South Florida Sentinel Review May 1986
Sometimes what you hear is what you get.
That isn`t necessarily the case with Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac`s spiritual and flighty lead vocalist, who`s currently on a solo tour that brings her to the Hollywood Sportatorium Saturday night.
Nicks writes catchy songs and generally makes good records. Her third and current solo album, Rock a Little, already has produced a pair of Top 20 singles -- Talk to Me, I Can`t Wait -- to go with such previous solo hits as Stand Back, If Anyone Falls, Edge of Seventeen, Leather and Lace, Stop Dragging My Heart Around. (She has the most successful career of any Fleetwood Mac member.)
Nicks` albums are well-crafted and carefully produced; the music is performed by the best players lots of money can buy. And there`s something about her warbling voice and dreamy lyrics that combine to strike a chord in millions of record buyers.
But fans planning to attend Nicks` Sportatorium show Saturday may be surprised. Her concerts generally fall short of expectations. Her voice is feeble and her stage presence confusing. Perhaps even Nicks doesn`t quite know what she`s trying to convey. Then again, it may be that she fails to communicate her self-proclaimed gypsy-fairy-wild heart image during her performances.
Even excellent backup bands featuring the likes of Waddy Wachtel, Rick Marotta, Liberty DiVito, Benmont Tench, Billy Payne and others have not been able to salvage her live performances.
It`s even more surprising because it was the addition of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham that revitalized a floundering Fleetwood Mac when the duo joined the band a decade ago and recorded a pair of back-to-back classic albums -- Fleetwood Mac and Rumours -- featuring Nicks` songs and lead vocals: Rhiannon, Dreams, Gold Dust Woman.
Fleetwood Mac`s string of hits continued on subsequent albums, with Nicks contributing to such songs as Sara, Hold Me and Gypsy.
In 1981, Nicks released her first solo album, Bella Donna, featuring duets with Tom Petty and Don Henley and backup playing by most of Petty`s band, the Heartbreakers.
Two years later, Nicks struck platinum again with The Wild Heart, with Petty and the Heartbreakers supplying more musical accompaniment.
Nicks` Wild Heart Tour stopped in South Florida for a performance at the Hollywood Sportatorium. Her crack backup band -- featuring players from the Heartbreakers, Little Feat, and Billy Joel`s band among others -- prevented the show from becoming a disaster. Yet they could not cover up Nicks` inability to keep time or hit the right notes. The Welsh Witch was truly under a bad spell as she floated around the stage in high-heeled boots, waving lace shawls. She nearly fell from the stage on several occasions. Her patter between songs wasn`t very coherent.
No matter. Nicks` ethereal songs, as well as her down-to-earth romantic rockers, are hook-filled and provocative. She has a loyal following and enough of both past and current hits to draw a substantial crowd.
The question is whether, this time around, she can deliver from the stage as well as she does from the security of the recording studio. What you hear is not always what you get.
Stevie Nicks is scheduled to sing Saturday at Hollywood Sportatorium, 16661 Hollywood Blvd., Pembroke Pines. Show time is 8 p.m. Opus is the scheduled opening act. Tickets are $16. For information call BASS, 428-0917.