Stevie Nicks has it. And she gets it.
Some folks are blessed with “it,” a difficult-to-describe quality that helps make a person remarkable.
“It” is a gift, really. You can’t teach it. You can’t buy it. You just have it, or you don’t.
Nicks has “it.” This was evident the second she arrived on stage Monday night at the BOK Center.
Between Nicks’ aura (swear you can almost see the glow) and that hypnotic voice (Homer’s sirens should take lessons from her), it was reinforced during a two-hour, 15-minute set that this person is a singular, special talent. Good luck finding another one like her.
And, as mentioned up high, Nicks “gets it” — she gets that she can make a concert experience more meaningful, more personal, by engaging a crowd in conversation, rather than hurriedly plowing through a set list and saying, “Goodbye, Tulsa.”
Nicks performed, encore included, 17 songs. Before almost every song, she told a story related to the song. And, in rare instances when she went immediately from one song to another with no chit chat in between, she “back-splained” the tunes she had just sung.
I don’t know how the majority of attendees felt about Nicks shifting back and forth between sing gear and talk gear, but why in the heck wouldn’t you want a concert to be a one-of-a-kind experience with artist commentary? If all you want is song after song with no elaboration, maybe a greatest-hits album should be your next adventure. Here’s to more artists using the Nicks concert format, instead of being mute or predictable.
One of the first stories Nicks told was a recollection of her desire to take a break from Fleetwood Mac and record a solo album. While making her first solo album, she was told the album didn’t have a single. Thankfully, longtime pal Tom Petty had a song ready to go. He teamed with her for “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Nicks said the song kicked her album “right up into the stratosphere,” and a solo career was successfully launched.
Because of Petty, Tulsa has a six-degrees-of-Kevin Bacon connection to Nicks. When Petty was a pup, he lurked about Tulsa during the Leon Russell/Shelter Records era. “A lot of people used to think Petty was from Tulsa,” Dwight Twilley, who was in the Shelter Records stable, told the Tulsa World in 2010.
Petty and the Heartbreakers received the Legend Award at the 2003 Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas. The presenter was Nicks, who said at that time, “(Petty) not only started out as my greatest musical influence, but today, he’s still my greatest musical influence.”
Nicks’ BOK set included a song (“Starshine”) she recorded with Petty and the Heartbreakers many years ago.
“It was really such a good track that, if either one of us had been doing a record, it would have gone on one of those records,” she said. “But neither of us was doing a record, so it went into what I like to call the gothic trunk of lost songs and there it stayed until now.”
The song is a track on Nicks’ new album, “24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault.”
Nicks’ set was a mix of new and old, of solo works and Fleetwood Mac songs (“Rumours,” the monster Fleetwood Mac album that everybody — everybody — owned turned 40 last month). Hits revisited during the show included “If Anyone Falls,” “Gypsy,” “Stand Back,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Edge of Seventeen,” “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.”
Nicks told a story about how the Prince song “Little Red Corvette” inspired her to write “Stand Back.” She said she feels like Prince is standing beside her when she performs the song now.
Early in the show, Nicks sang “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” and the crowd cheered when she was joined on stage by Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of the opening act, the Pretenders. Hynde said during the Pretenders’ gig that she used her spare time in Tulsa to visit the Woody Guthrie Center.
Near the end of the show, Nicks, 68, expressed appreciation for the crowd and said she feels like she could do this for another 10 years. She’s got “it” on her side.