Stevie Nicks Soars

Fleetwood Mac singer solo and with Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde

Mick Fleetwood sits for a South by Southwest interview on Wednesday, but otherwise, the members of Fleetwood Mac are still recovering from a 220-show tour 18 months ago. Not Stevie Nicks. “At my age, I wanted to put together songs that I haven’t sung onstage before,” announced the iconic Gold Dust Woman to a packed Frank Erwin Center on Sunday night.

Stevie Nicks (Photo by Gary Miller)

The singer, 68, struck a coy tone, assuring the audience she’d cut loose with deep tracks from her own back catalog.

“It’s a trip, and it’s a journey, so come with me,” she beckoned.

Since Nicks drove, the arena had no choice – and happily so. 2014’s 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault prompted the platinum maker’s tour through solo output beginning with 1981 bow Bella Donna. If anyone came to hear mostly Fleetwood Mac songs, you couldn’t tell.

Nicks & Chrissie Hynde (Photo by Gary Miller)

For the next two hours, Nicks twirled through a set digging through her “Gothic trunk of lost songs.” Austin went wild for it. After sizzling as the opener, Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde filled in for Tom Petty on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” the rock queens belting their altos at each other as a sixpiece band created a wall of sound around them capped by a freewheeling electric organ solo.

Nicks’ signature growl remains largely preserved. Ballads such as “New Orleans,” a song in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina hitting, and the piano-driven “Moonlight” showcase how much power her pipes retain. She proved just as comfortable battling the swell of her tight band, her voice rising easily above high-octane backing on songs like “Cryin’ in the Night.”

She delivered on the promise of album cuts, but couldn’t resist throwing in signature songs. The main attraction thrashed during the instrumental breaks of “Gold Dust Woman,” golden mane covering her face as she clung to the mic stand. Pirouetting in signature six-inch platform heels to “Rhiannon,” the singer dropped into a low alto rather than tackle the higher notes.

Both tunes reiterated the obvious: It wouldn’t be a Stevie Nicks show without some Fleetwood Mac. And the two-song encore set the show’s crown jewel.

“I never imagined that this little song would make Fleetwood Mac what it did,” explained the author of “Landslide.”

As she soared over “snow-covered hills,” the most obvious choice to sum up her songwriting ability on a tour highlighting it hit its mark dead center. A still Erwin Center sat spellbound. Just as Stevie Nicks intended.

Stevie Nicks set list, Frank Erwin Center, 3.12.17

“Gold and Braid”
“If Anyone Falls”
“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”
“Belle Fleur”
“Wild Heart/Bella Donna”
“New Orleans”
“Stand Back”
“Cryin’ in the Night”
“If You Were My Love”
“Gold Dust Woman”
“Edge of Seventeen”

Pretenders Chrissie Hynde and Martin Chambers (Photo by Gary Miller)

Pretenders set list, Frank Erwin Center, 3.12.17

“Gotta Wait”
“Message of Love”
“Private Life”
“Down the Wrong Way”
“Hymn to Her”
“Talk of the Town”
“Back on the Chain Gang”
“I’ll Stand by You”
“Don’t Get Me Wrong”
“Stop Your Sobbing”
“My City Was Gone”
“Mystery Achievement”
“Middle of the Road”
“Brass in Pocket”

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Spoon's <i>Hot Thoughts</i> Remodels the Locals' Art-Funk
Spoon's Hot Thoughts Remodels the Locals' Art-Funk
Britt Daniel and Jim Eno talk about the rise of R&B in the band's sound

Tim Stegall, June 2, 2017

Playback – SXSW Recap: Love, Hate, Garth & Trump
Playback – SXSW Recap: Love, Hate, Garth & Trump
Final love / hate SXSW listicles

Kevin Curtin, March 24, 2017

More by Abby Johnston
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Tangerine Dream, Eastside Kings Fest, Magic Rockers of Texas, and more recommended shows

Sept. 8, 2023

Beck and Phoenix Make Every Moment Count at Breathless Moody Center Co-Headline
Beck and Phoenix Make Every Moment Count at Breathless Moody Center Co-Headline
Dancing through three decades of songs from the two indie pop giants

Aug. 23, 2023


Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood, SXSW Music 2017, Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde, Tom Petty, Rhiannon, Hurricane Katrina

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle