24 Karat Gold Tour, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena, The Pretenders
(Mark Stewart/News Corp Australia)

Stevie Nicks sings, tells hilarious stories at Melbourne show

Stevie Nicks’ latest tour sees her spend almost an hour telling hilarious and heartfelt stories about some of her greatest hits and unreleased gems.

Rod Laver Arena

CHRISSIE Hynde knows her stuff. “Melbourne you’re a music town,” Hynde said at last night’s Rod Laver Arena show where her band The Pretenders ignited the crowd for Stevie Nicks.

Off paper and in real life it turns out the two artists complement each other brilliantly — both iconic rock musicians (and both effortlessly cool) who inject their personality into their songs.

The Pretenders balance classic hits — “Brass in Pocket,” “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” “Message of Love,” “Back on the Chain Gang,” “I’ll Stand By You,” “Middle of the Road,” “Hymn To Her” — with a handful of new tracks to bring the audience up to date with the fact that this isn’t just a nostalgia trip.

Unlike most of these dual bills, where you’re hoping for a duet considering they’re in the same venue on the same night, Hynde and Nicks actually perform a song together.

It’s particularly poignant that they duet on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which was originally a duet with Nicks and the late Tom Petty.

24 Karat Gold Tour, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena, The Pretenders
(Mark Stewart/News Corp Australia)

Petty looms large over Nicks’ entire set, including a string of photos of the pair on the big screens.

Nicks admits she “grappled” with singing songs she made with Petty so soon after his recent death, but knew her friend wouldn’t want her to change the show.

We already knew Stevie Nicks is a storyteller by her lyrics over the past 40 years, but on this new solo tour she becomes a literal story teller.

The theme is that a very chatty Nicks shares the tales behind most of the songs aired, many from her “gothic trunk of lost songs” on the 24 Karat Gold compilation, featuring tunes that didn’t make it out of the studios for whatever reason, some made with Petty and his band The Heartbreakers.

Some of the stories stretch longer than the tune they’re about — brilliant, rambling, incisive anecdotes filled with humour, near-forensic details and the occasional A-list superstar. It was like hearing her reading from her mythical memoirs, breaking up the chapters with songs.

But there’s *a lot* of talking. Like, almost an hour if you added it all up. Luckily Nicks is hilarious and engaging and her memory is super sharp and it’s nice hearing her talk about creating music and being a songwriter rather than being asked about drugs and ex boyfriends for the umpteenth time.

Nicks details how important her solo career outside Fleetwood Mac has been, but how she made a pact to return to the band whenever they needed her. “You can have it all,” she says of her dual careers.

24 Karat Gold Tour, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena, The Pretenders
(Mark Stewart/News Corp Australia)

Arguably this kind of show (which pushed past two and a half hours) might be better in a theatre, but Nicks has the great problem of being way too popular for that.

It’s a different setlist than usual, airing some of those unheard or lesser-known songs (one stretching back to her pre-Mac album with Lindsey Buckingham) which rewards diehard fans — and there’s lots of them.

But not one of the increasing number of young fans discovering Nicks these days.

Side note — a 20-something next to this reviewer stated to her friend “Lindsey Buckingham is the other female singer in Fleetwood Mac” at one point when Nicks mentioned Buckingham. No, that’d be Christine McVie.

For the more casual fan Nicks still detoured through hits of her own (“Stand Back,” “Edge of Seventeen”) and of her other band (“Gypsy,” “Dreams,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Rhiannon” and “Landslide”).

24 Karat Gold Tour, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena, The Pretenders
(Mark Stewart/News Corp Australia)

Prince joined Petty as the night’s most discussed man. You may know the story about how Nicks heard “Little Red Corvette” while driving to her honeymoon and it inspired “Stand Back,” but you haven’t heard it in this much detail. Nicks also talked about giving Prince fashion tips and reworked the dove theme in “Edge of Seventeen” to reference Prince’s “When Doves Cry.”

They don’t make them like Nicks anymore — who else has someone on stage handing her an increasing array of shawls, including a vintage 1981 one that’s lasted longer than the careers of many of her contemporaries.

