Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Review Stevie Nicks Arrives By Helicopter To Mohegan Sun June 9, 2024

Stevie Nicks Soars Through a Night of Songs & Stories at Mohegan Sun: 5 Best Moments
The rock icon arrived by helicopter, with her Barbie, to put on a show brimming with career anecdotes and classics from Fleetwood Mac's discography and solo releases.

By Ashley Iasimone, June 10, 2024
Photo: Mohegan Sun Casino

At 76 years old, Stevie Nicks — who breezily brought up her age a few times on stage Sunday night (June 9) — maintains the distinct, strong vocal performance for which she’s become iconic. She carries it through a showtime of about two hours, with a 15-song set and several stories spanning her fascinating journey in rock ‘n’ roll.

Nicks brought her headlining tour to the Mohegan Sun Arena, a well-designed, 10,000-seat venue in southeastern Connecticut that’s within the Mohegan Sun casino/entertainment complex owned by the Mohegan Tribe.

She has plenty to play, and so much to say — and with the life experience she’s had as an entertainer for so many years, rightly so. On Sunday Nicks was a lively conversationalist, letting her sense of humor shine while telling the crowd about her early days with Fleetwood Mac in the 1970s, how her debut solo album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1981, and what’s currently on her mind in 2024.

Who wouldn’t want to hear what Stevie Nicks has to say? This January it’ll be 50 years since the 1975 lineup of Fleetwood Mac (with Nicks) came to be, a musical ride that followed humble beginnings alongside eventual Mac co-star Lindsey Buckingham with the Buckingham Nicks project, and preceded the ascent of her solo career.

Nicks’ concert at Mohegan Sun Arena featured setlist staples like “Dreams,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Stand Back,” “Leather and Lace,” “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy” and an encore of “Landslide,” a beautiful tribute to late best friend and bandmate Christine McVie. Mixed in with the chart-toppers were the singer-songwriter’s stories, almost like mini lessons on the history of Nicks’ path.

During a quick restroom break my husband overheard someone making small-talk wisecracks at the urinal: “She talks a lot, huh?” I grew up with a parent who’d listen to Fleetwood Mac albums on repeat. I could listen to her voice telling stories 100 times over and still find it soothing. We didn’t find the bathroom joke funny, but it was amusing timing.

As though she could sense what someone, somewhere, was saying, a charming Nicks was actually on stage poking fun at herself: “I’m trying, I’m making a big effort to shorten down my stories. My stories are starting to become as long as the show,” she quipped at the start of a 13-minute introduction to her performance of 1982 single “Gypsy.”

“Every time I do it, I mess up,” she said. “I take a part off, it’s impossible to understand where I’ve stopped and where I should start up again. I’m only sharing this with you because it’s part of the fun of being my age.”

“I’m so old … What’s everybody gonna say to me? ‘Stop! You can’t do this anymore!’ I’ll say, ‘OK. Fine. I’ll just go home and be alone in a rocking chair with my dog Lily,” Nicks said with a grin.

Below, see five of the best moments from Stevie Nicks’ concert at Mohegan Sun Arena. Nicks is currently on tour through June 21 in North America, then heading to Europe in July. See the full tour date list on her official website.

Stevie Arrives in Style for Her Show

Making an entrance with her long, cascading curls and signature black stage ensemble, Nicks launched her set with the energy of Bella Donna album track “Outside the Rain,” and then the Fleetwood Mac Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Dreams,” from Rumours.

“We’re very glad to be here,” Nicks, live band by her side, said to cheers from the audience. “We got to fly in on a helicopter. It was truly magnificent,” she shared of her trip into town.

Even better? “I got to photograph my Barbie sitting in the window with the background of New York, and then here [Connecticut], the whole time,” Nicks happily reported — before moving forward with “If Anyone Falls,” off 1983’s The Wild Heart.

Yes, Nicks proudly has a cool Barbie doll that was created in her likeness by Mattel, in partnership with Primary Wave, which the star announced in late 2023. Nicks’ version of Barbie is fashioned after the singer at age 27, on the cover of Rumours. She was very hands-on in the process, even down to the Barbie-sized tambourine.

How She Got Her Biggest Billboard Hit & No. 1 Solo Debut

Nicks’ first solo project, her 1981 album Bella Donna, was done, she told the audience in the chatter between songs Sunday night, until Jimmy Iovine (who was her producer and then-boyfriend) told her she just didn’t have a hit single on the album.

“Stevie, I think we have a problem,” Nicks recalled him saying to her. “Well, you don’t have a single, and if you don’t have a single, then your beautiful record will probably tank,” he told her.

