Stevie Nicks casts a spell on San Antonio fans
By Jim Kiest, Staff writer - San Antonio Express News
Photos: Marvin Pfeiffer

She’s still Stevie.

That could be the name of the one-woman show embedded in Stevie Nicks’ concert Saturday night at the Frost Bank Center.

For an hour and a half, Nicks wove solo hits, Fleetwood Mac classics and stories — autobiography, music history and a little fashion — into an enchanting evening.

Some of the stories were as long, and entertaining, as the songs they introduced.

She described “Gypsy,” for example, as a recollection of the happy if impoverished days before she and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, a band neither were that familiar with. Fortune and fame quickly followed.

Nicks said sometimes she would drag the mattress off her bed and sleep on the floor, with a coverlet and some flowers, to remind herself that “I am still Stevie.”

The audience on Saturday night ranged from baby boomers to millennials, a much bigger age range than at, say, the recent Heart concert. The most popular fashion choices, though, lived in a gauzy stretch of the '70s: flowing dresses, lace, fringe-lined shawls and bell-bottom slacks.

Nicks said fans actually had complained that she had stopped wearing capes and shawls onstage, so she brought some along on this tour, including the original cape from the back cover of “Bella Donna” and the cape she wore in the music video for “Stand Back.”

Her band didn’t try to replicate the sound of Fleetwood Mac. It was a sleek and strong rock band led by Nicks’ longtime friend and collaborator Waddy Wachtel on lead guitar. The difference was never starker than on “Gold Dust Woman,” which Wachtel and guitarist Carlos Rios cracked open and tore apart as Nicks appeared to be invoking ancient spirits. It was the highlight of the night.

Solo hits came closer to the mark: Wachtel played on the originals, and there’s a keyboard sound on them that’s like a Wayback Machine to the '80s.

Fleetwood Mac was a group project. Nicks' band, as good as it is, is designed to cede her the spotlight — literally, at the end of some songs, when the band members, all dressed in black, faded into the dark, leaving Nicks to take a theatrical bow.

She told story after story in that spotlight.

About how she lived in El Paso for five years and almost learned to speak perfect Spanish before her family moved to Salt Lake, Utah, where there wasn’t so much Spanish spoken.

About how Jimmy Iovine, her producer and boyfriend, brought her a song by another artist he was working with because “Bella Donna” didn’t have a sure winner yet. “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” was the hit her first solo album needed, and she and Tom Petty became lifelong friends.

About how she wrote “Leather and Lace” for Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter but grabbed it back when she learned they were getting divorced. And how she still sings so well at almost 76 (she does) because she’s been working with the same vocal coach, Steve Real, since 1995. She brought him onstage to sing “Leather and Lace” with her. It was like swapping Don Henley for Raul Malo and absolutely none the worse for it.

A song that wasn’t preceded by a story was the one that ended the concert, “Landslide.” The story was in the montage of photos of Christine McVie, the Fleetwood Mac member who died in 2022, that played on the Cinerama-style screen over the stage.

Nicks said she never looks back at the photos when she sings the song because the loss of her friend is still so painful.

She said her mother once remarked, “When you’re hurt, you run to the stage, Stevie.”

“You are the people who are making me good,” she told her fans.

McVie’s song “Got a Hold on Me” played as they filed out of the arena. Perfect.

Outside The Rain / Dreams / If Anyone Falls

Stand Back

Wild Heart / Bella Donna

For What It's Worth

Leather and Lace


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