Saturday, December 17, 2016

Chicago Review Stevie Nicks Live with The Pretenders December 3, 2016

Stevie Nicks reaches into her ‘dark gothic trunk of magical, mysterious things’
By Laura Pearson
Photos: Bobby Talamine

Photo Gallery (Number 1)  (Number 2)
We take for granted certain inevitabilities in life: the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, the world keeps on turning, and Stevie Nicks, clad in black platform boots and a billowy black dress, twirls along with it. The 68-year-old, flaxen-haired icon spun into the United Center Saturday night on her 24 Karat Gold Tour. Variously layered with song-specific shawls and capes (gold fringe for "Gold Dust Woman," crepe-like silk for "Bella Donna"), she assured a similarly dressed crowd—lots of middle-aged women draped in shawls and beads to channel the Fleetwood Mac front woman—that amid life's unpredictability, her bewitching brand remains unchanged. 

For Nicks, however, this concert would be a bit of a departure. She informed the audience at the top of the show that rather than do "the exact same songs over and over again from every other tour," she would be reaching into a "dark gothic trunk of magical, mysterious things" and perform some material she's never toured with. "It's gonna be a party," she promised. Among those lesser-heard gems were "Gold and Braid," one of several killer demos dusted off for her 2014 album 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault; "New Orleans," a love letter to the city written in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; and "Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)," inspired by the Twilight movies and necessitating an outfit change into a luxurious coat of faux fur. "Belle Fleur," also from 24 Karat Gold, about the difficulties of holding onto a relationship while living a rock 'n' roll life on the road, surfaced too, as did "Crying in the Night" from the 1973 album Buckingham Nicks, made before Lindsey and Stevie joined Fleetwood Mac. 

Scattered among the never-before-played material, however, were plenty of fan favorites: "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," featuring the ageless Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders (the night's opening act) in the Tom Petty part, "Gypsy," "Gold Dust Woman," "Stand Back" (which Nicks revealed was inspired by Prince's "Little Red Corvette"), and an encore of "Rhiannon" and "Landslide." So the magical gothic trunk, the crowd discovered, is not exclusively home to obscure fare. Nostalgia, in fact, is a familiar presence at Fleetwood Mac shows and an undeniable part of Nicks's oeuvre. On Saturday, it was literally part of the backdrop. While the singer relayed anecdotes of various songs' origins (for example, going over to Petty's house with a can of Hershey's chocolate powder and a guitar "which I never played because of my nails," to write "Starlight") and tales about her former collaborators, animated images of said people would occasionally pop up on a screen behind her. During "Enchanted," the backdrop flashed with vintage photos of Nicks from early on in her solo career. As "Edge of Seventeen" galloped along, images of Prince appeared like apparitions while Nicks followed the song's "Just like the white-winged dove" refrain with lines from "When Doves Cry." 

There were also familiar faces: Accompanying Nicks on guitar was her longtime musical director and collaborator, the frizzy-haired, bespectacled Waddy Wachtel, who looks like Larry David if he were in Spinal Tap. There were familiar fabrics too: Out came the same cape from a photo shoot for Bella Donna, Nicks's debut solo album recorded 35 years ago, when she was 33. It's so well-preserved, she explained, because she chose the perfect material: "If you're gonna invest in the stock market, my money is on silk chiffon." 

After catching Fleetwood Mac twice on recent back-to-back world tours, and hearing the singer dish to the audience about love affairs from decades ago as if they happened yesterday, I've often wondered if such nostalgia is always at the forefront of her personality—"an attitude of romantic readiness," to quote F. Scott Fitzgerald—or if it's trotted out for performative purposes: the sign of a savvy entertainer who knows how to connect with fans. I suspect it's a bit of both. There's no way she could sing "Landslide" thousands of times and approach the same earnestness (if not the exact same notes—Nicks's powerful contralto voice has declined in range since the 90s) without being a deeply sensitive person but especially without the keen understanding that fans really, really want to hear it. One gets the sense that Nicks is most at home onstage and on tour, whether reinterpreting old demos or obligingly singing the hits. 