And who knew watching the second Twilight movie at a private cinema in Melbourne inspired her to relaunch her solo career and the song “Moonlight”? Yes, that Twilight.

And Chrissie Hynde didn’t have to call out any audience members on her pet hate — the modern plague of filming gigs on phones.

Now, for that next Fleetwood Mac tour where Nicks can play “Sara.”

The Pretenders play the Forum tonight, while Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders unite again for A Day on the Green at Rochford Wines tomorrow.

Cameron Adams / Herald Sun / Thursday, November 16, 2017

LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

Billy Joel and Stevie NicksStevie Nicks

December 5, 2023
Palm Desert, CA
Acisure Arena

December  8, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Phoenix, AZ
Chase Field

December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
Golden 1 Center

December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
Chase Center

February 10, 2024
Atlantic City, NJ

Mark G Etess Arena
On Sale Friday, September 29. 2023

February 14, 2024
Belmont Park, NY

UBS Arena
On Sale Friday, September 29. 2023

February 21, 2024
Greenville, SC

Bon Secours Wellness Arena
On Sale Friday, September 29. 2023

February 24, 2024
Hollywood, FL

Hard Rock Live ^
On Sale Friday, September 29. 2023

February 28, 2024
New Orleans, LA

Smoothie King Center
On Sale Friday, September 29. 2023

March 3, 2024
Omaha, NE

CHI Health Center
On Sale Friday, September 29. 2023

March 6, 2024 – North Little Rock, AR
Simmons Bank Arena
On Sale Friday, September 29. 2023

March 9, 2024 – BILLY JOEL
Arlington, TX
AT&T Stadium

Two Icons One Night presented by Live Nation
^ Non-Live Nation show

Previous 2023 dates

March 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Los Angeles, CA
SoFi Stadium

March 15, 2023
Seattle, WA
Climate Pledge Arena

March 18, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
T-Mobile Arena

May 12, 2023
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

May 16, 2023
Knoxville, TN
Thompson-Boling Arena

May 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Nashville, TN
Nissan Stadium

May 22, 2023
Atlanta, GA
State Farm Arena

May 25, 2023
Orlando, FL
Amway Center

June 16, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Philadelphia, PA
Lincoln Financial Field

June 20, 2023
Toronto, ON (Canada)
Scotiabank Arena

June 23, 2023
Chicago, IL
United Center

June 27, 2023
Louisville, KY
KFC Yum! Center

August 5, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Columbus, OH
Ohio Stadium

August 8, 2023
Milwaukee, WI
Fiserv Forum

August 12, 2023
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

August 15, 2023
Austin, TX
Moody Center

August 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Kansas City, MO
Arrowhead Stadium

September 23, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Foxborough, MA
Gillette Stadium

September 27, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
PPG Paints Arena

October 1, 2023
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden

October 4, 2023
Buffalo, NY
KeyBank Center

October 7, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Baltimore, MD 
M&T Bank Stadium

October 28, 2023
Memphis, TN
FedEx Forum

November 1, 2023
Savannah, GA
Enmarket Arena

November 4, 2023
Allentown, PA
PPL Center

November 7, 2023
Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Arena

November 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Bank Stadium

November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
September 8, 2022
September 10, 2022

Pine Knob Music Theatre
Clarkston, MI
September 13, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Xfinity Center
Mansfield, MA
September 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Bangor, ME
September 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sound on Sound Festival
Bridgeport, CT
September 24-25, 2022

Ohana Festival
Dana Point, CA
September 30, 2022

Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
October 3, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Woodlands, TX
October 9, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Alpharetta, GA
October 12, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ascend Amphitheater
Nashville, TN
October 16, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Credit One Stadium
Charleston, SC
October 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

PNC Music Pavilion
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
October 28, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Orion Amphitheatre
Huntsville, AL
October 31, 2022


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands, TX
November 2, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
November 5, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

For What It’s Worth (2022)

Edge of Midnight (2020)

Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (2017)

New Release

Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation