Arizona Republic 7-25-98

Stevie Nicks keeps on rocking By Melissa Morrison

Even though Stevie Nicks' concert Thursday, July 23 was culled primarily from her solo works, she gave an early and much-appreciated nod to her association with Fleetwood Mac.

Opening with Outside the Rain, a 1981 release from her solo Bella Donna album, she soon segued into Dreams, arguably the Mac hit that's most ingrained on fans' consciousness. It was a gutsy gesture - as though she wanted to be up front about it, so the audience wouldn't spend the rest of the concert wondering whether the song would be performed - but a not entirely flattering one.

What makes that recording so haunting is Nicks' ethereal vocals. In her rendition at America West Arena, she chopped off those wisps, making Dreams more meaty and thumping. Whether, at this summary point in her career, she's lost those upper registers or she's simply decided to do something different with work she's performed millions of times, something has been lost.

Despite the sequined shawls and blond halo, Nicks is no longer the weary angel that made her such a distinctive figure of the '70s and '80s. On Thursday, she was an earthy, middle-age performer backed by skill and stories in an industry whose legends are burnished by dying young.

That pretty much sums up the rest of Nicks' two-hour concert, including her performance of other Fleetwood Mac hits she helped define. The arid spaces that made Gold Dust Woman such a rock-radio standout were filled in Thursday with a more muscular, and more generic, tempo. Likewise, though Nicks recorded Rhiannon on her Enchanted boxed set as a spare piano-and-voice arrangement, in concert, her band gave the song the full-blown rock treatment.

Nicks' more straightforward major-key work was better suited to those powerful lungs - and the arena setting. In particular, the bouncy Enchanted and Stand Back pulsed.

Phoenix-born Nicks gathered her musicians close to her for the three songs dedicated to her early years: After the Glitter Fades, Garbo and Rose Garden, the latter of which she said she wrote when she was a 17-year-old who knew she didn't want to grow up to be a secretary.

Mick Fleetwood bounded onstage toward show's end, pounding a drum and stomping like a madman. His drum's shoulder strap immediately broke, but, unfazed, he hammered out a gleeful rhythm over the percussionist's shoulder until a roadie repaired the strap. After an evening of Nicks' power pop and fringe-trailing theatrics, Fleetwood's Robert Bly antics were a palate clearer.

His drumming went on to provide the propulsive backbone to Edge of Seventeen. Nicks pretended to end the concert there, but because announced guest Don Henley hadn't yet put in an appearance, it wasn't hard to figure out what the encore would be. A dapper Henley soon arrived to perform a duet with Nicks on Leather and Lace. Now there's a man whose voice hasn't changed a note with the passage of time.

Boz Scaggs was a gracious opener, performing a 45-minute set that scanned his work from the extended bluesy Loan Me a Dime to the arousing Lido Shuffle. For such a laid-back guy, he managed to easily command an arena with his presence.

Thanks to CL Moon for sending this article to us.