Time makes you bolder, children get older, but onward she twirls, encircling arenas in songs and stories like a great glittering cape. 

Tom Petty with Special Guest Stevie Nicks in London July 9, 2017

July 9, 2017

Friday, December 16, 2016

'The Defiant Ones' Doc features Stevie Nicks - HBO 2017

HBO has announced it will be airing a four-part documentary on Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, which chronicles their divergent roots and their unlikely partnership as well as addresses the moguls' influence and impact on pop culture. Directed by Allen Hughes (Menace II Society), The Defiant Ones features in-depth interviews with Dre and Iovine along with many diverse artists including Stevie Nicks.

Documentary to air on HBO at some point in 2017.


Review Stevie Nicks Live in Vancouver Dec 9, 2016

How Stevie Nicks Blinded You With Nostalgia
Vancouver Weekly

Two years ago Stevie Nicks released her eighth solo album 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, to critical and commercial success. Online music database All Music dubbed the re-recorded set of demo songs ‘the best sounding record she (Nicks) has made since 1983’s The Wild At Heart’.

Fast forward to October of this year, where Nicks alongside her band and talented friends Waddy Wachtel (whom she met in the pre-Fleetwood Mac days of 1973) and backup singers Sharon Celani and Lori Perry (backup singer for Nicks since 1981) embarked on a 27 date 24 Karat Gold Tour in support of the album by the same name.

Now in the final stretch of the 24 Karat Gold Tour, Nicks found herself in Vancouver’s very own Roger’s Arena. Entering the converted hockey arena wearing a flowing but subdued black dress, Nicks let her accessory scarves do the flashy work for her on round one of her ever-shifting stage attire. The 68 years young Nicks has had no problem maintaining a legion of fans since her Fleetwood Mac debut 41 years ago alongside then partner Lindsey Buckingham, and this latest stop-off in Vancouver was no different.

As with all of her prior 24 Karat Gold Tour stop offs, Nicks’ opened the night with “Gold & Braid”, “If Anyone Falls”, and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, respectively.  

The tambourine-wielding Nicks was joined on stage by The Pretenders front-person Chrissie Hinde for “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, as she has nightly this tour.Whatever nostalgia felt by the crowd for having witnessed Hinde open the night with The Pretenders followed by Nicks headlining the very same stage was trumped by the sight of the two powerhouses of rock sharing the spotlight at the same time.  It can be argued that the career of the 1998 Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nicks has nothing left to prove. Though looking at Friday’s show as a snapshot, ignoring the over 40 top 50 hits, or the 140 million records sold Nicks was at times underwhelming.

The same fans that would sell Friday’s Stevie Nicks show as being ‘timeless’ or ‘flawless’ were among the many frequently checking their watches and peering about disinterested.

Though social media has largely dusted golden praise over the ‘reigning queen of rock ‘n roll’, what has widely gone underreported was the audio quality at Roger’s Arena Friday night. Early in the performance, the unaddressed concern about an audio mix saw long-time friend, touring guitarist, and backup singer Waddy Wachtel’s vocals overpower the conventionally (thought of as) powerful voice of Nicks. Tough to ignore for some, perhaps due to nostalgia many fans in the building seemingly did just that. However, it was not just a poor mix in the building responsible for a repetitive vocal tone that one wouldn’t quickly attribute to the legend had they not been there to see Nicks live.

Was fan-nostalgia to blame for the level of absurdity that came with the overjoyed cheering Nicks received simply for twirling in a circle? A move the artist has no doubt mastered since she could only pronounce her own name as ‘Tee Dee’, the origin of how Stephanie became ‘Stevie’ Nicks. Does this same overjoyed audience react with similar vigour when their three-year-old spins in the living room?

At the age of 68 and nearing the successful completion of an impressive tour, Nicks should be afforded some grace. The twirl move that was once saved for the crescendo of “Rhiannon” was in the defence of Nicks, resurrected due in part to her role as the White Witch on FX Network’s American Horror Story: Coven. Moreover, the move was often emulated by fan favourite character Misty Day, who played by Lily Rabe was infatuated with Nicks in the show.

