So much has been written about the turmoil of Fleetwood Mac and for many, a Stevie Nicks show is the closest they’ll actually get to hear a song or two from their impressive catalog. But last night at the Shoreline in Mountain View it was Stevie, and Stevie alone, who shined bright like a diamond on a stage that she considers home. “This is the house of Bill Graham. This is where we started. This is definitely my hood,” she declared at the show’s start.
One by one she played some of her biggest hits like “Stand Back”, “Edge of Seventeen”, and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” But also a few obligatory Fleetwood Mac classics like “Landslide” and “Dreams”. Backed by an eight-piece band of seasoned pros they all sounded powerful, emotive, but above all genuine.
Early in the set, she introduced us to this little girl named Robin, the daughter of a late friend of Stevie’s. The audience pointed her out in the audience and shortly after Stevie dedicated a song to her. She also mentioned that to this day the child calls her “Grandma Stevie.” It was an endearing moment and one that set a warm tone for the rest of the night.
Tonight was sentimental. Like when the icon sang a cover of “Free Fallin’” in honor of her friend Tom Petty who passed away a few years ago. Or when images of Prince were displayed on a backdrop that was filled the entire night with gorgeous displays of creative imagery. We also got to see some candid Polaroids of Stevie from a career that’s spanned close to 60 years now (all taken by her, she so proudly professed).
Of course, no show would be complete without some of the iconic singer’s famous trademark twirls, which she executed with style and grace. And yes, the capes. There were many including the original from Bella Donna. She told us a story of how her mom gave her grief about how much she’d spent on those. “Mom, a cape that’s worth 5,000 dollars that I’m going to wear for 60 years,” she giggled, “That’s like 10 dollars a day!”
And therein lies the appeal of Stevie Nicks. Although relatively small in stature, her voice and presence command attention, but it’s her quiet charm that puts you under her spell from the moment she steps onto that stage. It’s the magic of her shows. Not sure how she does it, maybe it’s got something to do with those mystical spins of hers.
With a discography that includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.
Louis Raphael / Music in SF / June 13, 2022