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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 29, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 17
Stevie Nicks graceful in short performance
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Stevie Nicks graceful in short performance

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Stevie Nicks
April 23
Key Arena


"She is in our midst!" a woman said to me at a bar just down the street from Key Arena before the start of the Stevie Nicks concert on Saturday. The woman was referring, of course, to the magnetic pull the rock icon has on her fans, whether they were first intoxicated by her raspy vocals as the frontwoman of Fleetwood Mac or are under the spell cast by her catalog of solo work.

But followers of this mystical diva would be treated to a mere hour's worth of her presence, as she whizzed through a brief set list and then handed the concert over to its headliner, Rod Stewart. The "Heart and Soul Tour," featuring two legends on the same stage on the same night, proved to be more Stewart and less Nicks.

Dressed in all black with a knee-length skirt with fringes and a matching top with sparkles running up and down her arms, Nicks began her performance with "Stand Back" shortly after 7:30 p.m., while many concertgoers were still scrambling to find their seats in the dark.

Though she's 62, Nicks doesn't look it. Her skin is porcelain white, her long hair is blond, and that voice wraps around classic ballads like fine whiskey. As "Outside the Rain" from her debut album Bella Donna faded out and the beginning guitar chords of "Dreams" - arguably Fleetwood Mac's greatest hit - were strummed, diehard fans, especially those on the floor, rose to their feet excitedly.

"Let's get this party started!" shouted Nicks to a packed arena and then performed "Secret Love," the leadoff single from her soon-to-be-released CD In Your Dreams. "Rhiannon," which appeared on Fleetwood Mac's self-titled album in the mid-'70s, was given a soft two-minute piano interlude, and again longtime fans were transfixed by Nicks' voice and graceful twirls on stage.

"Sorcerer" isn't one of my favorite songs from Nicks' résumé, and neither was it fully embraced by folks sitting in my section. Found on 2001's Trouble in Shangri-La record, which further delved into her affection of the spiritual world, it's never quite held its own or lived up to the other hit tracks from the singer-songwriter's solo career.

For "Gold Dust Woman," Nicks donned a golden embroidered shawl that she spread like wings behind each of her guitarists. She then took a moment to speak with the crowd, telling everyone that she now has a "real connection" to Seattle thanks to her niece recently moving here from Los Angeles.

"Landslide," sung by Gywenth Paltrow on an episode of Glee last month, was the best five minutes of Saturday night. Nicks introduced it as a song that she's continually put on her set list since 1975, and one that was written from a tough spot in her life. This was vintage Stevie, her gritty vocals smoothing into silk as a lone guitar accompanied her. It was magical, and a few men in front of me bowed repeatedly to her at the finish of the song.

Nicks put away the main set with "Edge of Seventeen," as the band's drummer tapped on a row of bongos inside a cage-like percussion set. Nicks walked the length of the stage to wave and bow to fans on opposite sides of the arena.

Returning for an encore, Nicks chose the ballad "Love Is" to cap off her hour-long appearance. It was a beautiful tune, although I would've preferred her usual closer, "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You."

It's been a decade (and then some) since Stevie Nicks graced Seattle with her solo presence - she's arrived with Fleetwood Mac twice during this wait. Sixty minutes and 10 songs just weren't enough to satisfy devotees. Even though she collaborated with Stewart on a poor execution of "Leather and Lace" during his set, it still fell below my expectations of a proper live concert.

Realistically, this was an opening slot on a tour that should've seen both artists split the allotted time evenly.

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