Los Angeles Times (10/04/83), Stevie Nicks Twirling In Her Fantasy World
Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, October 4, 1983
Stevie Nicks Twirling In Her Fantasy World
by Steve Pond
Question: Who has more scarves than Elvis Presley? Who giggles more than the girls at a sixth-grade slumber party? Who twirls around more than a boxful of gyroscopes? Who sells more records than Fleetwood Mac?
Answer: Rock’s favorite moon child, Stevie Nicks, who fluttered into the Forum on Sunday night for a guided tour through her personal fairy kingdom, displaying all the attributes that make her such a curious, perversely fascinating personality.
Nicks clearly occupies her own little fantasy world, one that’s laid out in spooky detail in her determinedly poetic, rambling songs. It has an official mascot (the whit-winged dove), a preferred dress (flowing scarves, the better to twirl in) and a clearly defined populace (everybody with a “wild heart,” and particularly Stevie’s Sisters of the Moon).
The imagery is predictable and shallow, her frequent dying-swan routines laughable, her barely coherent, giggle-laden comments embarrassing.
But there’s always a market for earnest silliness masquerading as poetic insight, and one look at the adoring fans who showered Nicks with roses and stuffed animals demonstrates how firmly she connects with her fans. She’s not cynical or manipulative but apparently baffled and honestly touched by the emotion she inspires. All this doesn’t make the spectacle any easier to enjoy, just harder to dismiss.
And her honest, addle-headed lyrics are often back ed by persuasive music. In a way, Nicks constantly rewrites the same songs, but her generic ballad as an attractive lilt to it, whether it’s called “Dreams” or “Sara” or “Gypsy” or “Rhiannon” (her first hit and, as one friend of hers laughed, “the Sisters of the Moon national anthem.”)
At the Forum, though, her more recent, harder songs were fresher and more vital. The frayed edges of her quavery voice nicely fit the metallic, churning grooves of songs like “Edge of Seventeen,” “If Anyone Falls” and the show’s centerpiece, “Stand Back.”
This last song whipped things up into a truly impressive tremulous frenzy (though Nicks, true to form, spoiled it by tottering away from the mike in her spike heels and going into another bunch of dumb twirls). her high-priced band, which includes Bruce Springsteen pianist Roy Bittan and Tom Petty organist Benmont Tench, was generally capable and assured, though at times the potent kick of the Fleetwood Mac rhythm section was sorely missed.
But Nicks has always been more attractive as part of a Fleetwood Mac show, where many of the best songs come while she’s offstage changing veils. However hospitable her fans find Nicks’ magic kingdom, she is simply too fluttery, flighty and silly to command a stage.
The show was opened by Joe Walsh, who normally displays a nicely twisted sense of humor and a good grasp of tension-and-release hard rock. But Sunday’s show exhibited few of Walsh’s strengths. Undermined by a case of laryngitis, a muddy and relatively quiet sound and low energy level, he was simply dull.
1983-10-04 Number of views: