July 12, 2001
Stevie Nicks keeps rocking-and twirling
By Rick Bird, Post staff reporter
Girls do rock. Stevie Nicks - with a lot of help from her friend Sheryl Crow - proved that at Riverbend Wednesday.
Ms. Nicks brought her first solo tour in seven years to town, performing a splendid two-hour set laced with her Fleetwood Mac hits and several tunes from her new album, ''Trouble in Shangri-La.''
It is an album co-produced by Ms. Crow, and the singer is along for the ride on this tour as guest star and soul mate.
''We talked a long time ago about how we could walk on the same stage together,'' Ms. Nicks explained to the audience about Ms. Crow's presence. ''She's just part of the band.''
Ms. Crow quietly appeared early in the set as a backing vocalist on Ms. Nick's signature song ''Gold Dust Woman,'' wonderfully harmonizing with Ms. Nicks on the tune. She stuck around for another six songs, easily coming and going on stage throughout the night. At one point Ms. Crow gave Ms. Nicks a break, taking center stage performing her own ''Winding Road.''
But Ms. Crow hardly stole the show from Ms. Nicks, who showed that at 53 she still is an elegant, gracious performer whose career has defined rock sensuality.
Her nasal, raspy voice has lost a few high notes over the years, but the some 12,000 Riverbend fans didn't come to see her vocal range anyhow. They came for Ms. Nick's classy, alluring act that drew cheers every time she went through her little twirly dance dressed in her flowing black gown and tight corset top.
For some female rockers, you count costume changes. With Stevie Nicks, it's shawl changes. She sported at least four different ones, ranging from a stunning gold shawl to a sequined black one as she kept up the enticing image of a rock torch singer that she created 25 years ago when she almost single-handedly turned the obscure British blues band Fleetwood Mac into a '70s pop hit machine.
It was her signature solo hits and Mac favorites that drew the biggest response, such as the opening ''Stop Draggin' My Heart Around,'' in a set spiced with such hits as ''Rhiannon,'' ''Dreams,'' ''Stand Back'' and a searing ''Edge of Seventeen'' that closed the night.
Sprinkled throughout the show were songs from her new album, including tunes that fans seem to have adopted as instant favorites such as ''Sorcerer,'' ''Everyday'' and ''Too Far From Texas.''
Ms. Nicks brought along a great six-piece rock 'n' roll band with two backup singers. It was anchored by searing session guitarist Waddy Wachtel and hard-drivin' bassist Carlos Rios.
But it was Ms. Nicks' presence that carried the night as she easily played her role as rock's reigning Earth mother. Ms. Nicks is one of those artists who seems constantly on the comeback trail. She confided to Rolling Stone magazine that she recently fought a five-year addiction to the tranquilizer Klonopin. This, on top of her well-documented cocaine addiction in the '70s and her tortured romantic relationships with fellow Mac members, seems to have created an instant bond with her audience, respecting this ultimate rock survivor.
But that tortured past seemed to be behind her as Ms. Nicks easily rocked on with buddy Sheryl Crow, who played her role perfectly as part guest star and part backup singer, but never stealing the show from the main attraction.
It will be intriguing to see if these two excellent female rockers will stick together for future projects. Indeed, Ms. Nicks has suggested in interviews that Ms. Crow could replace Christine McVie in a revamped Fleetwood Mac lineup.