Music icon proves her voice ageless on 2022 tour
Pure. Voice. That’s what was on offer Monday (Oct 3rd) night at the legendary Hollywood Bowl when Stevie Nicks emerged under the bandshell.
Nicks stood still at her microphone and frequently swayed to her music. Large light cans hung from the crisp white bandshell. They moved up and down on springs as Nicks played with the shimmering ribbons draping from her microphone stand. That’s as complex as the production got.
The focus was squarely on Nicks’ catalogue and talent. Perhaps it’s the warmth of her emotionally nasal voice. Perhaps it’s the magic of the storied venue itself. But the Hollywood Bowl felt like a 17,000 seat listening room as Nicks offered an evening of songs and stories.
The music was often delivered in pairs. “Outside in the Rain” bled into “Dreams,” the first songs of the night. “Stop Draggin My Heart Around” gave way to “Enchanted.”
Stevie Nicks’ stoic versatility is unmatched. Her voice can at once soar and have a gravelly, grounded quality. The best example of this range in a singular song on this night was on “Soldier’s Angel.” To hear it is to feel it.
And no disrespect to Buffalo Springfield. But the Stephen Stills-penned “For What It’s Worth” has never sounded better than when Nicks gave it her haunting turn.
For those at the Hollywood Bowl, Nicks could do no wrong. The breathy utterance of “Baby, Baby, Baby,” whipped the crowd delirious. And if she delivered a trademark twirl with a cape? Forget it. The crowd’s collective mind was lost.
That this was an LA show was not lost. With no curfew to obey, Nicks shared stories in between songs. Like how Tom Petty offered her “Stop Draggin My Heart Around,” and she sang on it having never heard it before. There were shout outs to writers, producers, and friends in the crowd. Comedian Kathy Griffin, who often speaks of her grand encounters with Nicks in her stand-up sets, had “Wild Heart” dedicated to her.
Witnessing Stevie Nicks live is to witness something beyond a legend. She has shaped so much of music and paved the way for so many, that it is hardly exaggeration to call her true royalty.
During the first song of the night, Nicks changed a phrase in “Outside in the Rain” to say, “Baby is there anyone who can take my place?” She immediately responded cheekily, “I don’t think so!” No, Ms. Nicks, I don’t think so, either. I — and about a sold out crowd of 17,500 in the Los Angeles hills on a cool autumn night — know so.