07.25.1998 Stevie Nicks MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Opener: Boz Skaggs
Stevie Nicks is a divine performer. Blessed with a unique voice, an unmatchable sense of style and just enough mystique to keep you wondering. People continue to find her enchanting, even though her live act has more or less settled into the routine. It’s not such a bad thing, and she can hardly be criticized for doing what she does best. That is what people want to see. It does, however, make her live performance a mixed bag.
On the one hand, she has a regal command of the stage, in her swirling robes and trademark tambourine tied with a sash. On the other, though, her songs lack a certain amount of punch live. The ballads suffer particularly. Stevie Nicks was touring in support of her box set Enchanted and the set was generously coated in b-side balladry that she admitted to the audience, were songs she hadn’t been able to play live in the past. Mostly slower, less pop-oriented tunes like “Garbo” and “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You” that are supposed to be pretty, but came across as washed-out.
The good stuff is great. “Stand Back” and “Edge of Seventeen” put the crowd on their feet. “After the Glitter Fades” fortunately lost its Southern influences and came out a more enjoyable song as a result. But then “Twisted” was lackluster, especially since the studio version with Lindsey Buckingham is so vital. The dichotomy was most evident with a messy, uninhabitable version of “Rhiannon” that was too much piano at one point, too little melody at another.
I would have liked to see Stevie Nicks again during her Shangri-La tour because the songs on that album were so energetic and fresh and everything about her live act (including her reunion shows with Fleetwood Mac) seems very canned. I can’t get my head around the difference.
Outside The Rain
Gold Dust Woman
Gold and Braid
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
After The Glitter Fades
Whole Lotta Trouble
Edge of Seventeen
I Need to Know
Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You