Cleveland Plain Dealer
July 19, 2001
A tasty brew of old and new conjures up magic onstage
Stevie Nicks swears she isn't a witch. But she cast a powerful spell last night at Blossom Music Center.
The tambourine-shaking rock 'n' roll songstress got down to business with "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," the 1981 single that launched her solo career. A crowd of 7,000 fans - most of them two or three decades beyond the edge of 17 - greeted her with a standing ovation.
The stage was done up to resemble a seaside temple, decorated with vases, statues and a couple of vine-covered pillars. For her part, the 53-year-old Nicks was a vision in black, resplendent in the usual attire, a frilly "Bride of Dracula" dress.
Her raspy voice was stronger than ever, apparently because her various drug addictions and other "Behind the Music"-worthy bad habits are in the past. However, she hasn't lost her trademark quiver. Nicks still sounds as if she's singing atop a vibrating bed.
She belted out six numbers from her new album, "Trouble in Shangri-La," including the Caribbean-flavored "Bombay Sapphires." Too bad Canton native Macy Gray, who does a duet with her on the recorded version of the tune, wasn't around to lend a hand.
"Sorcerer," the soaring "Every Day" and other solid new tunes held their own alongside older anthems such as "Stand Back" and "Edge of Seventeen." The chugging groove of the latter number is sampled on the Destiny's Child hit "Bootylicious," which blared from the speakers before Nicks took the stage. (Memo to Destiny's Child: Sample "Stand Back" next.)
Nicks was backed by a nine-piece band that featured longtime sidekick Waddy Wachtel on guitar. The 100-minute show touched on highlights of her Fleetwood Mac career, too, including captivating reworkings of "Dreams," "Gold Dust Woman" and "Rhiannon."
A surging cover of Tom Petty's "I Need to Know" kicked off the encores. Nicks serenaded the audience with the ballad "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You" to close the concert.
"I wish you love," she said. "I wish you happiness."
Then Nicks headed for her tour bus. Or maybe her broom.
Opening act Jeffrey Gaines has been making waves on the radio with an acoustic remake of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." Gaines covered it last night, too, with passion to spare. The singer-guitarist's own folk-rock musings on fleeting beauty, family ties and an ungrateful pet were competently strummed and soulfully crooned, yet ultimately better suited to a coffehouse than an amphitheater.