Stevie Nicks is exactly what I wanted her to be, but I know she doesn’t care what anyone wants her to be. When the 68-year-old rock star took the stage at Nationwide Arena on Friday night, clad in a black lace dress and crazy-tall boots with a tambourine in hand, I knew it was going to be a night to remember.
As she told the crowd, this show was for her. She went through her catalog of songs and picked some of her favorites as well as some that hadn’t seen the light of the stage, for a show unlike the thousands shes done during her more than 40 year career.
Unsurprisingly, as a 21-year-old, I was much younger than most of the audience. Like, I’m sure, many of the young people there, I discovered Stevie Nicks through my grandfather. After he died, my dad and I were putting together a playlist for the reception, and he had me buy Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” album since it was my grandfather’s favorite. I never knew this before he died, but I’ve tried to make up for it by listening to the tracks and trying to see what he saw in them.
The best part of a concert is when an artist speaks directly to the audience, and does more than just awkwardly asking “How are you feeling tonight?” Nicks delivered with an anecdote for every single song throughout the night, plus some stories about her bandmates and clothing items she wore on stage —including the original Bella Donna cape! The concert lasted two hours and 15 minutes and by the end the crowd was chanting for her to just sing, but I live for personal anecdotes.
The stories she told of working with Prince seemed to get the most response from the audience. She said she actually wrote my personal favorite of the night, “Stand Back” while listening to Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” in a limousine. She called him and he came over to approve his influence on the song and help her lay down the track before speeding off in a purple Camaro.
A surprising anecdote went along with “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream).” She said she was disheartened that people do not buy as much music in the age of the internet, so she didn’t want to make new music anymore. But the “Twilight” saga, of all things, pulled her out of a hiatus in 2011 as she wrote a song inspired by the movie and Bella and Edward’s love affair. I just love that Stevie Nicks loves “Twilight.” Amazing.
Nicks also did a bit of motivational speaking, as many artists tend to do when they take the stage. She told audience members that, regardless of their ages, they should follow their dreams. A personally inspiring story was when she talked about wearing her one expensive outfit and strutting across campus when she was enrolled at San Jose State University in California, causing people to move out of the way. She that through her “vibe,” she convinced people she was important, and she convinced herself that she was going to be a big rock star one day.
Nicks faked it until she made it, and she definitely made it.