Night of 1000 Stevie's Review
I always thought I was a biggest Stevie Nicks fan. I’ve loved her music since I was 5 years old clutching my older sister’s copy of Rumours while listening to “Dreams” over and over again.
On Friday, May 14, 2004, I attended the 14th Annual Night of A Thousand Stevies at New York City’s Knitting Factory. Even though I live 10 minutes outside of New York City, I had never attended one of these events and I really didn’t know what to expect.
When I arrived at 9:30 p.m., the columns of the three-room club were wrapped in tulle and decorated with flowers and white birds. It was like walking into a small theatre at a Renaissance Fair.
On the stage were three microphones, decked out with baby’s breath and long ribbons and a large movie screen was showing Stevie Live at Red Rocks. A DJ in the upper balcony was playing remixes of Stevie classics while the room filled with more attendees.
As I ogled the room, I found a wide variety of Stevie Nicks fans of all ages: men, women, gay, straight, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, drag queens, grandmothers, grandfathers, folks dressed in Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks tour t-shirts, others dressed in suits and formal evening wear. It was truly an eclectic mix.
Even before the show commenced, people were having a great time: chatting away with friends, swapping Stevie stories, laughing, drinking, and dancing to the DJ’s spins. There was a distinct aura in the club: a spell in which everyone was under.
At 11 p.m., the first performer took the stage. A young woman draped in a long shawl came out to the center microphone and sang “Gate And Garden” live.
I was under the impression that this show was all cross dressers and drag queens lip-syncing, but as the evening went on, more and more people were singing live versions of Stevie and Fleetwood Mac songs.
A group of women from Des Moines, Iowa called The Stevie Nicks Experience, took to the stage for a live version of “Stand Back.” It was like the movie Gypsy 83 were happening that evening. The lead singer was dressed in Stevie’s gold-speckled live “Stand Back” shawl and had her moves down to a science. Kudos to them.
My favorite performance of the night came in the second set. A group from Tokyo, Japan set up a huge puppet stage and performed a hysterical puppet version of the “Gypsy” video. A puppet Stevie was kicking and spinning in front of a propped mirror, with the appropriate hand gestures. The puppet then appears in a 1930’s depression-era environment as the background changes like a storybook turning the page. Next were off to a black and white night club with dancers twirling on sticks. As the song reaches the crescendo of Stevie running out into the rain, the Stevie puppet’s hands cross under it’s chin as the “enough to love” line of the song is blared out. The background now changes to an enchanted forest with the puppet Stevie twirling through the trees. I was hysterically laughing at this point, but as the song was coming to a close, three little girl puppets popped up on stage and began twirling around the Stevie puppet. I nearly lost consciousness from laughing so hard and had to walk outside to get some air.
As I made my way back into the club, I mingled through the crowd occasionally chatting with different people: a woman who was wearing a top hat and a long black cape, similar to the one Stevie wore to President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Ball; numerous cross dressers/drag queens who looked like Stevie throughout the years; young kids dressed in gothic post-modern punk rock regalia, and seniors who were dressed like flower children straight from Woodstock.
I met two guys who were 23 and 25 years old wearing Wild Heart Tour t-shirts. Having outgrown my original Wild Heart tour shirt, I asked if they were at the Meadowland’s Arena in 1983 for the tour, when Stevie had a 110-piece orchestra come on stage for “Beauty And The Beast.” They laughed and said no. Blushing and feeling a little old, I realized they were probably still in diapers in 1983.
The performers throughout the night were great in their own respects and I watched as many performances as I could, but I spent the rest of the evening talking to the different people throughout the club.
To me, that was the highlight of my first Night of A Thousand Stevies. It also made me realize that I can’t claim to be the biggest Stevie Nicks fan.
There are too gypsies that remain.
See the Night Of 1000 Stevie's Postcard