Written by Dave Clements
My wife and I were both looking forward to heading out to the Toyota Center on a Saturday night. On the bill was Stevie Nicks (a favorite of both of ours) with Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders opening.
I was somewhat familiar with The Pretenders music but had never had the opportunity to see them perform. Chrissie Hynde hit the stage in skinny jeans and t-shirt looking like the ultimate Rock Chick. This is quite a feat for a 65 year old lady. I’ve no doubt after watching her perform that she could run circles around female rockers half her age! It would also be a mistake to assume that Chrissie Hynde IS The Pretenders. The guitarist James Walbourne was just as dynamic and animated, and all of the band members, along with Chrissie’s distinctive vocals, contributed to the unique sound.
This was not a typical opening set either. Fifteen songs later we knew we’d gotten a generous dose of The Pretenders. My personal favorite, Back on the Chain Gang, was performed early in the set to great enthusiasm from the audience. Brass in Pocket, another crowd favorite, came closer to the end. All in all Chrissie and the band impressed us all with their energy. Rock on!
After a short break, Stevie Nicks began her 24 Karat Gold tour. She did not disappoint, she came out in typical ‘Stevie-wear’, all in black with the trademark sky-high boots. She also did not disappoint in her musical selections.
She let us know early on that the tour was about taking the opportunity to play favorite songs that might not necessarily be the most popular or well-known, and were not often (or ever) performed live. It was a great mix. She opened with Gold and Braid, also gave us Bella Donna, Wild Heart, and the haunting Annabel Lee (based on an Edgar Allan Poe poem). We were also treated to fan favorites such as If Anyone Falls, Stand Back, and Edge of Seventeen (complete with a tribute to Prince slide-show projected on the stage set).
For me (as well as others I’m sure!) the highlight of the night was three songs into Stevie’s set when she was joined by Chrissie Hynde onstage for their Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around duet. Thier great chemistry made a great song even better. These Ladies of Rock seemed to genuinely enjoy each other, the mutual respect clearly in evidence. How appropriate, then, that Stevie’s final encore of the night was Leather and Lace. Chrissie’s leather and hard core rocker was the perfect complement on this night to rock icon Stevie’s lace and magic. Bravo, ladies!
Until next time please remember there’s no time to kill,