[The Nicks Fix]

Columbus Dispatch
September 18, 2001


Tuesday, September 18, 2001
By Aaron Beck
Dispatch Pop Music Critic

Acute bronchitis forced Stevie Nicks to cancel 13 shows this summer.

Acute nostalgia prompted a number of adults in the audience at Polaris Amphitheater last night to ape Nicks' taste in shawls and capes.

And why not? Some adult concert-goers wear kabuki makeup at Kiss shows. Some dress as gothic Earth mothers at Nicks' concerts.

Fringe shawls are to Stevie Nicks as sequined dress shirts are to Neil Diamond. Chiffon capes are to Nicks as plastic surgery is to Michael Jackson. This has been the case since her beginnings with Fleetwood Mac in '75.

Praise be to someone in this day of conformist dress codes to rock out -- mid-tempo, mostly, but still -- while gently twirling and swaying like an approachable Joe Cocker in good-witch garb.

If any lingering respiratory infection plagues Nicks, it wasn't noticeable last night.

Her husky voice, perfect for singing bittersweet rock 'n' roll lyrics with many references to birds and clouds, sounded as sturdy as it does every time you request Rhiannon on your local classic-rock station.

When Nicks' tour to promote her first album in seven years, Trouble in Shangri-La, ends -- supposedly in December -- she plans to reunite for the billionth time with whoever wants to show up and call themselves Fleetwood Mac.

No word if her old mate and Fleetwood Mac creative light Lindsey Buckingham will join them, but after watching Nicks and her band on this tour, a Fleetwood Mac tour seems pointless to anyone.

Nicks' seven-piece band included guitarist Waddy Wachtel, Warren Zevon's longtime guitarist and master percussionist Lenny Casto.

The players were more than slick session men. They played the hits (Dreams, Rhiannon, Stand Back) as if they had helped write them in a Los Angeles cranny (or alcohol- and drug-filled mansion, depending on the calendar year). The Tom Petty covers -- Stop Draggin' My Heart Around and I Need To Know -- were inspired.

The tunes from the new album -- Sorcerer, Planets of the Universe -- didn't push many to the beer lines.

The show occasionally did feel like watching Nicks' VH1 Storytellers episode turned up really loud. Nothing about it pushed any envelopes, but that was all right. A gritty, yet rote, version of Edge of Seventeen, familiar now to a new crowd after Destiny's Child's sampling of the guitar line in Bootylicious, is all a guy needs to hear to start the week.

Nicks didn't mention the terrorist attacks of last week, but she did say, "We're just gonna forget about everything for about two hours. We're going to play some old songs, some new songs, tell lots of stories. Just let the music wrap around you.''

Nicks was true to her word.

The Nicks Fix main page