Say You Will Concert Review Arizona Daily Star
HEADLINE: Phoenix fans on fire for Stevie Nicks at mad Mac concert
BYLINE: Cathalena E. Burch, ARIZONA DAILY STAR
PHOENIX - Stevie Nicks let her shoulders drop and raised her arms, allowing her black gypsy-like cape to shroud her in a veil of sorts.
"Dreams unwind, love's a state of mind," she sang in her smoky, almost mournful voice, and the near-sellout crowd at America West Arena Monday night screamed so loudly you could barely hear Mick Fleetwood's steady thump-thumping on the drums.
"Oh, Rhiannon! Rhiannon!" Nicks howled, feeding the frenzied applause and making it even more apparent that in this town, in this cavernous arena, she was the star.
It was nothing new for her Fleetwood Mac bandmates. In the almost 30 years they've shared the stage, they have learned that when they play Phoenix, it's all about Arizona's favorite daughter.
On Monday, Nicks didn't disappoint. The 55-year-old singer- songwriter brought the thousands of fans to their feet from the moment she walked on stage and kept them standing. When she left the stage to give Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood a chance to flex their musical muscles, audience members returned to their cold seats. When she returned, they bolted upright, and folks sporting receding hairlines streaked gray danced as if their awkward grooves were still in fashion.
Fleetwood Mac's show in Phoenix wasn't intended to be a homecoming for Valley resident Nicks, but it was. You could tell in the extended applause, whistles and emotive screams. Nicks' aging parents watched from the sidelines throughout the 21/2-hour concert, which benefited the family's favorite charity, the Arizona Heart Foundation. The Mac has been doing benefit gigs for the charity throughout the years, dating back to the early days when Nicks' father, Jess, owned the old Compton Terrace amphitheater in Phoenix.
The audience recalled those days fondly as Nicks and Buckingham shared a a quiet glance and subtle embrace singing "Landslide." Then Buckingham took center stage and lit into a monster guitar rampage - one of several that elicited full-house standing ovations - that combined finger-picking with strumming to create the sound of duo axes.
Buckingham and Nicks bore the vocal burden in the absence of pianist-vocalist Christine McVie. She opted out of this latest Mac reunion, which included a substitute pianist, two extra axmen to complement John McVie's bass and Buckingham's wicked lead guitar, and two percussionists to add boom and bang to Fleetwood's drum lead.
McVie's absence was truly noticed only on the anthemlike "Don't Stop." Nicks sang in her stead, but it just didn't have that searing magic that McVie brings to the song. Buckingham and Nicks had no trouble covering the gaps in Mac classics like "Tusk," "Landslide," "Dreams," "Second Hand News" and "The Chain" and proved the band's potential with new material, including "Peacekeeper," "Say You Will" and "Goodbye Baby."
The duo also dipped into a vault of material they don't often tap for live shows, including "Beautiful Child," which Nicks dedicated to her father, and "Silver Springs," dedicated to her mother.
Then Nicks lit into "Stand Back," a hit from her solo past, to put an exclamation point on exactly why the audience was on its feet.
"Oh, won't you take me home," she sang, then assumed her haunting stance, bowed down with arms raised, a brown shawl now draping her shoulders and the length of her arms.
Then she did the twirl that is part tribal dance and part eagle spreading its wings, and the audience howled louder than it had all evening.
"I'm so excited to be here," she almost whispered. "I can't tell you." From the smile on her face, Stevie Nicks knew she was home.
Fleetwood Mac performed Monday evening at America West Arena in a benefit for the Arizona Heart Foundation.
2003-07-23 Number of views: