Stevie Nicks Pondering the Millennium

A spirited Nicks, with enthusiasm stronger than her voice

POP MUSIC REVIEW

The most avid fans of Stevie Nicks love her with an ardor that verges on supplication, as if the singer alone has the answers to life’s mysteries. Nicks tacitly acknowledges that role. Near the end of her performance at the House of Blues on Monday* (the first of a four-night engagement at the club), she assuaged the sold-out crowd by announcing that, come Y2K, “Everything is gonna be all right.” Well, isn’t that a relief?

(* The first show was Tuesday, December 28. —Ed.)

There’s always been a touch of the mystic about Nicks. Ever since she swathed herself in black chiffon and sang about benevolent witches and gold dust women with Fleetwood Mac, then embarked on a spotty solo career, she has maintained a chilly inscrutability that’s kept her fans intrigued. Aside from the big-bucks Fleetwood Mac reunion in 1997, Nicks has maintained a low profile of late, but this club date, a run-through of greatest hits, found her in rare good spirits on stage.

Perhaps freed from the pressures of promoting a new album or selling the Fleetwood Mac brand name, Nicks was a blithe spirit, tossing off self-deprecating japes, glad-handing crowd members and interacting playfully with her band of studio slicks. Her voice, never the most reliable instrument, wavered listlessly at times, and her polite, nine-piece group couldn’t provide her with the punch she needed to make the material soar. Still, Nicks’ enthusiasm was just enough to compensate for the evening’s ragged edges.

• Stevie Nicks plays Monday and Tuesday at the House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. 9 p.m. Sold out. (323) 848-5100. Also Jan. 8-9 at the Sun Theatre, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 8 p.m. Sold out. (714) 712-2700.

Marc Weingarten / Los Angeles Times / Thursday, December 30, 1999

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