Nicks had a moving performance at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena to kick off her solo tour in honor of Tom Petty and Christine McVie.
Yet to the crowd at Climate Pledge Arena seeing the first night of Stevie Nicks’ spring tour, the frail 74-year-old on stage wasn’t just Stevie. The gypsy was this. Bella Donna. the occultist woman. The blonde beauty served as the inspiration for a dozen Lindsay Buckingham songs, including the 1978 hit “Magnet and Steel” by Walter Egan. The legendary performer who, in Seattle, could enthrall an audience by doing nothing more than spinning in a circle while displaying one of the many vibrant shawls she wore.
Stevie Nicks talked about how she would calm down when she “had a big head about the Fleetwood Mac thing” when she introduced the song “Gypsy” by her old band.
Even while it was lovely to see her sitting quietly in meditation on the floor, the woman on stage will always be more than simply Stevie because of the audience’s adoring applause and the well-chosen attire (leather and lace, velvet and denim, and lots of top hats).
On Wednesday evening, Nicks moved a lot. She danced ecstatically to the music, nimbly navigating the stage despite what appeared to be a fractured toe that required her to switch from her customary high heels for more practical footwear. She joked, “Goodbye Di Fabrizio, hello Balenciaga. At points throughout the evening, especially during the trippy finale of a particularly dramatic rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman,” she appeared possessed, entranced. She appeared as though she could suddenly levitate off the stage as she stood at the back of the stage with her arms raised at the conclusion of the song.
Despite this, she stayed earthbound because of humanizing moments all night long. She frequently left the stage, probably to rest or recharge before a particularly difficult performance. Moreover, years of abuse have audibly softened her voice. She can no longer sing “Dreams”‘ high notes, but backup vocalists are there to fill the gap.
Nicks appeared to be coming back to the stage to wrap up some unfinished emotional business. She mostly let the enormous video display on stage speak for itself in that regard. Although she alluded to the turmoil in Ukraine when she introduced the ferocious “Soldier’s Angel,” saying that Zelensky’s army were “fighting for all of us,” the impact of the scene was given by the images and video of the battle that spooled out behind her. Throughout the performance of the crowd favorite “Edge of Seventeen,” pictures of Prince were spliced with animated scenes of doves.
But she seemed to be thinking most about two of her acquaintances and associates. The late Tom Petty’s presence was palpable throughout the evening. “Runnin’ Down a Dream” played when her band entered the stage. The 90-minute show opened with her classic duet with Petty, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” with great guitarist Waddy Wachtel, a member of Nicks’ tight touring band, on the other vocal. She then went into a moving performance of “Free Fallin'” to start off the encore, complete with images of Nicks and Petty sharing a stage and a microphone.
That moment went far beyond paying respects, as did the nods to her slain teammates. Nicks looked to have a stronger desire to establish even a momentary emotional connection with those around her, whether it was her backing band or the thousands of ticket holders in front of her, as a result of her repeated losses.
When the band settled into a taut beat, drawing out the last minutes of “Edge of Seventeen,” Nicks made her way to each member of the ensemble, touching their hand briefly or simply locking gaze. In an effort to develop that odd but potent artist/fan bond, she then stepped to the stage’s edge, waving and interacting with the crowd. Nicks tried to make as many people as she could feel seen and valued because she realized that feeding them the hits and enjoying their acclaim would not be nearly enough. Further evidence that she will never be just Stevie, despite what she may tell herself.
Outside the Rain
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
If Anyone Falls
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
Fall from Grace
For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac cover)
I Sing for the Things
Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Sara (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Edge of Seventeen
Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty cover)
Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac cover)P.S. The post-Stevie Nicks Kicks Off 2023 Solo Tour Like a Woman Possessed: Review published first on Consequence.