all words: John Thornley
all photos: Lauren Bulbin
Stevie Nicks is a rock’n’roll woman. Her performance on Saturday night only enforced that. Playing to a pavilion only crowd at Jiffy Lube Live, she swept through 4 decades of hits while also promoting songs off her new album, “In Dreams.” Watching the crowd file in for the show there was mix of good ole southern MD and VA types, smoking up in their cars while listening to Fleetwood Mac pre-show, to the “Leather and Lace” types that seem to have their Bella Donna era costumes on lock.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect live, seeing as how I was born during her prime solo years of touring. But when she came out to the four on the floor march of “Stand Back”, everyone jumped to their feet and began dancing. While she moves a little slower and her band looks a little older, she sounds better now than she did at her peak. She attributes this to her vocal coach and her warmups that she does pre-show.
If you go back and watch some live clips of her in the 70’s and 80’s, you can really tell a difference. And that’s what this whole show comes down to, Stevie’s voice. It’s front and center, clear as a bell, like she’s whispering in your ear (Landslide) or tearing through the night with a war cry (Edge of Seventeen). Her band leader and lead guitarist, Waddy Wachtel, should be mentioned as well. This guy has been one of the most in demand studio musicians for the past 40 years and he adds alot to her live show. Skulking around the stage he rips through guitar riffs and commands both the attention of his fellow band mates and the crowd.
Her song selection spanned her whole career, including Fleetwood Mac era, but skewed heavily towards new material off the album “in Your Dreams” which came out a few months ago. Some of those songs can stand up to her older material but the others I wished she would have substituted for songs from her early solo albums. Below is a setlist for the night.
Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)
Gold Dust Woman
For What It’s Worth
Ghosts Are Gone
Leather and Lace
Edge Of Seventeen
This video is a good representation of the vibe for her current tour: