Stevie Nicks Sings to the Faithful |
by Scott McLennan
Mansfield, MA - Stevie Nicks does not give concerts. She assembles the faithful of a minor religious movement.
Such ws the case when Nicks and her band brought together 13,800 souls under rainy skies last night at Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts for a 90-minute trip through her career as a solo artist and singer for Fleetwood Mac.
Many of the devotees dressed in Nicks' trademark Hollywood gypsy garb and hung on very word and twirl like it was a message from the beyond.
At 50, Nicks may be a tad longer in tooth and less agile on stiletto-heeled boots. But she can sill command your attention thanks to a sharp songwriting sense.
You may not buy all the Nicks' song fodder - undergrad romance, witches, and West Coast zowiness - but there's no denying the woman knows how to put her songs into neat packages. The show went a long way in explaining how this pre-Lilith Fair female performer has managed to hold on for so long while others from her era - male and female - have bitten the dust.
Country, hard blooze rock, arena ballads, plugged, semi-plugged; the music came from many places. Add to that Nicks' warm personality and ability to convey that she appreciated the audience and the night was hers.
With an airtight eight-piece band, Nicks cruised through a set that tied into her recently-released 3-CD career retrospective called "Enchanted."
She added some choice Mac material - "Dreams," "Landslide," Rhiannon" - but really pushed the set over with a warmth lacking at the Fleetwood Mac reunion staged last year.
Nicks toughened the hokum of her so-called "Hollywood Trilogy" with some nice stage patter that revealed tidbits of her early days as a performer. She also lobbed a light jab at Mac partner Lindsey Buckingham after the hard-edged "Whole Lotta Trouble," claiming her would have gone berserk over that bit of roughed-up fun.
Strewn among the obvious hits - "Stand Back," "Edge of Seventeen," "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" among them - were deep-catalog material that is found on "Enchanted."
Outside the hermetic seal of Fleetwood Mac, Nicks proved herself a gracious, entertaining singer happy with her art, her fans and herself.
Opener Boz Scaggs likewise seemed like a man reborn. His 45-minute set was smartly crafted from all phases of his career and powerful enough to win him an encore - a rarity in the opener slot.
Scaggs nailed a killer version of his classic "Loan Me A Dime," stepping up to take on the guitar solos originally done by Duane Allman.
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