Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Stevie Nicks finishes in a downpour - Charlotte, NC Review

What will I remember most about Lovin’ Life? Probably when Stevie Nicks made it rain.

May 6, 

There was a moment on Saturday night, shortly after Stevie Nicks took the stage at the Lovin’ Life Music Fest in uptown Charlotte, when I suddenly thought to myself, STEVIE, what in the world are you doing?? Stop it!!

To that point, the festival had weathered 18-1/2 hours over two days and nights without encountering more than a couple of gentle showers despite ominous forecasts. But then the witchiest member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame got just one song into her highly anticipated set and went ahead and said this:

“We have prayed for no rain all day — and every day for the past week — and look! There’s no rain right now.”

I knew, immediately, what was going to happen before the night was through. When the drenching downpour was unleashed over the inaugural outdoor festival a little over an hour later, however, the outcome took me by genuine surprise.

It was not something dismal. It was something divine.

Stevie Nicks finishes in a downpour

Like I said, she jinxed it.

Less than 10 minutes shy of 11 p.m. on Saturday — as Nicks charged through an encore that started with a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” and continued with her appropriately witchy rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” — a spitting rain turned into a spouting rain, then a steady one.

Anyone who didn’t have a poncho was drenched by the end of “Rhiannon.” It wasn’t letting up, either. Yet she refused to rush things.

“For this last song,” she told the huge crowd, which was sticking it out through what had become a monsoon, “I would like to tell you that usually right now I talk a little bit about Christine McVie, my friend that I lost awhile ago. ... But tonight, I’m gonna change it up. ...

“I would like to dedicate this song to the four officers that were lost,” Nicks continued, referring to those killed in Charlotte last Monday. “We came in just about when it all happened, and turned on the television and there it was. And I just want you to know — from the bottom of my heart — how sorry I am.”

There were other tributes from other artists throughout the weekend, but she’s the only one I know of whose voice started shaking as she delivered hers.

In the audience, rain surely camouflaged some tears. And for the next 3 minutes and 20 seconds, as the drenching continued, Nicks beautifully warbled through one of Fleetwood Mac’s most emotive hits: “Landslide,” with its timeless message about the changes and challenges of life.

I took my love, I took it down

I climbed a mountain and I turned around

And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills

‘Til the landslide brought me down

Friends and couples and singles danced in puddles like they hoped it would never end — this moment, this song, this rain, this show, this night, this festival. When it was over, they went home wet but happy.

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