Stevie Nicks performed at Asbury Park’s Sea. To hear. Now Festival on September 17th. It was a deeply moving performance, filled with tributes to her favorite artists and friends. Her setlist was everything the fans wanted, and she sounded perfect. However, the most powerful part of Nicks’ set was the fan reactions.
Fans were extremely excited to see Stevie Nicks at the Sea. To hear. Now Festival
Early on September 17, some loyal fans began camping out against the barricade in front of the Surf Stage on the sandy beach of Asbury Park. They risked the heat and being packed during every performance during the six-plus hour wait before Nicks took the stage. They wore T-shirts with her face.
After a midday performance by Skip Marley, most people left for the other festival performances. Their departure allowed other fans to get closer to the people who had camped out. None of the fans in that area wanted to leave their seats a second before Nicks officially left the stage.
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Fans grew increasingly anxious to see Nicks before she continued at 9pm. Then, suddenly, the loudspeakers began playing “Runnin’ Down A Dream” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The fans screamed. After the song, Nicks’ band entered the stage and the fans screamed.
They started playing “Outside the Rain”. Finally, Nicks appeared. At his entrance, the roar of the crowd was louder than the music. Fans stretched out their arms and some cried. It was hard not to shed a tear in the force of the moment; everyone was feeling. It felt like a religious experience.
After “Outside the Rain,” Nicks delved into a deep version of his Fleetwood Mac hit “Dreams.” Her voice is perfect in the lower notes, but unfortunately she can’t sing any louder anymore.
After greeting the audience, Nicks performed “If Someone Falls.” The next song Nicks played and another later in his hour and a half at Sea. To hear. Now Festival were moving tributes to a dear friend.
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Nicks paid a touching tribute to Tom Petty during his Sea. To hear. Now Festival set
After “If Someone Falls,” Nicks jumped into “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” his hit with Tom Petty. The couple met in the late 1970s. Immediately, Nicks knew she wanted to be friends with Petty and barely left him alone until he felt the same way about her.
They eventually recorded “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” in 1981, and the song became a Nicks’ hit. Bella Donna.
After she performed the song, Nicks jumped to “Enchanted.” Then, she announced that she recently recorded a cover of her upcoming song, “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, and plans to release it in the coming weeks.
“It really wasn’t a political song. It was actually written about the riots on Sunset (Boulevard, Los Angeles),” Nicks told the crowd. “…I just thought that, at some point, the song would save the world, and I thought this would be a good song for now.” Nicks sounded great on “For What It’s Worth”. Buffalo Springfield undoubtedly played an important role in Nicks’ musical identity.
The track will be Nicks’ first solo release since his 2020 single “Show Them The Way.” After the protest song, Nicks performed “Gypsy”, “Wild Heart” and “Bella Donna”. All were perfection.
So Nicks again paid tribute to Petty by performing his song “Free Fallin’”. As she sang, Nicks projected onto the screen behind her old and new photos of the couple during their long friendship. Everyone in the audience felt the love Nicks still has for Petty. It’s clear she’s still mourning the musician, who died in 2017.
This was not the only tribute. After powerful performances of “Stand Back” and “Gold Dust Woman”, Nicks performed one of his biggest hits, “Landslide”. She dedicated the song to her Fleetwood Mac bandmate, Mick Fleetwood’s daughter Tessa, who is her goddaughter (Tessa and her twin Ruby are her goddaughters). Tessa was in the audience watching Nicks, who added with emotion: “Tessa, this is for you, and I don’t see you often, my angel, but I’m always with you.”
For his last song, Nicks played “Edge of Seventeen”. As during “Free Fallin’,” Nicks projected photos of his friend Prince onto the screen. When Nicks finished the song, she left the stage, but it was far from finished at Sea. To hear. Now Party.
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Nicks played an epic final song
Of course, once Nicks left the stage, fans started screaming her name like she was a goddess. It took less than two minutes for Nicks to get back on stage to play another Fleetwood Mac hit, “Rhiannon.”
Then, for his final song, Nicks sang “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin. Nicks sang the song often, but that doesn’t mean she sang at Sea. To hear. Now the Festival was nothing short of spectacular.
The fans cried once more and screamed at the top of their lungs. So Nicks walked off stage after bowing to the crowd with his band. It seemed like no one wanted to leave the beach. An hour and a half was not enough time.
The strong reaction from fans, particularly from the younger generation, shows that Nicks is still one of rock’s most beloved stars. She definitely felt that love too.
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