When Stevie Nicks came prancing and swirling onto the Myriad Convention Center stage Saturday night to deliver a “”Wild Hearts” concert, she found herself confronted with a crowd more akin to wild animals.
Some 200 rude and overeager fans surged toward the front of the stage when the rock songstress appeared.
She was resplendent in flowing, sequined red and black skirt and shawl, pirouetting to the rhythms of a magnificent rock ‘n’ roll band and singing her heart out.
Her hip, Welsh-witch image was never more entrancing.
But even Stevie’s bewitching powers were not enough to calm the rowdy fans, who kept mobbing the front of the stage despite her pleas that they take their seats.
When the plywood barricade between audience and stage finally collapsed under the weight of the unruly throng, the star left the stage in disgust and the Myriad lights came up.
A burly stage hand stepped to the microphone and announced that “”Stevie’s feelings have been hurt. If you don’t go back to your seats, Stevie’s going to leave us.”
The wilder members of the audience continued to mill about the front, despite warnings about angry fire marshals and an early end to the evening. The rest of the capacity crowd began to boo the troublemakers and long minutes of chaos dragged by.
“”People are getting hurt,” grumbled the usually good-natured guitarist. “”That don’t make it.”
He delivered a short lecture about courtesy, then asked the errant fans to return to their seats “”as a favor to me, OK?”
The rest of the audience thanked Walsh with thunderous applause, the troublemakers moved back and Stevie Nicks finally reappeared after a 15-minute delay.
Without further comment, she proceeded to wind her way through one of the finest rock performances the Oklahoma City audience has seen this year.
Her high, rough, sassy voice brimmed with emotion on tunes as varied as “”Leather and Lace” with its delicate music-box charm, to the hard-charging rock ‘n’ roll suspense of “”Edge of Seventeen” and the haunting, danceable rhythms of “”Rhiannon,” the song that brought Fleetwood Mac back to life.
Stevie’s backup band was impeccable, an all-star lineup of sidemen that included guitarist Waddy Wachtel and Bruce Springsteen’s pianist Roy Bittan. Wachtel’s fiery guitar intro to “”Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” proved to be the show-stopper of the evening.
Walsh’s opening performance was no less exciting, a typically light-hearted, yet hard-rocking performance that included “”Life in the Fast Lane” from his days with the Eagles, “”The Bomber” from his James’ Gang phase and his own classic rock ‘n’ roll anthem, “”Rocky Mountain Way.”
It was a much classier performance than some in the audience deserved. Such destructive and uncivilized behavior is becoming more and more commonplace at Oklahoma City rock concerts.
Not only is it a sad commentary on the upbringing and manners of some of the local youth, it may also signal an eventual end to Oklahoma City appearances by quality acts like Stevie Nicks and Joe Walsh.
It’s time some of us got our act together before it’s too late.
Gene Triplett / The Daily Oklahoman / September 19, 1983