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Music Review

Nicks proves she’s still a main attraction

By Marc Hirsh
Globe Correspondent / August 31, 2011

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It’s been a mere five months since Stevie Nicks was last in Boston, and while that’s normal for a performer still building up buzz and a fanbase, it’s a rather hasty double-back for a rock legend. But back in March, she was the undercard for Rod Stewart, with only 75 minutes of stage time. At the Bank of America Pavilion on Monday, Nicks had almost two full hours to remind the audience that she’s still a main attraction.

Nicks began by expressing her grateful surprise that the concert was able to go off as planned at an outdoor venue the day after Irene blew through town, and by the end, she extended that gratitude to her fans for being willing to listen to new songs as well as classic-rock staples like the clipped and propulsive “Edge of Seventeen.’’ It was easy enough on songs like the warm and gently surging “Secret Love’’ and “Soldier’s Angel,’’ where guitarist Waddy Wachtel’s cutting octaves honed Nicks’s Walter Reed-inspired lyrics to a sharp edge.

While it is undeniable that some of the other edges of her voice have been inevitably dulled by time, Nicks was smart enough to implicitly admit it and not attempt high notes in “Dreams’’ and “Rhiannon.’’ On the other hand, big, full-throated notes in “Soldier’s Angel’’ and “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)’’ showed that the bulk of her voice remained perfectly strong.

Throughout the night, Nicks flowed and twirled but remained easygoing and conversational, talking casually regardless of how many times she might have told some of the stories just on this tour alone. She even feigned exasperation as she introduced “Landslide’’ by saying, “If I have to sing this song on television one more time. . .’’ But she sang it for the audience, anyway.

Armed with a striking whiskey tenor and little else, “America’s Got Talent’’ winner Michael Grimm opened with a covers-heavy set that might make for a good house band at a roots bar but was a bit of a snooze at the Pavilion.

Marc Hirsh can be reached at officialmarc@gmail.com.

STEVIE NICKS

With Michael Grimm

At: Bank of America Pavilion, Monday