Stevie Nicks at Seneca Niagara (2012)


Had Adele, Katy Perry, and Rihanna been inside the Seneca Niagara Events Center on Saturday night, they would’ve received an invaluable lesson from Stevie Nicks about what it means to be a female in the music industry.

From the opening chord of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll,” Nicks made it clear that she wasn’t just a pretty face in dire need of attention.  Her voice and sinuous mysticism gave the sold-out room an unforgettable evening filled with material that was beyond anything the aforementioned artists have created as of yet.

Granted, she’s amassed quite a few more miles than they have, but she still puts younger artists to shame every time her lungs open up.  While the public has anointed Adele “the next big thing,” Nicks has quietly released solo projects that stir the senses with very little fanfare.

When she sings about love, heartbreak, and dwelling in a pit of despair, you know she has the life experience to back those sentiments up.  Authenticity means everything in music, and Nicks has oodles of it.

Because her motivation to keep cranking out new material is too strong to ignore, she pronounced right from the start that this wouldn’t be a typical greatest hits package.  Newer songs such as “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream), “Ghosts Are Gone,” and “Soldier’s Angel” all killed, with the latter bringing the room to a searing boil of political fury.

Nicks appeared to make all the right moves throughout the set, so the crowd didn’t mind when a recent track slipped in between the classics.

Speaking of the classics, I was wondering how her band would compensate for the absence of Lindsey Buckingham shredding away on his Turner Model One guitar, but guitarist Waddy Wachtel was more than up to the challenge.

At 65 years of age, he tore through “Gold Dust Woman,” “Rhiannon,” and “Dreams” in effortless fashion, then delivered a scorching intro to “Edge of Seventeen” that made me appreciate the song more than ever before.

Every member of her nine piece backing band was on fire as the evening rolled along, and Nicks clearly trusted them to soar when the time came to nail the most critical moments.

“Landslide” and “Leather and Lace” both stuck out as high points of the two-hour set, because both saw Nicks’s indelible vocal touch outshine the original recordings in nearly every way.  While her vocal coach Steve Real tackled Don Henley’s part brilliantly, having Henley in attendance would’ve been something special indeed.

The encore of “Love Is” sealed the deal in stellar fashion, so the show stands as one of the finest this area has seen in 2012 thus far.  She showed no sign of slowing down and her monologue about being reincarnated from the nineteenth century proved that her one-of-a-kind spirituality is very much intact.

If you happen to reside in one of the cities left on her tour schedule, it would be beneficial to buy tickets immediately and show the under-25 members of your family what a real performance sounds like.




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