Print E-mail

Slick Stevie Nicks Plays To An Adoring Crowd

Posted: June 22, 1998

Stevie Nicks is a woman who seems to have stopped taking musical risks when she went solo almost 20 years ago, and her concerts have become as much about slick production and building on the Stevie hagiography as they are about music. Nevertheless, the crowd at Camden's Waterfront Entertainment Center, where she performed Friday night, adored her.

Acts of slavish devotion from the mostly female fans included clawing past overwhelmed security guards to offer her flowers, tambourines bedecked with ribbons, and other trinkets. An unsmiling Nicks tossed the offerings behind her, seeming a tad annoyed by the now-familiar drill. Fans were overjoyed to have touched her, anyway; one woman tried to rush the star on stage.

Nicks has gained considerable weight since her heyday with Fleetwood Mac, and her stagewear seems designed to hide it. Between every song she changed glittery shawls or floor-length, dark-color dresses, adding a calculated theatricality to the evening.

And, oh yeah, the music - the drummer's boomy bass, the electric guitarist's straight-ahead licks, and even the Latin percussionist's fills were all standard-issue arena rock.

Nicks was in town to promote a recent 3-CD retrospective, The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks, so this writer hoped she would challenge listeners with interesting arrangements of little-known works. No such luck. Even that material came out of the Nicks machine homogenized and safe.

Boz Scaggs opened the evening with a characteristically fine set of hits and blues covers. His fluid, earthy guitar-playing is the perfect counterpoint to his heavenly smooth blues vocals. Known to be a perfectionist, Scaggs and his band faithfully reproduced recorded versions without sacrificing vitality.