For more than two hours Monday, Stevie Nicks hosted an episode of the old VH1 show, “Storytellers” at Pinnacle Bank Arena, spinning out tales of how and why songs were written, before and after they were performed.
And many if not most of those songs weren’t instantly recognized by the 6,500 in the hall as Nicks, eschewing the usual “greatest hits” superstar show, mined some deep tracks from throughout her career -- dating back to “Crying in the Night,” a song she wrote in 1971 -- and mining “24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault,” her 2014 album made up of what she called her “trunk of gothic musical mysteries.”
Performing with her superb six-piece band, led by guitarist Waddy Wachtel, along with a pair of backing singers, Nick’s husky but pure voice was at its finest and she was engaging and often funny telling her stories.
So, we learned that “Starshine” the lead track of the new album was written in Tom Petty’s basement, that “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)" was indeed inspired by Bella and Edward and is her favorite song and both “Stand Back” and “Edge of Seventeen” were responses to songs by her “strange little friend” Prince.
The latter was among the hits “Gold Dust Woman,” “Rihannon” and “Landslide” that brought the show to the close. But the first hit out of the box was “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” on which she was joined by Chrissie Hynde, who along with Wachtel did Petty’s part on the duet.
Hynde and her band The Pretenders opened with a bracing, hour-long set that, once the sound got dialed in, found her at peak vocal form -- she flat nailed the ballad “Hymn for Her” and the band ripped through a few songs from “Alone,” the new album and lots of hits. It was, simply put, one of the best sets I’ve seen at the arena.
Nicks, by the way, did not mention her previous appearance at the arena at the Fleetwood Mac show that was cut short by Mick Fleetwood’s illness. Instead she told stories and really sang her songs.
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