Stevie Nicks' solo performance at the Universal Ampitheater was a triumphant homecoming for the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman, which was by turns adventurous and predictable.
excused had Nicks been off the boards for years. Nicks’ signature vocals were in fine form throughout, never wavering or thinning by show’s end, and packing a punch most vocalists only dream of on such numbers as “Stand Back” or “Edge of Seventeen,” the latter the set finale and buffered with downbeats provided by Mick Fleetwood, mugging for the crowd and capering about the stage with a conga drum under his arm. There were also plenty of twirling, a plethora of knitted shawls gracing Nicks’ shoulders and only a pair of dress changes, down considerably from the sometimes double-digit wardrobe changes of roadshows launched during her solo peak in the ’80s. Nicks, who appeared fresh and energized from last year’s Fleetwood Mac reunion tour and disc, is hitting the road to support her own career retrospective, an Atlantic Records boxed set dubbed “The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks,” which highlights her tunes recorded from 1982 to the present. But it was the nuance and subtlety evidenced during the perf that separates Nicks from many of her peers. Her taut vocal interpretations on such Mac staples as “Rhiannon,” “Dreams” and “Landslide” demonstrated her range, while also illustrating why she is without equal. Opener Boz Scaggs served up an uneven, 45-minute set that touched the expected tunes, “Sierra” and “Look What You’ve Done to Me,” the 1980 ballad made into a hit after appearing in the film “Urban Cowboy,” with each tune excessively lathered with Scott Plunkett’s Hammond B-3 organ strains. Save for Scaggs’ unique vocals, the set offered nothing distinguishable, despite his impressive body of work that meshes pop, rock and R&B. Even with aid from the ace percussionist, Lenny Castro, a perf of the usually funked-up “Lowdown” registered as anemic.
Stevie Nicks; Boz Scaggs
Universal Amphitheatre, L.A.; 6,287 capacity; $69 top
Promoted by Universal Concerts. Reviewed July 27, 1998.
Bands: (Nicks) Carlos Rios, Don Boyett, Lenny Castro, Land Richards, Frank Simes, Kevin Stoller, Brett Tuggle, Sharon Celani, Mindy Stein; (Scaggs) Scott Plunkett, Richard Patterson, Kiki Ebsen, Lisa Frazier, Oscar Seaton.