REVIEW: Nicks’ vocals fall flat

A considerable part of Stevie Nicks’ appeal is her ethereal manner, the witchy way she slinks and spins on stage, belting out songs like incantations, in a throaty, quaking voice.

In concert Saturday night at the Hollywood Sportatorium with opening act Joe Walsh, Nicks gave a fine portrayal of the good witch — but her voice wasn’t in it.

Nicks sounded strained and congested, as if she had a cold, and fell flat in pitch several times. As the show neared its conclusion, her voice became worse. And after a long instrumental vamp into “White Winged Dove,” Nicks croaked the opening words almost a full step flat and stayed that way until the end of the song.

Even if her vocals didn’t do them justice Saturday, Nicks’ compositions are substantial contemporary works, with, for the most part, mesmerizing melodies and harmonies and thoughtful lyrics. She sang the singles she’s written and recorded with Fleetwood Mac, including “Sara,” “Dreams” and “Gypsy”; her solo compositions from Bella Donna and The Wild Heart albums, including her current hits “Stand Back” and “If Anyone Falls”; and the duets she’s recorded with other singers. The guitarist stood in for Tom Petty on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”

Though Nicks’ musical performance was off, her band was right on target. Of the nine-piece group — six instrumental musicians and three female backup singers — four have been with other leading bands, such as Little Feat, Billy Joel and Joe Walsh.

Thoughout the concert, Nicks kept moving, spinning, walking in place and changing into different colored capes and scarves. Though she didn’t talk at length between songs, Nicks was personable with the audience, clowning occasionally and delighting the crowd when she snatched a tossed bundle of flowers out of the air.

Singer-guitarist Joe Walsh opened the show with a tight five-piece band in an hour-long set of blasting rock ‘n’ roll. Like Nicks, Walsh is known for his works both as a member of a top rock group and as a soloist. Walsh sounded a little smoother than usual, and his guitar playing was powerful, but the band was so loud at times the sound was distorted.

Walsh performed songs from his years as a member of the James Gang, his compositions for the Eagles — “In the City,” “Life in the Fast Lane” — and his solo hits “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Life’s Been Good.”

Linda R. Thornton / Miami Herald / November 7, 1983

For What It’s Worth (2022)

TWO ICONS ONE NIGHT

Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks

March 10, 2023
Los Angeles, CA
SoFi Stadium

April 10, 2023
Arlington, TX
AT&T Stadium

May 19, 2023
Nissan Stadium
Nashville, TN

August 5, 2023
Ohio Stadium
Columbus, OH

August 19, 2023
Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City, MO

Presented by Live Nation

2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

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

Pine Knob Music Theatre
Clarkston, MI
September 13, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Xfinity Center
Mansfield, MA
September 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Bangor, ME
September 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

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

Ohana Festival
Dana Point, CA
September 30, 2022

Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
October 3, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Woodlands, TX
October 9, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Alpharetta, GA
October 12, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ascend Amphitheater
Nashville, TN
October 16, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Credit One Stadium
Charleston, SC
October 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

PNC Music Pavilion
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
October 28, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Orion Amphitheatre
Huntsville, AL
October 31, 2022

RESCHEDULED SHOWS

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands, TX
November 2, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
November 5, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

 

Today in Stevie History

Milestone
1945

On November 26, 1945, John Graham McVie was born in Ealing, Middlesex, England.

Edge of Midnight (2020)

Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (2017)

New Release

Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation

Archive