After all, the public perception of Nicks has always been the rumoured witch’s most powerful spell. Numerous adulterous relationships, marrying her recently deceased best friend’s husband, multiple addictions and interband dramas have been the catalyst(s) to many an artist’s demise professionally; at least a dissolve in public opinion; not so, however for Stevie Nicks.

As evidenced Friday night, Nicks can twirl into the environmentally superconscious city of Vancouver wearing a fur jacket from head to toe, and not a peep of recreational outrage is heard out of the usually aghast (at such behaviour) Lotus Land.

The verbose and often erroneous explanations resulting in very little new information that took place between songs would be considered by any other artist to be the ramblings of a musician seeking relevance in the twilight of their career. With Stevie Nicks such long-winded loquacious tails were merely regarded as charming anecdotes.  

What can never be taken away, however, is the ability of Nicks to write masterpieces both lyrically and musically in her songs. The pursuit for relevance need not extend beyond the innate ability Nicks has to write beautifully accessible music. With the sensitivity of Nicks to capture emotion even decades after having originally penned (the piece), the integrity of her song writing was never once lost Friday Night in Vancouver.

Whether the Reigning Queen of Rock n Roll continues to go her own way post 24 Karat Gold Tour, or she picks up the pieces to go home; the landscape of music will forever be changed for the better thanks to the enigmatic sorcery of Stevie Nicks.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Photos - Stevie Nicks with The Pretenders Live in San Jose - December 14, 2016

Stevie Nicks & the Pretenders – San Jose (PHOTOS)
Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks came through San Jose to perform at the SAP Center (commonly known as the Shark Tank), bringing with her Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders. The “Musical Journey” as Stevie called the show, brought some great tunes and some great stories as Nicks reflected on her work over the years.

Photos by Clayton Lancaster - View Gallery

Review Stevie Nicks Live in Sacramento with The Pretenders - December 13, 2016

Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders: rock 'n' roll's leading ladies at Golden 1 Center
by Paul Piazza - View Photos

Two of rock ‘n’ roll’s longtime leading ladies held court at the Golden 1 Center earlier this week. Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders put on an epic rock show that showcased the enduring uniqueness of each of these women as songwriters and performers.

Midway through the raucous opening set by the Pretenders, Hynde paused and showed love to the locals when she said that she really enjoyed the “pretty view of all the trees outside [her] hotel window.”

“It reminds me of a place I grew up in the ‘50s,” she continued. With that, she and the band dramatically bounced into the familiar bass groove of the band’s iconic “My City was Gone.”

Naturally, the crowd knew the words to that song’s familiar refrain (“Ay, oh, way to go Ohio”), as well as the majority of the songs the band played. In fact, the audience, who mostly ranged in age from 45-75, seemed to have the majority of the Pretenders setlist embedded in their DNA. This is not ironic since most of the band’s biggest hits came out during the Reagan years, yet have more than endured the test of time with their wry socio-political-environmental bent that could easily be applied to the times we are about to enter.

Hynde, who turned 65 in September, reminded everyone why she has long been known as a badass as she strutted the stage with attitude and defiance. She blasted a group of cell phone wielding fans early in the show for ignoring her request for no video. When they put down their devices, some hard, punk-style dancing erupted on the floor as drummer Martin Chambers pounded out some hard-hitting beats.

While Hynde preferred to let her music do the talking, Nicks took a storyteller’s approach during her lengthy set. Among the many interesting anecdotes the 68-year-old told was a story about hearing Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” for the first time while driving down the highway as a newlywed. It inspired her to write the song “Stand Back” that same day. Later, when she called the Purple One to ask if he wanted to hear it, he came down to the studio and ended up playing an uncredited synth part that is essentially the catchy glue that propels the song.

Later, during “Edge of Seventeen,” images of Prince were shown on the backdrop. Nicks, 69, also had interesting tales about writing “Gold Dust Woman” as a teen in Arizona and also had a few about collaborating with Tom Petty. But perhaps her most amazing accomplishment that night was being able to twirl and do her signature scarf dance while wearing high heeled boots.

