Stevie Nicks / Pretenders Concert Review (10/27/16 in Denver, CO)

October 28, 2016

I'm a Stevie Nicks fan, just not a fanatic.  I own one Stevie solo CD, which is her Timespace best of album.  Nicks' current "24 Karat Gold Tour" stopped at at Denver's Pepsi Center on Thursday night (October 27) and I was looking forward to seeing Stevie live for the first time since 1998.

The Pretenders successfully warmed up the crowd with an impressive set of rockers and pop/punk classics.  Chrissie Hynde took the stage wearing a red jacket and black Twist & Shout t-shirt, taken from an appearance at the famous Denver record store earlier in the afternoon.  Hynde and Martin Chambers ("The world's greatest rock drummer" according to Hynde) remain from the original Pretenders lineup, but guitarist James Walbourne impressed me the most last night with his energetic performance and six-string chops.  Hynde's voice is incredibly well-preserved and their set included a healthy dose of hits including "Back On The Chain Gang" and "Don't Get Me Wrong."  1994's ballad "I'll Stand By You" was a standout trackout of the evening.  Before Pretenders wrapped up their set with "Middle Of The Road," Hynde told fans to stay tuned for "The Elizabeth Taylor of Rock."

Nicks walked on stage to "Destination Unknown" by Missing Persons which was a bit of a "strange" choice, but it worked.  The stage bathed in gold, "Gold And Braid" opened Nicks' set, a bonus track taken from the Deluxe Edition of her 1981 solo debut Bella Donna.  Stevie's six-piece band generated a thick, full sound but extra credit goes to her two background singers (including Sharon Celani) who produced flawless vocal harmonies throughout the entire set.  Chrissie Hynde came back out on stage early in the set - this time wearing an orange Denver Broncos t-shirt - to sing the part of Tom Petty in "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around".

Nicks mentioned how many friends and family members she had in the audience, calling Denver her second home.  Aunt Gertrude even got a shout out!  The segway from "Outside The Rain" into Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" was gorgeous, but then the show started to drag for me just a bit.  Again, I'm a casual fan so there were a good seven songs in a row I didn't recognzie, save for the title track of Bella Donna.  Some of her biggest solo hits like "Talk To Me", "Room's On Fire" and "I Can't Wait" didn't make the set which was a bit of a disappointment.

"Stand Back" (finally) brought the Pepsi Center crowd of 7,000+ to their feet as Stevie twirled around and around.  "Edge Of Seventeen" ended the main set with a bang, despite Waddy Wachtel's guitar going out just as he started playing the signature riff.  Dozens of Prince photos appeared on the big video screen behind Nicks, so she was obvioulsy a fan.  The one-two punch of encores "Rhiannon" and a Don Henley-less "Leather And Lace" ended the show.

Gold And Braid
If Anyone Falls
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (with Chrissie Hynde)
Belle Fleur
Outside The Rain
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
Wild Heart
Bella Donna
Annabel Lee
New Orleans
Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)
Stand Back
Crying In The Night
If You Were My Love
Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac)
Edge Of Seventeen

Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
Leather And Lace

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