Stevie Nick and The Pretenders, The Forum, December 18, 2016
“It’s like being on tour with Elizabeth Taylor,” mused Chrissie Hynde in regards to Stevie Nicks towards the beginning of The Pretenders’ set, “Only she can sing and she’s alive.” And what a dazzling, full of life performance both these legendary women unleashed at the sold out Forum in Inglewood on the night of December 18th. It was certainly cold outside, but the warmth of a Stevie Nicks set mixed with the fiery intensity of a Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders performance set the temperature soaring inside the cavernous Forum.
The Pretenders opened with the one-two punch of Alone and Gotta Wait from their recently unveiled Alone recording, and many in the crowd already seemed familiar with the exciting new material. And of course, the classics such as Back On The Chain Gang, I’ll Stand By You, and My City Was Gone received absolutely thunderous applause. Ms. Hynde looks and sounds wonderful, delivering the material with her trademark rock and roll sass and wit. Original drummer Martin Chambers was also in top form, supplying a muscular beat to each and every song. The stunning trinity of Middle Of The Road, Mystery Achievement, and Brass In Pocket closed out the set in an epic way. And even though The Pretenders were done for the night, this would not be the last time we would see Chrissie Hynde on that memorable rocking night.
Stevie Nicks is clearly one of the most enchanting, effervescent rock and roll singers on the planet. There is a magic and intrigue to be found in the radiant artistry of Stevie Nicks, whether it’s the gorgeous songs or the way Ms. Nicks addressed her adoring audience from the stage – the audience was spellbound. There were so many stories Stevie Nicks conveyed from a brilliant career, and these tales from the past and present were just as captivating as the tunes. 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault is the latest Stevie Nicks album, a compilation of unreleased material, with selections such as Starshine, Belle Fleur, and If You Were My Love taking on rapturous life within the hallowed walls of The Forum.
One sweet and treasured highlight was when Stevie Nicks starting singing Stop Dragging My Heart Around, and Chrissie Hynde arrived on the stage to perform the Tom Petty part. What a delight to watch two living legends duet playfully on this wondrously timeless song. A grand sense of poignancy was when Stevie spoke about her great friendship with Prince and how he became involved with the recording of Stand Back – one of her biggest hits – and did this one sound glorious with its dance beats and sensuous vocals filling the room.
Fleetwood Mac fans would also be thoroughly enraptured, as Ms. Nicks and band treated everyone to stunning renditions of Gypsy, Rhiannon, and Landslide. Whether she’s singing an emotional song of discovery or telling a story while making each audience member feel like she having an intimate one-on-one conversation with them, Stevie Nicks is truly a gifted entertainer that will continue the bewitch the masses for generations.
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Joe Schaeffer)