Akron Beacon Journal 6-4-98

Nicks is refreshed, refreshing She's at ease, energetic and in fine voice at Blossom By Glenn Gamboa

The shawls, the gowns, the spinning -- we've seen that all before.

But the lovely, gracious, fun-loving Stevie Nicks who took the stage at Blossom Music Center Tuesday night? She hasn't been around in quite some time.

On the road to promote her new box set Enchanted, Nicks looks much more at ease than she did when she was on tour with Fleetwood Mac last year.

And her live show hasn't been this energetic and accomplished since perhaps the early '80s, when she first left Fleetwood Mac and became a solo star.

"This is so much fun for me," Nicks told the crowd. "You just can't know how much."

For more than 90 minutes, the audience was transported to the world of Stevie, including a stage set that featured pink-and-white curtains hanging from the rafters and a makeshift stained-glass window for a backdrop.

Opening with a medley of Outside the Rain and the Fleetwood Mac classic Dreams, Nicks balanced well the old and the new, the familiar and the obscure songs from her career.

The mesmerizing Gold Dust Woman, which featured the first of the Stevie Spins, was followed by a wonderfully straightforward Gold and Braid, an upbeat nugget that was unrecorded until Enchanted.

After a fabulous version of Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, Nicks moved into an acoustic portion of her set that showed how good her voice still sounds and how strong her songwriting has always been.

>From the lilting country-rock of After the Glitter Fades to the sweetly naive Rose Garden, which she wrote when she was 17, Nicks and her eight-piece band were at the center of the stage like they were gathered around the campfire, making for some nice moments.

But the highlights were some of Nicks' biggest hits, a beat-heavy reworking of Stand Back that made the '80s single sound fresh, and a more dramatic version of Rhiannon, which started slow before building to its grand close.

The set-closing Edge of Seventeen showed that Nicks and her band can still rock, with the well-known guitar riff picking up more of an edge, along with her vocals.

Nicks has always been a fantastic performer and a pioneering female rock star, though putting so much onstage each night has taken its well-publicized toll on her private life.

It seems now she can enjoy herself on stage, which only seems right. Her fans have been enjoying her stage performances for years.

Boz Scaggs opened the show with a solid 50-minute set that featured songs from his new album Come on Home, showcasing a bluesier, more contemplative side.

But the crowd wanted the hits. And Scaggs, whose voice is as clear and as smooth as it was in his heyday, delivered. First came the still-touching ballads Look What You've Done to Me and We're All Alone, which was popularized by Rita Coolidge. Then came the danceable songs, which allowed Scaggs' five-piece band to shine.

Miss Sun was dynamic, featuring Lisa Frazier on backing vocals, while Lowdown and Lido Shuffle were as energetic as ever.

With his strong performance, it looks like Scaggs has once again found his niche.

Thanks to CL Moon for sending us this article.