“And I’m going, ‘He’s so sensitive. He so nicely delivered that,'” Nicks said to fans. “I’m like, well, do you have a plan?”

His plan was to connect her to Tom Petty: “‘He has a song for you that he thinks would be great for you. He thinks it would be a great duet, and he would love to sing it with you if you’d like to,'” she said of her memory of the moment, sharing with the crowd that she definitely wanted to work with Petty. She continued her story: “He goes, ”Cause you know, I know that you’d really love to join this band. The first time you walk in to meet him, don’t, like, say that. Don’t go, ‘Can I join your band?’ Cause he’s gonna say, ‘No girls allowed.’ That was Tom Petty, that was their thing.”

“I said, at that moment, and I swear to god this is true — this is a new layer — I said, ‘I’m gonna prove you wrong. I’m gonna instantly, definitely be allowed into The Heartbreakers,” said Nicks at the show.

Nicks and Petty, of course, ended up recording “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” and she happily announced to the crowd how upon its release that year it “went straight to No. 3 in Billboard [on the Hot 100],” with Bella Donna going “straight to No. 1 [on the Billboard 200 albums chart].”

“Thank you, Tom Petty,” Nicks said to her late friend.

"Gypsy" Has a Glimmering Moment

Before playing “Gypsy,” from Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 album Mirage, Nicks recalled the interesting chain of events that led to her joining Fleetwood Mac in 1975. This was a 13-minute version of a story she’s likely told all too many times, but there’s a special charisma to her telling it in-person — all leading up to her introducing the song, a highlight among a crowd dressed in outfits inspired by Nicks’ timeless “Gypsy” style.

“There was a certain part of that beginning part, from 1971-1975, that I started to really miss,” Nicks confessed of her younger, pre-fame days, when she had started making music with Lindsey Buckingham and struggled to make ends meet, as her parents were not supporting her financially outside of college.

Writing “Gypsy,” she was in the mindset of nostalgia, and of romanticizing that time period of her life: “I kind of miss being a cleaning lady, in a way,” she recalled. “I kind of miss waitressing. I miss what I call the halcyon days … the wine and roses days. I kind of miss it.”

“This song came out of that. For all you travelers, and nomads, and gypsies, this is your song,” she said to a packed arena.

Stevie Gets Candid About Regret & Performs a Poignant Cover Song

Sprinkled into Nicks’ setlist on Sunday was a cover of Buffalo Springfield‘s “For What It’s Worth,” written by Stephen Stills and originally released in 1966. Nicks recorded a version of the protest track in 2022.

Ahead of singing, she used her platform to nudge people to vote in the upcoming election, something she failed to do for many years. One of Nicks’ only regrets — of which she has very few, she says — is not voting earlier in her life. “We should all vote,” Nicks told the crowd. “We should.”

“I didn’t vote until I was like 70 years old,” she said. “Maybe a little younger than that. You might ask, ‘Well, why? Why, Stevie?'”

“And I might say, ‘Well, ’cause I was busy,'” she said, hands on hips, mocking herself about a schedule of fittings, dinners and distractions, like Don Henley introducing her to salmon-pink lightbulbs. “It was so beautiful that I went out and bought a truckload of them,” Nicks noted. “They eventually discontinued them, so that was a huge bummer in my mind. Anyway, it was things like that. I was tracking down lightbulbs. I was busy! She was busy!”

Now she’ll make the time for it. “As I look back on it, I think, ‘How long could it take to go down and vote?'” Nicks admitted. “I think it’s a good idea for us all to vote. I will certainly vote. You vote, too … I’m 76 years old, so it’s like, how much time do I have? But you, most of you, anyway, probably have a lot longer than I do, so you don’t have the regrets.”

"Landslide," a Sweet Encore & Tribute to Christine McVie

After leaving the stage briefly, Nicks and her band returned for a two-song encore, likely the most-anticipated pair of Fleetwood Mac songs Nicks would deliver that night, “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.”

Her eyes glistening as she sang, Nicks delivered a beautiful performance of “Landslide,” the 1975 Fleetwood Mac ballad that’s more than stood the test of time.

As fans sang along, a video montage played of photos featuring Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie (many being snapshots of Nicks with McVie) across the big stage screen at Mohegan Sun Arena; McVie sadly passed away in 2022. With the stage set up in her memory, Nicks closes the show backed by the spirit of her longtime friend and musical collaborator each night she performs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although it’s a beautiful picture of Stevie, you can see where it has been photoshopped and badly. It’s a shame she felt the need to do that. She is still beautiful.

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