Arts and Entertainment

Bella Donna, a tribute to Stevie Nicks, plays Muckleshoot Casino on Friday

Bella Donna, A Tribute to Stevie Nicks, performs at the Muckleshoot Casino
Bella Donna, A Tribute to Stevie Nicks, performs at the Muckleshoot Casino's Club Galaxy on Friday, June 13.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Bella Donna, A Tribute to Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, plays Club Galaxy at the Muckleshoot Casino at 7 p.m. Friday.

Featuring a visual interpretation of the music of the multimillion-album-selling supergroup and the solo work of Nicks, the band has been plying its trade for more than 10 years.

"We formed in December of 2002," said Michelle Tyler, who interprets the visual and musical styles of Nicks on stage. "My husband (Bella Donna guitarist Bob Weitz) and I have been playing together in different cover bands for years. We always did a lot of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks songs, and it always got the most response. People loved it."

Despite the overwhelmingly positive response to the tunes, however, Tyler and Weitz were wary of starting a tribute band.

"Twelve years ago the tribute scene wasn't as big as it is now," Tyler said.

The magic of playing the music was too much to pass up, however, and Bella Donna was born.

To give audiences as much bang for their buck as they could, Tyler said, Bella Donna strives to faithfully recreate the music with a 10-piece band, including backup singers, and provide a visual element.

"If you're doing a tribute, you really want it to be authentic," she said.

That includes nailing Nicks' distinctive style of dress on stage.

"That is actually one of the real pluses of doing this," Tyler said. "With Stevie she stayed pretty much true to her image through her career, and that's great for us. It's really identifiable. I've copied and recreated most of her wardrobe. I've had to work with designers and seamstresses and go to the video or print to recreate this. I've got quite a wardrobe, I love it."

She continued:

"The main thing is she has got an identifiable sound and look," Tyler said. "People love the fact that I do so many costume changes. I've incorporated all of that in the show. And that just couples with the songs everyone has known."

Bella Donna has built such a faithful following that it has become one of the premier tribute bands in the country.

"We have a very busy summer coming," Tyler said. "We just did a show, the Works Greatest Tribute Bands on AXS TV. It's a whole hour of just us live from the Whisky in Los Angeles."

Tyler admitted that Bella Donna is also receiving a boost from the upcoming Fleetwood Mac tour, which reunites the band with keyboardist and singer Christine McVie.

"We do a couple Christine McVie songs," Tyler said. "I don't sing, but we have another female singer who does."

Despite the band's success, Tyler said, the true impetus behind the band is sharing with audiences the music of Fleetwood Mac and Nicks.

"We are kind of emissaries spreading the word," Tyler said. "A lot of people are big fans of this music. But there are people who aren't as familiar with it, and they walk away feeling like they've had a special time. That's because we play the music as authentic and accurate as possible.

"We all like each other," she added. "The people I have working with me have been with me for years and years. We have this unity and cohesion that translates to the audience, and people really feel that. We bring a real honesty and commitment."

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