As the lights dimmed on a humid May evening in Orlando, Florida, thousands of eager fans gathered in anticipation. Stevie Nicks was about to take the stage. The former Fleetwood Mac singer started performing solo in 1981 with her “White Winged Dove Tour,” boasting the lyrics from the beloved song “Edge of Seventeen.” “Bella Donna,” her debut album after leaving the band, topped the Billboard 200 that same year, and her music career has never been the same since.
Nicks began her show with “Outside the Rain,” track nine on “Bella Donna.” The crowd went wild. At 75 years old, her voice has remained nearly the same—just with added maturity. “Look in my eyes, touch my face/Baby there’s no one that/Can ever replace that heartache,” rang throughout the entire Amway Center. She then seamlessly transitioned into Fleetwood Mac’s song “Dreams,” a smash hit on TikTok two years ago. User 420doggface20 re-popularized the tune for Generation Z by aimlessly skateboarding in the middle of the street drinking cranberry juice. This carefree aesthetic perfectly encapsulates the song, and the audience knew every word. Nicks swayed as she sang her emblematic lyrics, and a kaleidoscope of colors filled the stage.
After a blackout, the iconic chords of another Fleetwood Mac hit, “Gypsy,” began. The screen behind her lit up with footage from the 1982 music video. Nicks returned to the stage in a monochromatic black outfit complete with flowy sleeves. The audience simply watched her in awe. There were hardly any phones in the crowd—everyone was taking in the moment.
An overwhelming cheer filled the arena as the set came to a close. Nicks then re-entered the stage and began her encore set with a cover of “Free Fallin’” by the late musician Tom Petty. Close friends in the 1980s, Nicks originally wanted to join Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, but ultimately never did. I remember my mom playing this song for me in the car every day before elementary school started, so hearing this song live from such a talented artist was exhilarating.
“Rhiannon,” one of my favorites, caused the audience to explode in screams. Since she had not played arguably Fleetwood Mac’s most popular song, we assumed it did not make the setlist. The surprise made me that much more excited to hear the iconic opening lyrics: “Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night / And wouldn’t you love to love her?” Gorgeous images of twirling vines and blossoming flowers illuminated the enormous screen. Blue lights encompassed the stage and flickered, adding to the overall dreamy aura this song emits.
She concluded her concert with “Landslide,” a song that never fails to make you reminisce. A song about the ever-evolving path of life, the introspective lyrics highlight the inevitable nature of growing up. The simplistic instrumentalization forces you to feel the passage of time through Nicks’ prolific lyrics. The crowd lit up with flashlights, swaying them to the acoustic hit. Only the lead guitarist and Nicks remained on stage, creating an intimate moment between them and the audience. It felt as if we were in Nicks’ recording studio, watching her practice such a personal song. I was overwhelmed with emotion hearing her melodious voice and just embraced my mom.
I walked out of the arena filled to the brim with pure bliss—that was the concert of my dreams. I threw on my new sweatshirt and left feeling nostalgic. Stevie Nicks’ concert elicited feelings of euphoria, wistfulness, and warmth. If you have the opportunity to see her live, consider attending Nicks’ tour, running until March of 2024.