Stevie Nicks at Ridgefield Amphitheater (6/10/22)

Written by on August 31, 2022

Stevie Nicks at Ridgefield Amphitheater (6/10/22)

In which my mother and I trotted up to Washington to see Stevie Nicks in the pouring rain. When the reclusive Fleetwood Mac member announced a pre-tour tour date occurring at the Ridgefield Amphitheater, just a few miles north of Portland and Vancouver, I knew I had to go. I had already seen Lindsey and Christine many years ago during the tour for their duet album, so seeing Stevie solo would be the only chance to see the frontline Fleetwood Mac member trifecta in any capacity, what with the infamous Fleetwood Mac soap opera saga continuing into everybody’s twilight years. 

I had been a humongous fan of Fleetwood Mac since high school, the time in everybody’s life when they must get into Fleetwood Mac. But I was really into it; just check out my Spotify wrapped from 2015, you’ll cry. I was always mostly a Lindsey stan but I saw a lot of merit in Stevie’s output, both with the group and solo. After Lindsey Buckingham’s Out of the Cradle, I would put Stevie’s Wild Heart as one of the best solo records by an FM member. It is an excellent display in picking a concept for an album and sticking with it, as all songs make up part of a great whole, and it is obvious what is trying to be said; this is a feat that is not at all common when it comes to albums as a whole. It is dark, mysterious, playful and spiritual.

This show itself was fantastic, though getting to the venue was rough. Lines were long and the freeway was blocked. Despite leaving to arrive 15 minutes early, we showed up 45 minutes late. Fortunately, most others did as well and the proper show hadn’t really started yet. Unfortunately, we did miss Vanessa Carlton’s opening act but we made it for ‘A Thousand Miles’ and I had not listened to her back catalog in anticipation because I didn’t even know she would be there. After a couple of fifteen dollar beers to settle down from the stress of arriving we made our way to the marshy field overlooking the stage. The rain was pouring down heavily and our boots were getting muddy. For most other acts, these conditions may have been unpleasant, but, as it turns out, they perfectly complemented the music of Stevie Nicks. Me and my mother were in the audience acting like this.

When she finally came out, she was everything you hoped she would be. She was draped in a shawl which she explained was the original poncho she had bought for $6000 and worn on the Bella Donna album cover. She had a lace lining on the microphone. She danced, twirled and rocked out. She joked she would try and “use her powers” to stop the rain. She sang just like she did on the original records, with no real changes to any of the arrangements. She implored us to “listen to music, it’s always the key”. She talked about her love for the Twilight books and films while introducing songs that had been inspired by them, and told us she loved this part of the country because of its mysterious woods; “Vampire City”. She performed numerous tributes to her departed friend Tom Petty, including a rousing cover of Free Fallin’. My personal highlight was the emotional rendition of Landslide, a song that has been played to death on every Classic Rock station and In-Store Radio but remains at it’s core one of the most powerfully moving and raw songs ever written and recorded; something I forgot until hearing it live.

Getting home was a nightmare as the walk through the rain to the parking lot, illuminated only by passing headlights reminded me of something from a post-apocalyptic dystopian movie, and road closures made our GPS avoid the highway and take us through the Washington countryside where Leatherface could have come running out of any house. After I finally got home, however, I felt happy and complete that Stevie Nicks had met all my expectations and delivered a fantastic concert.

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