All the best rock stars have their trademark stage moves. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and pop singer Christina Aguilera are certainly aware of the attention that these singular moves command, having sung about “Moves Like Jagger” in the summer of 2011. From Chuck Berry’s rhythmic “duck walk” to Roger Daltrey’s swinging mic routine to the late Michael Jackson’s gravity-defying moonwalk, the greatest performers know exactly what it takes to put on the most memorable stage shows. The Queen of Rock herself, Stevie Nicks, is no different on her mission to leave the crowd visually spellbound at each show. Here are 10 of Stevie’s best kinetic onstage moments over the years.
10. Air guitar, drums, keyboards…
Who doesn’t want to play guitar, drums, or keyboards like a rock star? Granted, Stevie is already an established rock star who has nothing more to prove, so this spectacle is unnecessary. But a girl can still dream, like in this clip, in which Stevie’s gets so lost in air keyboards that she misses her vocal cue to start “Rhiannon.”
9. Shake those maracas! – “Sara” (skip to 1:20)
This is a relatively new stage move that Stevie introduced during the instrumental breaks in “Sara.” It’s kind of tribal at first glance, as Stevie raises her arms up high and shakes her hands like maracas. She even varied it in latter tours by walking backwards. At 65, that takes coordination!
8. Crouching Stevie, Hidden Dragon (skip to 5:20)
There’s something imposing about this great stance, like something serious is about to happen. Stevie digs her feet in, assumes the position, and just lets loose, like in this unforgettable performance of “Rhiannon” from Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 Mirage tour.
7. “Say You Will” Lasso dance (skip to 0:48)
The “Say You Will” lasso dance has arguably been Stevie’s most elaborate stage move because it involves so many steps. So here’s the breakdown, with lyrical cues in parentheses:
1) Face forward and start singing, “Say you will, say you will…,”
2) point your index finger up (“Give me one more chance…”),
3) open your hands, bend your arms and spread them to the side (“At least give me time…”),
4) shake your hands in disapproval (…to change your mind”),
5) place your arms to the side, raise them up, extend them to the center (“It always seem to heal the wounds if I can…”), and finally
6) put your left arm on your hip and wave an invisible lasso overhead with your right hand. (“…get you to dance.”)
Got it? It’s OK if you didn’t because, fortunately, we have a video tutorial. Front row fans realized that once they got the steps down, they could mimic the lasso dance at the shows. And they did just that!
6. “Happy Feet Hoedown” – “Angel” (skip to 8:10)
Mylie Cyrus may have popularized the move, but she’s got nothing on Stevie’s version of the hoedown throwdown, complete with happy feet. Adorable.
5. Graceful spinning – “Gypsy” (skip to 3:47)
She is dancing away from you now…and spinning! Stevie introduced this continuous spinning move during The Dance. It’s slower than another great spinning move that she’s known for (coming up!), but the speed is just right for the midtempo “Gypsy.” Donning a beautifully layered black dress with long, flowing sleeves, Stevie exudes elegance and grace with each turn.
4. Interpretive dancing – “Gold Dust Woman” (skip to 8:25)
Nothing captures Stevie’s mystical charm like the series of moves she has put together for “Gold Dust Woman.” There have been variations on this interpretive dance over the years, and every time we see it, we are simply entranced.
3. Marching high kick – “Gold and Braid” (skip to 2:54)
Fan often pay homage to this memorable stage move at tribute parties. But most fans will turn to this familiar performance from the 1981 White Winged Dove Tour to rekindle fond memories of marching high kicks and flying tambourines. Unfortunately, Stevie no longer performs the move (or song) onstage, otherwise it would be higher on this list. But seeing the clip over again continues to make fans nostalgic.
2. “Stand Back” high kick
Stevie performs the “Stand Back” high kick so fast that you could literally blink and miss it. But it is a sight to behold. Stevie has mentioned in interviews that she has always been incredibly limber, boasting that she can do the full splits in a heartbeat. While we’ve never seen Stevie throw down the full splits in performance, the “Stand Back” high kick is the next best thing. (To see Stevie doing a full split, watch the opening scene of the “Gypsy” video.) If you pumped your fist in pride when Daniel LaRusso of The Karate Kid (aka “Daniel-san”) performed the winning “Crane Technique,” against his formidable competitor, then you will be knocked out when Stevie does her stage-right “Stand Back” high kick.
1. “Stand Back” spinning (skip to 5:05)
It’s probably no surprise that Stevie’s best stage moves happen in “Stand Back,” the pulsating highlight of Stevie’s live shows. The infectious beats and ominous synth notes just command energy and movement. Though her spinning velocity may vary from tour to tour, fans roar in approval whenever Stevie puts herself into motion. It’s a happy moment for everyone.