Hynde returned during Nicks’ set for the Petty-penned tune “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” a fitting moment as the pair belted out the tune side by side and further cemented their place as two perpetual paragons of rock ‘n’ roll in a year when many of the great ones of their era have fallen.

Convince Stevie Nicks To Make One Final Album With Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac is one of the most important bands in the history of modern music. When Christine McVie left many years ago fans gave up hope of the classic line-up reuniting.  What an amazing surprise when McVie rejoined the fold in 2014.

It is widely known that four out of the five members of Fleetwood Mac are on board to record one final album with the classic line-up.  The only person holding out is Stevie Nicks.  In recent interviews Stevie stated how being in the studio could be very tense and how touring was more fun.  She also stated that since records don't sell like they used to then what's the point of a new album?

Let's send the message - as fans - how meaningful it would be to us to have one final volume of new music from these five people whose art we cherish so very much.  While there is already a legendary body of work featuring albums such as RUMOURS, TUSK, and TANGO IN THE NIGHT we sincerely ask Stevie, for the love of history and the fans of Fleetwood Mac, to take one final one for the team and help them finish this record.

It would mean the world to all of us.

- Jeremy Gloff

If you are interested... Please sign the petition HERE.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reviews Stevie Nicks Live in Vancouver December 9, 2016

Most reviews so far on this tour have been favorable... Some reviewers get it... some reviewers don't, and that's totally fine, it's basically their personal opinion.

The unbreakable Stevie Nicks casts a spell on Vancouver (PHOTOS)
by Rob Feller

Photo: Rob Feller - Click Through To View More

Roughly 5,000 classic rock fans braved a snowstorm to catch a “landslide” on Friday night, as the incomparable Stevie Nicks brought her 24 Karat Gold Tour to Rogers Arena.

The singer, whose raspy voice and crazy vibrato dominated radio during the second half of the Seventies, recently released 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault, a stunning compilation of shelved demos that spans her five decade-long career. And even though she has a tremendous catalogue of songs to choose from, Nicks kept her canvas relatively small on Friday, mostly concentrating on her work as a solo artist.

After opening with a lovely take on 1981’s “Gold & Braid”, she warned us that the evening would be unlike any other Stevie Nicks concert we’d previously witnessed. After finishing two back-to-back Fleetwood Mac tours, “I really needed to do something else,” she explained. “I needed to break out.”

So armed with what she called her “dark, mystical, gothic trunk full of songs”, Nicks proceeded to take Vancouver on what she called “a journey…through the snow.” Fans expecting a Fleetwood Mac retrospective were forced to make do with just a handful of Mac tracks (“Gypsy” and “Rhiannon” both made the cut), but the gold dust diva’s repertoire is so huge that it was easy to forgive a setlist omission here and there.

Nicks’ performance was punctuated with lots and lots (and lots) of stories from her storied career. Some of them were fascinating, like how she wrote “Stand Back” as a companion piece to Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” and somehow convinced the Purple One to play most of the instruments on the song. But a lot of Nicks’ schtick fell flat, and one excruciatingly long monologue that involved a pregnancy, a dirt road, and an upright piano sent many fans to the bar for a break.

When it came to the music however, the singer captivated the crowd with her haunting vocals and heartbreaking lyrics. Highlights included “Edge of Seventeen” and encore “Landslide”, and although she doesn’t try to hit high notes of the original composition anymore, her smoky, husky tone nicely complemented the song’s world-weary lyrics.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Pretenders opened the show and managed to run through 15 classic hits and album cuts in just under an hour. Fiery frontwoman Chrissie Hynde dedicated her set, which included a kickass version of “Brass In Pocket”, to her friend Nicks and said that performing with her “is like being on tour with Elizabeth Taylor, except she can sing.”

And like her touring buddy, Hynde was also a fan of the Vancity Blizzard of 2017. “My guitar has some cracks in it from the cold weather,” she said. “But I’m glad that it has some scars from Vancouver!” Hynde later surprised fans by joining Nicks onstage for a duet of “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” which probably sounded cool on the tour bus but was a hot mess when we saw it.

