A Personable Nicks Relaxes on Stage |
By Steve Morse
MANSFIELD - When has Stevie Nicks ever been this friendly, talkative, candid, and comfortable? Those sentiments distinguished this extraordinarily warm and confessional show played to 13,800 devoted fans who seemed to sing along to every lyric - even those from obscure songs that she had never done before on stage.
Nicks confessed that she just turned 50 (on May 26), but everyone should be so animated at that age. She danced and twirled like the gypsy Nicks of old, but what made this so special was the sense of rebirth, both in the music and her stage presence. Where occasionally she can be remote and abstruse on stage, she bubbled like a giddy newcomer.
''This is something I wanted to do, but never had the chance,'' Nicks said gushingly to the crowd. ''And I may never be able to do it again.''
She was talking about doing rare tracks from her recent boxed set, ''Enchanted.'' Other artists have toured in support of boxed sets (Steve Miller comes to mind), but Nicks made the most of her moment, especially in an acoustic, Hollywood-themed trilogy of ''After the Glitter Fades,'' ''Garbo'' (her favorite actress being Greta Garbo, of course), and a song she wrote at age 17, ''I Never Promised You a Rose Garden,'' about losing a lover but gaining rock stardom.
These three songs, sung while her eight-piece band sat huddled around her on stools, were, she said, about ''being a rock star or a waitress or a pretty lady or whatever I happened to be at the time.''
Still, the audience sang along as though they had been Top 40 hits. The audience reaction was so supportive that the newly effusive Nicks said near the end of her hour-and-45-minute show: ''This is such a pleasure. I just may move to Boston. I'll just get a job in a club and it will be fine.''
Nicks, whose confidence was no doubt spurred by her successful stint with the reunited Fleetwood Mac last summer, hypnotized the crowd early with ''Outside the Rain'' (fitting because it was a rainy, chilly night) and ''Dreams.''
She later gracefully explored anew many of her solo hits (from the dance-rocking ''Stand Back'' to the stirring ''Edge of Seventeen''), but also incorporated such Fleetwood Mac chestnuts as ''Gold Dust Woman'' (donning a gold shawl for further effect), ''Rhiannon,'' and ''Landslide,'' with its gently thoughtful verse: ''Children get older, I'm getting older too.'' Not that she showed it.
And she also got in a funny dig on Fleetwood Mac mainstay/former lover, the more uptight, Lindsey Buckingham. ''If I did this with Fleetwood Mac,'' she said after some improvised chat, ''Lindsey would come over and say, `What are you doing?''' Not to worry, because last night Nicks was doing just fine.
So was opening act Boz Scaggs, who sang his gentlemanly blues with class (he remains the quintessential Bay Area smoothie). He scored with his simmering funk hits ''Lido'' and ''Lowdown,'' but really excelled on the aching ''Loan Me a Dime,'' a Chicago blues tune by Fenton Robinson.
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