Live Review: Stevie Nicks – Verizon Center, Washington DC


Stevie Nicks would be the first one to admit that she is not getting any younger. On the announcement that she was touring, so far only in America, and more than likely ONLY America, it makes a person like me fly across the Atlantic to catch a show and this show would be mid way through the 24 Karat Gold tour. The tour for an album that came as Fleetwood Mac were marking the return of Christine McVie to the fold, hence a Fleetwood Mac tour and not much promotion of this album for Nicks, especially outside of the US.

On a wet but strangely mild night in DC, the place to be was the Verizon Center. Ms Nicks has that sense of mystical magic around her and this night would not be any different, with The Pretenders opening the night with a mix of old and new and somewhat political tunes in this strange climate of events in America. The crowd was muted in this, whether in disbelief or something else but big cheers definitely came with the old hits like I’ll Stand By You, Don’t Get Me Wrong and Brass In Pocket.

And then with an almost 1980s electro-pop opening, the Stevie Nicks band entered the stage and it feels like party mode and the crowd went crazy for opening track Gold And Braid. Immediately, If Anyone Falls followed and the volume of the audience was raised. Forever the storyteller, Stevie gave us a night of stories of past loves and reintroduces Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders to help on vocals for Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.  Even Stevie’s sidekick Waddy Wachtel lends his gravely vocals in place of Don Henley’s, which pleases those that have followed Nicks’ solo career from the start. As we go from hits from the early albums to the 2011 smash record In Your Dreams, we are told stories of the early hits that were thrown into the ‘Gothic trunk of songs’ that have made the 24 Karat Gold album and basically the main reason we are here tonight. We are also told stories of her being in ‘that famous band’ and to not disappoint the crowd, we are given the only number one hit Fleetwood Mac had, Dreams. As well as these indulgences, there is Nicks’ recent track from the Twilight movies, as the shawls disappears and Nicks is draped in a white fur coat that has her almost dressed as the snow queen from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, as she sings Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream).

Surprises come from the Buckingham and Nicks’ album, accompanied by psychedelic lights, for Cryin’ In The Night and the crowd, if not before, are on their feet for Stand Back and Edge Of Seventeen. We are also treated to the extended version of Gold Dust Woman which sees Nicks not only roar through the song but also rock a little too. Though this was a night to celebrate the music of Stevie Nicks, there was a sense of disappointment with the Fleetwood Mac fans in the audience as Landslide was not included in the set list (and has not been on any night of the tour). However closing the night was a very stripped back version of Leather And Lace that left the crowd with goose bumps – a version quite far from what many a Stevie Nicks fan would be used to. With exception of the handful that were expecting more Fleetwood Mac songs, the night was a brilliant mix of Nicks’ back catalogue as well as new material, or should I say old material from that gothic box of songs, freshened up. It was a night of celebration in that no matter how old or how long we hold onto something, if you believe, it will succeed.

Words & Image by Victoria Ling


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