CONCERT REVIEW: Gold Dust Woman a bit tarnished

’70s chanteuse Nicks tries to go with the flow.

Swirling eccentric Stevie Nicks may have a new solo record, Street Angel, to tout, but she played it safe Saturday night at the Starplex Ampitheatre by sticking to older hits, including a couple of songs from her days with Fleetwood Mac.

The place was a regular Victorian girl-fest, with a good chunk of the 9,000 in attendance suited up in lace-and-gauze homage. And you’ll surely never see as many rose bouquets presented at any other show.

For Ms. Nicks, lace and gauze hide a multitude of sins, which unfortunately will not appear in photo form. Ms. Nicks was unwilling to allow a photographer at the show – too distracting, was the word.

Appearance aside, it’s tough to flow with the decades when you’ve got an identity as distinctive as Ms. Nicks’. Her heyday occurred in the 1970s, but here in the ’90s, she comes off as someone rooted in the 18-70s, what with the shawls and the gauze and the new, crimped ‘do.

But flowing was not a problem during the show. Changing shawls at least half a dozen times, her performance contained only a little less flourish than a magic act.

A canvas backdrop featuring a gold-framed painting of some mountainous scene lent a baroque air. The seven-piece backup band of guitars, keyboards and percussion looked fairly typical, but the trio of witchy-women backup singers was more in line with Ms. Nicks’ persona.

Ironically, “Destiny,” one of the few songs she performed from her new record, is actually a song she wrote in 1973. Guess the creative wellspring’s run dry. The song was a real chugger and needed to stay in the ’70s.

Hits from prior solo records included “Rooms on Fire,” but probably the most popular numbers were the Fleetwood Mac tunes, including “Dreams” and “Gold Dust Woman.”

Ms. Nicks unfortunately stuck to the mid-range, vocally speaking, with none of the highs or lows that “Dreams” usually has. Plenty of vibrato, though.

“Rhiannon” began slowly, torchily, with Ms. Nicks emerging from backstage in a gauzy shawl, her arms upraised. The tempo stepped up, with a to-the-note solo by guitarist Rick Vito, who played with Fleetwood Mac.

Mr. Vito made for a nice distraction, but the show really rested on Ms. Nicks, on her shtick as much as her voice. She seems to fashion herself the heroine of her own romance novel. It’s a wonderful luxury to be at a point where you can live in a fantasy world, where everything’s colored crimson when it’s really just plain old red.

Teresa Gubbins / Dallas Morning News / September 11, 1994

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