They missed notes, botched lyrics, and broke out into a full-on private conversation mid-song while their backup singers carried on without them. But the Vancouver crowd was so hot and bothered by the sight of two rock goddesses sharing one mic that they turned a blind eye (and a deaf ear) to the shaky performance.

Review: Pretenders Get Real while Stevie Nicks Drags in Vancouver
by Robert Collins

On paper, last night’s double-header of Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena seemed like a match made in Queens of Rock heaven. The reality, as is often the case, proved different.

The party pooper, it turned out, was Stevie Nicks. Promising a new type of set, featuring not just hits but personal favourites she’d unearthed and rerecorded for her most recent “24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault” album, the issue wasn’t the choice of songs, but the way she went about her performance.

It all started so promising. Nicks was accompanied by Chrissie Hynde singing the Tom Petty parts for “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” the Pretenders’ frontwoman unable to get all her words out after descending into giggles almost immediately. Hynde’s laughter was a rare moment of spontaneity. Instead Nicks chose to punctuate every song with a lengthy, egotistical and over-rehearsed anecdote about its creation. The music, when it eventually arrived, was well sung and polished; “Gypsy,” “Stand Back” and the timeless “Gold Dust Woman” all standing out. But by insisting on eating up endless minutes by trawling out irrelevant tales from her charmed life, what could have been a party often felt more like a series of history lectures.

“I’m not wasting your time, am I?” she asked audaciously midway through introducing her band, a process conducted in a musical vacuum sucking up time that should have been spent playing at least two songs. The Vancouver crowd, polite to a fault, mumbled “No,” but they were thinking otherwise.

It’s not that Stevie Nicks didn’t have an example of how it should be done. Two hours earlier Chrissie Hynde (still looking like she’d been poured into her jeans at 66) had stepped on stage, strapped on her Telecaster and ripped into a set effortlessly mixing high-octane recent tracks like “Alone” with new wave classics like “Message of Love,” “Private Life” and “Middle of the Road.”

There’s no substitute for authentic cool; a quality Hynde revealed in everything from how she wore her guitar to her ad-libs on sharing a stage with Stevie Nicks: “It’s like being on tour with Elizabeth Taylor.”

The songs were the stars. The chiming powerpop of “Back on the Chain Gang” (seriously, what a great song) was followed by ballsy ballad “I’ll Stand By You” and the dreamy Kinks cover “Stop Your Sobbing.” The delivery was relentless.  Resistance was futile.

“Have we got time from one more?” asked Hynde at the show’s end.

She didn’t wait for a reply, launching immediately into “Brass in Pocket,” a perfect finale to a great rock and roll set. No stories. No narcissism. All killer, no filler.

Stevie Nicks to play Hyde Park in London with Tom Petty

Tom & The Heartbreakers are pleased to announce their performance at the iconic Hyde Park venue in London, on July 9, 2017. Stevie Nicks and The Lumineers will also appear, with more to be announced. This will be the band’s only European appearance in 2017.

Highway Companions Club members are eligible for a pre-sale which is currently underway, and should check their email for pre-sale information. Public on-sales begin December 16th.

For tickets and more info, click here

(Now wouldn't it make sense for Stevie to schedule some solo shows in the UK? I think so!)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review Stevie Nicks Live in St. Paul, MN December 6, 2016

Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders, at Xcel Energy Center, share the love and celebrate Prince
by Jay Gabler
The Current  - View More Photos

Photographer Bridget Bennett

If you could buy stock in musical reputations, Stevie Nicks’s would have been a bargain investment 20, 10, even five years ago. The behemoth popularity of Fleetwood Mac blinded a lot of critics who were too cool for school in the ’70s to the fact that the band’s accessible and sonically pristine creations were underpinned by timeless songcraft, while Nicks’s solo hits like “Edge of Seventeen” and “Stand Back” were regarded as video fodder for the MTV era.

Time passed, though, and new generations of listeners continued gravitating towards the music. The Mac attack continued, of course, and critics ranging from tastemaker Jessica Hopper to our own listeners have no problem placing Rumours among the all-time greats.

