CONCERT REVIEW: Stevie Nicks at the Greek

Stevie Nicks (Greek Theater, Hollywood; 6,197 seats; $ 32.50 top)

Promoted by Nederlander. Band: Stevie Nicks, Russ Kunkel, Rick Vito, Carlos Rios, Don Boyette, Marty Grebb, Michael Ruff, Lenny Castro, Sharon Celani, Sara Fleetwood, Liza Edwards. Reviewed Aug. 25, 1994. 

A Los Angeles-area concert from longtime local Stevie Nicks is almost always a special event, and this show, the first of two nights at the breezy Greek, was made even more memorable by the fortysomething singer’s spiritual attitude of late, not to mention the show’s numerous guest-star turns.

Nicks’ fifth solo album, the recently issued Street Angel (Modern/Atlantic), is full of the same simply composed, touching music that marked her early-’80s work, music that speaks volumes while often employing little more than a raspy whisper.

Though this 100-minute concert contained only a few songs from the new album, it was newer material, particularly the heart-breaking “Destiny,” that helped make the evening a memorable one.

That song, a beautiful, country-flavored confessional of love’s power, was written by Nicks in the early ’70s, yet played like a perfectly timed bridge for the diminutive singer to cross at this stage of her professional life. Capitol sax star Dave Koz frosted the number with his elegant, soaring performance.

Most in the crowd came for the classic material from Nicks’ Fleetwood Mac days, as well as her earliest solo efforts, and that seemed just fine with the shawl-covered vocalist. Smooth favorites like “Rhiannon,” which featured a haunting new ballad intro, “Edge of Seventeen” and “Dreams” brought the expected applause and were surprisingly affecting, more so when one considers the abrasive style of many of the latter-day female rock singers dominating the current music scene (Liz Phair, Courtney Love, etc.).

The show, which came within a couple hundred tickets of being a sellout, ended on a high note, as Nicks and band (by now featuring old friend Waddy Wachtel and show opening-act Darden Smith on guitar) tore through a cover of Tom Petty’s fiery “I Need to Know,” then closed the affair with a tear-filled version of 1985’s “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You,” a song of undying love inspired by one father’s grief for a lost child.

Though Nicks’ straightforward, soul-baring style and vulnerable personality seem irrelevant next to the bitter rage that marks contemporary modern rock, the enthusiasm she continues to instill in her adoring fans (who still shower the singer with all manner of gifts, by the way) is testament to the singer’s enduring appeal.

Troy J. Augusto / Daily Variety / August 29, 1994

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