Stevie Nicks’ Bangor show is as talented and charming as ever


On Thursday, the autumn equinox brought the start of fall to Maine, bringing with it the legendary Stevie Nicks, one of the most occult figures in popular music. She enchanted the Bangor crowd with poise, presence, and a voice that improbably hasn’t aged a day since she boarded the Fleetwood Mac tour bus in 1975. She also has an incredibly extensive music collection and a fashion sense so distinctive that you could tell exactly where dressed-up concert attendees were driving if you saw them at gas stations.

Arrival of autumn coincided with a marked drop in temperature and sporadic showers that drenched concertgoers just enough to give the cold wind some bite. But it made no discernible difference to the crowd’s mood. At Maine Savings Amphitheater, the crowd was loud and upbeat the entire time, yelling furiously whenever Nicks left the microphone to perform her signature twirls. At 74 years old, this was a more delicate proposition, making the effort all the more appealing. She also, coincidentally, began the performance with a medley that specifically alluded to the weather, starting with “Outside the Rain” from her 1981 solo album “Bella Donna” and including a smooth transition into the Fleetwood Mac classic “Dreams” (featuring the “thunder only happens when it’s raining”

She used her solo discography more frequently than her Fleetwood Mac discography throughout the show. There were almost as many tributes to her buddy Tom Petty as there were to Fleetwood Mac; she sang their duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” covered his “Free Fallin’,” and entered the stage to Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream” playing over the sound system.

Her solo material demonstrated the breadth of her composition, almost as if she had written songs particularly for a lengthy and enjoyable concert set, when mixed with her Mac stuff. “If Anyone Falls” and “Stand Back” were two options for dance tracks with a strong synthesiser influence. With “Enchanted,” “Gypsy,” and “Bella Donna,” you got barroom blues, soft-rock, and power balladry, respectively. To extract the most drama and contrast from the material, this range was all practised and performed with a professional backup band.

The two songs that concluded the concert, “Gold Dust Woman,” from Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours,” and “Edge of Seventeen,” her biggest solo hit, were the best examples of this. After a protracted intro to “Gold Dust Woman,” Nicks reappeared on stage draped in a gold shawl. Additionally, it had long musical sections in the middle and the finale, during which Nicks danced wildly. At the conclusion of the song, she stood facing the audience while rising her arms so that the shawl looked like wings.

She sung the lyric “I’m getting older too” in the song “Landslide,” which she has been singing for almost 50 years, getting more pointed with each passing year. She still interprets her earlier stuff as if she wrote it yesterday, keeping endlessly vibrant even as we all age. Her songwriting mix of young energy, unique viewpoint, and wise-beyond-her-years words have aged amazingly well.

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