Meanwhile, Nicks’s solo catalog continued to exert a fascination; not just for those fresh-sounding singles, but for deep tracks like “Think About It.” Writer Emily Gould, who’s gone from a pioneering confessional blogger to an indie-publishing influential, took the title of her 2010 memoir from a lyric in that song: “And the heart says ‘Danger!’/ And the heart says, ‘Whatever.'” Nicks is even sampled on the new Bon Iver album, with permission but, at her request, uncredited: a backstage clip of Nicks singing “Wild Heart” appears in “10 d E A T h b R E a s T 

Last night at the Xcel Energy Center, the generously sized audience included a few of the predictably clueless Fleetwood Mac fans (“Play ‘Little Lies’!” yelled the woman behind me, seeming not to realize that’s a Christine McVie song) but many more adoring acolytes who hung on every word of what Nicks has described as a “storytelling tour.”

The tour comes on the heels of a 2014 album called 24 Karat Gold — consisting of rerecorded versions of rarities and demos spanning Nicks’s career — and expanded reissues of her first two solo albums, Bella Donna (1981) and The Wild Heart (1983). From the stage last night, Nicks repeatedly addressed the challenge she’d faced in building a viable solo career while remaining an active member of Fleetwood Mac.

In particular, she described compromising by agreeing to include on Bella Donna one song she didn’t write: “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers. Recorded as a duet with Petty, the song became the solo hit Nicks needed, and she was off to the races.

Last night, the crowd roared with approval as a new duet partner sauntered on stage for that number: Chrissie Hynde, whose Pretenders opened the show. The admiration and affection between the two women was clearly mutual as they shared Nicks’s original lead vocal, with guitarist Waddy Wachtel chiming in with Petty’s answering lines about “being your own girl.” Yes, thank you very much, they would.

Nicks isn’t one of the first names typically associated with Prince, but in fact he was an important inspiration who played a key role in her solo career — literally played, as in wrote and performed the indelible keyboard hook for Wild Heart smash “Stand Back.” Nicks played that song after dedicating the preceding number, “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream),” to “my friend.”

She then recounted how she was inspired to write “Stand Back” after hearing “Little Red Corvette” on the radio during her honeymoon with Kim Anderson; they divorced the following year, but Nicks said Anderson was present at the arena last night. “Whenever I sing ‘Stand Back,'” said Nicks, “Prince is standing next to me.”

(Prince wasn’t the only local hero who got a shout-out: Nicks’s band includes Minneapolis organist Ricky Peterson, and the Pretenders are touring with longtime St. Paul resident Eric Heywood on pedal steel. Both Nicks and Hynde made a point of welcoming their sidemen home.)

As Nicks dug through what she described as her “dark gothic trunk of magical mystery songs,” she had plenty more stories to tell. She brought out “the original Bella Donna cape” (as seen on the sleeve of the “After the Glitter Fades” single) for the album’s title song, and she talked about recording “Starshine” in Tom Petty’s basement. She complained about her Fitbit (“Do we really need to know how many steps we take?”), and she shared plenty of motivational words. “Just reach up there and grab that Bella Donna star!”

Still in strong voice at age 68, Nicks said repeatedly that “dreams really do come true” as she reminisced about her youth in Phoenix, writing the songs that became beloved classics like “Landslide” — a song she called “the story of my life.” Behind her, video screens nested in a proscenium arrangement showed appropriately dreamy graphics: woodland scenes, roiling water, vintage shots of Nicks — including, before the encore, the image of a 1983 flyer from when she played the St. Paul Civic Center, where the Xcel Energy Center now stands.

Hynde, who said during her set that Nicks is “even better than you think she’d be,” summoned some of that earth-mother energy for ballads like “Hymn to Her” and “I’ll Stand By You,” but left seasonal favorite “2000 Miles” on the table in favor of strutting favorites from the band’s early releases. She also played a few songs from Alone, the Pretenders’ new album produced by Dan Auerbach.

