REVIEW: Stevie Nicks’ gnomes become drones

Normally a singer with the band Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks is touring with a group of her own this year. At Colt State Park last night, she performed to a capacity crowd of about 9,000.

In the context of a Fleetwood Mac album, Nicks’ airy, romantic tunes can provide a kind of relief from the more serious, harder-rocking numbers the other band members contribute.

But an entire evening of Stevie Nicks is a little hard to take. She sang a combination of her Fleetwood Mac songs and selections from her own two albums, and though each was pleasant enough in itself, the program quickly grew monotonous, even cloying.

Her voice didn’t help matters. Usually it sounds remarkably clear and fresh but last night it sounded pretty torn and frayed. What with Fleetwood Mac and her own band, she’s been on the road a long time and it obviously has taken its toll.

On paper, her backup musicians seem like an all-star team, including keyboard players Roy Bittan of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, Billy Joel’s drummer Liberty DeVito and guitarist Waddy Wachtel, who has played on several of the more popular albums recorded in Los Angeles, including Linda Ronstadt’s.

In person, though, the band sounded highly competent but strangely bloodless, and failed to generate much real excitement.

The real problem, though, was Nicks’ music and lyrics, which all sounded the same after a while. Singing one song after another about spirits and gnomes, doing her patented swirling dance in one of her trademark flowing black dresses, and spewing some awfully mindless patter between tunes (at one point she addressed the breeze as “Mister Wind”), she seemed little more than a bubblehead.

Tony Lioce / Providence Journal / September 10, 1983

2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
September 8, 2022
September 10, 2022

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Sound on Sound Festival
Bridgeport, CT
September 24-25, 2022

Ohana Festival
September 30, 2022
Dana Point, CA

Today in Stevie History


On July 3, 1983, Stevie Nicks performed live at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT, during The Wild Heart Tour.

Edge of Midnight (2020)

Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (2018)

New Release

Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation