Concert Review: Stevie Nicks with special guests The Pretenders

Photos by Stephen Boxshall

Photos by Stephen Boxshall

By Jason Beardsley

Artist: Stevie Nicks with special guests The Pretenders

Date / Venue: Thursday November 16th, 2017 - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Just like the white winged dove’, the undisputed Queen of Rock N Roll Stevie Nicks returned to Melbourne, Australia on Thursday night and we were treated to one hell of a history lesson. 

Opening the night to a packed house at Rod Laver Arena were very special guests The Pretenders. With the edge, sexiness and power of front woman Chrissie Hynde, they certainly made us notice. A passionate Melbourne fan base was up on their feet and singing at the top of their lungs as the Pretenders belted out hit after hit during their hour long set, including ‘Brass in Pocket’ and ‘Ill Stand By You’. Despite Chrissie and drummer Martin Chambers, who treated us to some comedic and theatric moments of his own, being the only founding members remaining in the band, they proved they well and truly own their place in history with a silky smooth performance for the ages, and ‘nothing you confess could make me love them less’. 

I swear we had only popped out for refreshments for around 10 minutes but thanks to the worlds fastest changeover by an amazing stage crew the lights cut out just as we re-entered the arena. Phew, just in time. 

Everyone around us is losing their mind as Stevie Nicks opens with ‘Gold and Braid’. Its an unusual sight at Rod Laver Arena tonight with it being a fully seated event, but this for a good reason. As the first song comes to a close she informs her adoring fans that we are going to be treated to an insight into her life, her music, love and dreams. 

The 24 Karat Gold Tour showcases reimagined demos from throughout her career, as featured on the album of the same name released in 2014, as well as her chart topping solo hits and several Fleetwood Mac greats. What is of great importance to this spectacle is the unique insight Stevie gives into the meaning and inspiration behind each song throughout the 2 and half hour long set. Including the working relationship with long time friend Tom Petty and the recording experiences with The Heartbreakers, which is introduced early in the set when the band perform an emotional ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’, with special guest Chrissie Hynde much to the audience delight. After selling over 140 million records everyone is intent to hear every word of her stories, you can hear a pin drop at times. 

Age has not wearied this incredible singer or her band as the performance is truly one to saviour, ‘like a heartbeat that drives you mad’, or more like delirious such is the feeling in this venue tonight. But the highlight for this fan was the monstrous ‘Edge Of Seventeen’, delivered with aggression and vocals that even gods could only dream of. Guitarist Waddy Wachtel even chucked in some ‘Hells Bells’ for all the ADCD fans in the room.   

This was a night that was certainly needed, with two of Rock N Roll’s most inspiring singers who have been through it all, we are reminded to follow our dreams and not to listen to anyone that tries to stand in our way. Inspiring words to live by.