The easygoing set — Hynde can summon snarling rage in other contexts, but it’s hard to be too angry when you’re in the presence of Stevie Nicks — offered a glimpse at what it might have looked like if Hynde ever achieved the arena-level fame her talent deserves. The joint bill is a fascinating and gratifying pairing: the uniting of two women from the same generation who forged very different paths to iconic status. Kinks fan Hynde went to London and became a fiercely independent rock pioneer, while Nicks found her way to sunny California and hooked up with a band who’d crossed the Atlantic in the other direction.

On this tour, the two stand together basking in their well-earned admiration. Intent on inspiring others, Nicks sent us off with a blessing. “Play music! Sing! Be loved! Love you!”

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Review Stevie Nicks Live in Vancouver December 9, 2016

Photos: Rogers Arena Facebook
Stevie Nicks / The Pretenders
Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC, December 9
By Laura Sciarpelletti (Photo Gallery)

Vancouver welcomed two of music's most celebrated and iconic rock stars Friday night amidst unusual amounts of snow and the buzzing of impending witchy enchantment. Both Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde — ages 68 and 65 respectfully — were in fine form, showing no signs of slowing down, but rather hopeful for a full future with the continued support of their fans and the freedom to explore their vast musical repertoires.

This goes doubly for Nicks, whose voice could not have been more raggedly perfect and who opened up her "dark mystical gothic trunk of songs" for her pet project the 24 Karat Gold tour. Determined not to give her beloved fans the same old tired Stevie set list they have no doubt heard countless times over the years, Nicks pulled out some demo gems.

Nicks' choice to put Hynde and the Pretenders in the opening hour-long slot set the tone for a female-rocker infused journey. The Pretenders were the light part of the show, not able to entirely escape that aged rock star persona associated with so many successful '80s musicians nowadays. From the Kinks cover of "Stop Your Sobbing" that brought them their first hit, to fan favourites "Middle of the Road" — wherein Hynde delightfully whipped out the harmonica — and "Brass in Pocket," the group certainly gave fans what they were looking for, but nothing further.

Alternatively, Nicks has built up a persona so impenetrable and mysterious that the term "aged rock star" could never apply to her. Thrilled at the notion of Vancouverites not experiencing snow often (her limo driver told her), Nicks promised the packed Rogers Arena a "journey through the snow." Donning a black flowing dress and playing with glittering scarves, Nicks gave continuous background narrative to the early days of her solo career.

While giant light bulbs bobbed up and down from the ceiling and images of moons and dancers were projected onto the screen behind her, the warm and funny Fleetwood Mac alumnus reflected fondly on her relationships with the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and her late friend Prince. The former gave her her first single "Stop Dragging My Heart Around," which Hydne joined in for.

From there Nicks took the crowd on a witchy tour; between "Bella Donna" and the more recent "New Orleans," Nicks pulled everyone into her world of femme fatale notions and rock'n'roll nostalgia. Gleefully showing the crowd that she still had the original Bella Donna silk chiffon cape, the blond chanteuse conjured up memories of her short but impressive 1981 tour and the long-lasting determination to prove that her initial solo success was not a fluke.

Wielding a signature tambourine and flailing her arms about, Nicks gave onlookers "Starshine," a song co-written with Petty but never released. When she ripped into the thundering and epic "Edge of Seventeen," Nicks paid tribute to the wonderful man in purple with a Prince photomontage on the big screen interspersed with images of doves.

Perhaps one of the most endearing parts of this tour is the presence of longtime friend, musical director and session musician Waddy Wachtel. Having been alongside Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham from their early days in L.A. to countless recordings and tours with Nicks, Watchel is a continuous presence that helps to connect Nicks to her early days as a commercial success, while also giving her solid guitar backing.

Ending with the always lovely "Rhiannon" and "Landslide," Nicks alone was projected onto the screen in all her caped glory, as if to speak directly to each adoring fan. This tour has shown that Nicks' particular brand of stage presence and mystical persona does not get old, but rather appears fresh in its own way. Her vampy vocals and forlorn writing style continue to penetrate the hearts of multiple generations and it's clear that her trunk of songs is not limited to Fleetwood Mac and '70s hits.