Stevie Nicks
(Neal Preston)
Home » New moves gives new life to Nicks’ old songs

New moves gives new life to Nicks’ old songs

REVIEW: She stays safely in the past in her Sun Theatre show.

A broken foot isn’t enough to hold back Stevie Nicks. Nearing the end of her seven-show millennium run (held primarily at House of Blues venues in Los Angeles and Las Vegas), Nicks may not have been able to twirl dervishly Saturday at the Sun Theatre in Anaheim, but she was more than willing to risk further injury by dancing nonetheless.

Offering something for everyone, Nicks also danced through her various roles — witchy woman, diva, gypsy queen — without missing a step. Each persona even had the own matching shawl.

Her elusive, dangerous “Gold Dust Woman” held court with the Welsh witch of “Rhiannon” (with its long piano intro), as Nicks culled a good one-third of her set from her stint in the 10th and most famous lineup of Fleetwood Mac. Both songs, though, still work as warnings, their characters larger than life — the first destroying with the power of mirage, the second always eluding her admirers’ grasp.

Neither subject is real — one is a metaphor (for Nicks’ cocaine-abusing years), the other is a free spirit. But both became very real and crucial to the aura of mystique she sought to create with her delivery and phrasing. At her melodramatic best with urgent material, she toughened up her soft-rock image with a band that included two guitarists and two percussionists, adding a harder edge to “Stand Back” and a cover of Tom Petty’s “I Need to Know.”

Nicks also danced through her various roles — witchy woman, diva, gypsy queen — without missing a step

With a few light steps, Nicks danced as much as her broken foot would allow, playing air guitar and air drums in spots where she ordinarily would have been swirling about. She seemed to enjoy herself a bit more this way.

Unfortunately, this change of pace didn’t translate to her set list, which didn’t include anything from current recording sessions for her next, supposedly groove-oriented album.

And though the material from her solo career, from pulsing “Edge of Seventeen” to the rollicking “Gold and Braid,” went over well, it was the Mac moments that lit up the crowd. “Landslide” sung half a capella, half accompaninied by a lone acoustic guitar, allowed Nicks’ husky vibrato to reveal more emotional intelligence than some of the upbeat numbers that preceded it.

Though she’s made the song’s lyrics seem more weary than wise in the past, this reading was almost radiant, as if getting older were not a thing to be regretted, but to be cherished.

In a similar vein, it explained her glance-to-the-past songlist, as if she needed to embrace her history one last time before moving on. Next time, she won’t need an injury to ditch a tired dance move.

Jennifer Vineyard / Santa Ana Register / January 10, 2000

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