NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Expectations were high and should be when two iconic singers hit the same stage on the same night. Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde, leading Pretenders, know where that bar is and each hit it Wednesday night at the nearly sold out Smoothie King Center.
The Gold Dust Woman took her adoring fans on a trip through her entire catalog. Stevie dug deep to her beginnings in Buckingham Nicks to Fleetwood Mac and on through her more than three-decade solo career.
Nicks pulled out classics and reached into what she calls her "gothic box of lost songs" to deliver a deeply personal show. Nicks is quite the storyteller and dropped golden nuggets of her musical history.
"It's a journey, it's a trip, come with me," Nicks encouraged the crowd.
While she opened with Gold and Braid, a track she recorded but didn't use on her enormous solo debut Bella Donna, Nicks quickly dished out some fan favorites.
If Anyone Falls from her 1983 "Wild Heart" album followed before she described what it was like to cut a solo album as Fleetwood Mac became the biggest band in the world in the late 70's.
Nicks promised not to break up Mac as she pursued a solo career with Atlantic Records while trying to figure out how to "make a girl Tom Petty record."
Her producer and then boyfriend Jimmy Iovine brought her a song from Petty and it catapulted Nicks solo career.
"Stop Dragging My Heart Around" fired up the crowd and when Chrissie Hynde stepped in to fill Petty's vocals on the duet, it was a special moment to watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers perform together.
The fifth song of the night was finally a Nicks-penned Mac hit, "Gypsy" from their "Mirage" album. Fans jumped up and danced like it was 1982 while Nicks did her signature spin.
Her sense of humor firmly intact, Nicks then joked after her solo success she "went back to make a record with, who were they? Oh Fleetwood Mac."
Determined to make sure no one would say her solo career was a fluke Nicks said she wrote a lot of songs while touring with Fleetwood Mac for "Mirage." When the tour ended, she went back into the studio to cut "The Wild Heart," which became her second multi-million selling solo smash.
"I was not going to be a one-hit wonder," she said.
Nicks voice was strong as she worked her way through "Wild Heart," "Bella Donna" and "Enchanted."
Then Nicks dove into the story of her next song as she sat in her living room in 2005 drawing while the news on the TV kept going back and forth to the massive hurricane bearing down on New Orleans. She said as a writer "you're like a news reporter," and began writing a poem about what she saw happening here.
"I'm going to write a story about someone who lives in the city and loves the city. People will survive, they will rise to the occasion because they are a great city." The result is the heartfelt New Orleans from her 2011 album In Your Dreams. It was a moving tribute to the city.
The best was saved for last as Nicks and her talented and accomplished 8-piece band knocked out Stand Back, the lead single from The Wild Heart. When the song ended a graphic showing Prince and Nicks together was revealed. Nicks said. "Prince and I were friends."
She said one day she heard a Prince song and basically wrote and recorded "Stand Back" over it. Nicks said that they couldn't go any further with it though until she got in touch with Prince to get his approval. He just happened to be in L.A. and dropped by the studio. Nicks said he loved it, played on the record and wished her good luck. The song she was listening to when she wrote the song was "Little Red Corvette."
All night Nicks proved her sing and songwriting chops take second place to no one and while up to this point she only performed one Mac hit, she would finish the night with a Fleetwood flourish.
Nicks rolled out a powerful version of "Gold Dust Woman" from the all world hit "Rumours" as the band found one of its many highlights of the night.
After a much too long band introduction, she closed out the set with "Edge of Seventeen" while more of a tribute to Prince played out on the screen.
The enthusiastic crowd wouldn't leave until they got a little more and Nicks delivered with "Rhiannon" as longtime friend, guitarist and musical director Waddy Wachtel led the way.
A Nicks concert though could never end without one more song, one she wrote in Aspen, Colorado in 1973.
A little song that she says took her "band to the top", "Landslide."
With Wachtel on acoustic by her side, Nicks was nearly pitch perfect on her signature song. It's a simple song that tends to fill her fans with great emotion, bringing some to tears like the sweet woman sitting two seats away.
She wiped her eyes as Stevie said good night and a good night it was.