July 19, 2001
Stevie Nicks: Nostalgia on many levels
By Jonathan Valania
Who ever thought we would be glad to see Stevie Nicks again?
Well, for starters, the half-million record-buyers who helped Nicks' Trouble in Shangri-la go gold. They were probably pretty happy - until they got it home and listened to it. Then, the righteous-babe rockers such as Sheryl Crow and Courtney Love, who see the former Fleetwood Mac frontwoman as some kind of fairy godmother of chick-rock. And the mothers and daughters who frolicked on the Tweeter Center lawn Tuesday night, twirling barefoot in long summer dresses to Nicks' witchy-woman music.
In the '70s, Fleetwood Mac defined the immaculately crafted El Lay soft-rock sound. When the band split due to souring interpersonal relationships, declining sales, and kilos of rock-and-roll excess, Nicks staked out a solo career, then disappeared into commercial irrelevance. Except for the late-'90s Fleetwood Mac reunion, she hadn't been heard from since 1994's Street Angel. Not much about Nicks has changed. The 53-year-old singer still looks as if she just got back from a Renaissance Faire - all flowing shawls, tangled ribbons and big hair. And her voice, that trademark tremulous bleat, sounds as strong as ever. Even her stage set - a pre-Raphaelite tableau of ivy-covered trellises, Doric pillars, and a medieval archway overlooking a twinkling azure sea - took the audience back, in a unicorns-and-druids sort of way.
Opening with a sturdy version of "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," Nicks and her nine-piece band proceeded to build a Dagwood sandwich from old cold cuts ("Rhiannon," "Edge of Seventeen" and "Stand Back") and new cheese ("Sorcerer," "Planets of the Universe"). Tasted pretty good, too.