Review by Natasha Wyborn
Neither an electric storm or pouring rain could stop the final show of the 24 Karat Gold tour held at Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. The latest instalment of A Day on the Green pitted two Rock & Roll Hall of Famers on the one bill. Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde from Akron, Ohio was brought up on the punk side of town mentored by Malcolm McLaren. On the other side is Stevie Nicks from Phoenix, Arizona a member of one of the most influential bands in music history. Given these ladies musical roots, both should have been on a collision course to destroy each other, that said, they are the best of friends. It’s a “storytellers” tour Nicks told the audience early in her set.
Pretenders Chrissie Hynde and Martin Chambers (drums) started the besties showcase with one hour of hits. Opening with “Alone” from the bands 10th studio album released last year, Hynde keeps her between-song conversation brief and to the point, to her it’s all about the music. Hynde remains dominant, youthful with a powerful stage presence. Moving through the bands extensive catalogue counting each song in “old school” with a 1,2,3,4. Hits including “Message of Love” and “Talk of the Town” were introduced early into the set. Throughout the set, not the threat of rain, a very distracting dancer in the audience or a village idiot that somehow managed to make his way on stage phased Hynde. Closing with “Brass in Pocket”, the song sounds as youthful as the day it was released in 1980, for me this was the standout.
A brief 30 minute break and Stevie Nicks makes her was to the stage. Dressed in traditional black and fronting an eight-piece band including long time member Waddy Wachtel. It was very obvious the “Queen of Rock” had arrived in the valley. Opening with “Gold and Braid” from her 1981 debut Bella Donna, Nicks’ promptly progressed into “If Anyone Falls”. In between songs the audience are provided with some insight into a time when Fleetwood Mac where having a sabbatical and her focus was on recording her first solo album. That very album, Bella Donna, was heavily influenced by Tom Petty, working with producer Jimmy Iovine. Nicks talks openly about the evolution of the album, making the comment she “wanted to make a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers record but for girls”. Following this revelation Hynde joins her girl pal back on stage for a killer version of “Stop Draggin My Heart Around”. Even if you are unaware of Nicks life and influences, the late Tom Petty played a very big part of it.
Prior to launching into “Bella Donna” Nicks tells the story of her purchasing a silk cape for $3000 wearing it on stage she proudly displays it for all to see, this is the same cape Nicks wore for the 1983 album photoshoot. It has been worn at gigs ever since.
The Nicks penned “Crying in the Night” from the Buckingham Nicks’ self-titled 1973 album “if we had released a single this would be it” was a rare treat. The arrival of Buckingham and Nicks into Fleetwood Mac in 1974 launched the band into the stratosphere, the rest is history. Other favourites on the night included “Belle Fleur” from Nicks most recent work, the audience is teased with a scattering of Fleetwood Mac numbers “Gypsy” is introduced early. ‘Rumours’ obviously figures in the set list with “Dreams” and “Gold Dust Woman”, earned the highest accolades from the crowd.
A killer version of “Edge of Seventeen” featuring Wachtel on guitar, Nicks thanks the crowd “for listening to my crazy stories” and she is gone. On her return, I question you would get a better encore from any artist in the world, “Rhiannon” followed by “Landslide”. Both songs will no doubt continue to travel the world long after this lady has decided enough is enough and its time to move onto something else. It’s exciting to see two of musics best still able to hold their own 40 years after it all began.
Alone, Gotta wait, Message of love, Talk of the town, Down the wrong way, Let’s get lost, Hymn to her, Back on the chain gang, I’ll stand by you, Don’t get me wrong, Thumbelina, Mystery achievement, Middle of the road, Brass in pocket
Gold & braid, If anyone falls, Stop draggin my heart around, Belle Fleur, Gypsy, Wild heart, Bella Donna, Enchanted, Outside the rain, Dreams, Starshine, Moonlight (A vampires dream), Stand back, Crying in the night, If you were my love, Gold dust woman, Edge of seventeen.