[The Nicks Fix]

Special for USA Today
Monday, April 14, 1986

Nicks Rocks It With Romance

By: Kathy Blehi

HOUSTON---Stevie Nicks may call her latest, million-selling album "Rock A Little," but she kicked off her tour here Friday night by rocking a lot.

The near-capacity crowd at the Summit arena was already standing when Nicks first twirled onstage. The audience---ranging from teens to those in their 40's---returned to its feet repeatedly during the two-hour show, the first stop on a 17-city tour.

The self-styled "Bella Donna" of rock-n-roll sang more standards than recent tunes. Backed by a precise, polished ensemble, she offered a smattering of Fleetwood Mac oldies, including a long version of "Rhiannon" as an encore. She concentrated on earlier solo hits such as "Leather and Lace," "Edge of Seventeen" and "Stand Back"--- which brought floor spectators rushing to the stage.

Initially tense, Nicks moved stiffly and left high notes to her backup singers. She even dropped some lines of her hit "Talk to Me." But she relaxed as the concert progressed, and the voice with the plaintive warble was powerful until the end--- alternately hard-driving, alluring and emotive.

After the first set, she began performing with abandon---playing imaginary conga drums and mimicking a belly dancer. She and a striking blond dance partner ignited two numbers with passionate, synchronized movements that bordered on the erotic. Her costumes, heavy on the ruffles and lace, reflected her romantic mystique. Nicks left the stage after almost every number to change her shawl, add sparkling bracelets or don a top hat. With each exit, she lingered to wave at fans seated along the side of the arena.

At the end of several numbers, she crouched at the stage's edge to grasp outstretched hands. Reaching out to the audience led to a tense moment late in the show, when Nicks fell, apparently into a hole at the stage's side. Crew members lifted her to her feet, and she returned to the microphone for two encores. After "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You," she bid a fond farewell: "Stay well for me and be here for me when I come back. And I love you more than anything."

Thanks to Claudia Brady-Drake for sending this article to the Nicks Fix.

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