Saturday Night: Stevie Nicks At The Woodlands
Aftermath can't help but wonder if the people who think Stevie Nicks is some kind of wand-waving white-witch faerie queen have paid much attention to anything she's done besides "Rihannon." Not that Nicks didn't give those Woodlands creatures what they wanted Saturday; we were just a wee bit surprised at what else she gave them.
To bend the title of one of her albums, Nicks didn't rock a little Saturday. She rocked a lot.
Nicks is not going to make Lita Ford or Joan Jett (and probably not even Pat Benatar) cast any defensive spells around their amplifiers. Probably. But "Stand Back," a wicked wind-machine workout of an opener, and the new "Ghosts are Gone" had a much sharper hard-rock edge to them than we expected, like Nicks was hiding razor-blade fingernails in her fingerless gloves.
Truthfully, Nicks - blonde, beskirted and bewitching as ever at 63 - needed no other talisman than Waddy Wachtel, longtime L.A. session guru and Keith Richards' onetime co-pirate in the X-Pensive Winos. The white-haired guitar warlock on Nicks' sinister side (to those of us in the audience) lent a touch of Ted Nugent and Alice Cooper, never more than on the extended introduction/incantation to "Edge of Seventeen" that threatened to fan some bubbly Deep Purple smoke on the water.
But Wachtel also had the possibly thankless task of tolling up the stark electric chords to accompany "Soldier's Angel," the song from Nicks' new album In My Dreams she wrote after a visit to Walter Reed hospital - including an up-close MASH-unit encounter on the way out that left her visibly shaken, even Saturday - during which she shapeshifts from angel to widow to mother to nurse.