Stevie Nicks, rock on. Wednesday, September 27th in Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena proved once and for all that rock n’ roll isn’t dead. Legendary Fleetwood Mac singer (and a solo artist in her own right), Stevie Nicks, visited Pittsburgh and sang her heart out for nearly two hours, and it was a life changing experience for everyone involved.
Nicks has been all across the country with friend and fellow artist, Billy Joel, but now she’s going at it alone again. Her stop in Pittsburgh, though without Joel, was just as eventful as any other show she’s done in recents weeks, and it is only the beginning of her 2023/2024 tour of America.
Doors opened with a flood of people fighting to get to the arena. Nicks’ opener, Ingrid Andress, started her set at 7:15 and went for an hour, performing various upbeat, modern-country style songs that the audience could scream to.
At around 8:30, Stevie herself came on stage in her classic scarves and flowy black dress. Nicks’ setlist, an eclectic mix of house favorites from her solo career and Fleetwood Mac classics, had the entire arena swaying to the beat. Gold Dust Woman, Rhiannon, Edge of Seventeen, and Bella Donna felt almost magical in the low thrum of her voice. The energy was palpable in every corner of the arena, and Nicks’ may be 75 years old, but with the way she was dancing across the stage, she did not seem it in the slightest.
Stevie Nicks’ concert went much further than a fun experience, however (though, that may be expected for anyone who’s familiar with her.); it delved into heavy subjects in both Nicks’ personal life, as well as global events.
Towards the end of her set, Stevie Nicks dedicated her popular song Soldier’s Angel to those fighting for Ukraine. Nicks’ originally penned the song in response to her experience visiting hospitalized soldiers in 2005, and the meaning still holds true today. Before performing Soldier’s Angel, Nicks spoke briefly in her support for those in Ukraine, and throughout the song she projected various images of the Ukraine flag behind her.
The performance also gave tribute to those Stevie Nicks has lost in her personal life. In Nicks’ encore, she sang a cover of Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, weaving in stories of her and Petty’s decades-long friendship before and after the song, as well as throughout the rest of the show.
Her final song of the night, Landslide, was dedicated to her bandmate and best friend, Christine McVie, projecting images of the two of them behind her on stage. One of her first tours after McVie’s passing, Nicks’ opened up at the end of the show that even talking about Christine McVie makes her well up with tears. Unsurprisingly, much of Pittsburgh’s audience was in tears by the end of the night.
When the final lights came up at around 10:30 that night, there was a buzz throughout the stadium; thousands of people sat, for a moment, in what they had just seen, before rushing to the overcrowded parking lot. A throwback to the past and an exhilarating experience, Stevie Nicks’ concert in Pittsburgh is not a night that will be forgotten any time soon.
Paige Tokay / Knight Krier (Norwin High School) / Friday, September 29, 2023