Stevie Nicks released her eighth solo album, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault in 2014, but was too busy with live commitments with Fleetwood Mac at the time to do a proper tour for the album. The band wrapped up their most recent round of touring at the end of 2015, leaving Nicks finally able to go out on the road for her own release this year. After some much-deserved time off from touring she did just that this fall, announcing a 28-date run that started in October and runs through mid-December. She and her band made their Washington, DC stop recently at the Verizon Center.
The 24 Karat Gold album consists of previously unreleased songs that Nicks wrote primarily between the years of 1969 and 1987. Nicks noted during the show that these were songs that she hadn’t felt ready to release at the time they were written, so she instead placed them in what she called her “gothic trunk of songs” to be revisited at a later date. Nicks performed several songs from the album – “Belle Fleur,” “Starshine,” and “If You Were My Love.”
Perhaps it was the amount of time that it’s been since the album was released, though, or perhaps it was the remastered and expanded reissues of her first two solo albums Bella Donna and The Wild Heart that came out this month, but the show was much more of a greatest hits set than it was focused on any one album. Bella Donna in particular got the most attention, with a full half of the album appearing scattered throughout the night. Nicks noted that the cape that she wore while performing the title track was the same one that she wore in the video – surprisingly, this tour is her first time playing the song live since the very brief tour for the album in 1981.
One of the highlights of the night came early in the set when Chrissie Hynde, whose band The Pretenders opened the show with a lengthy set, came onstage to perform on yet another song from Bella Donna, the Tom Petty-penned “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Hynde took most of Petty’s vocal part from the original, with guitarist Waddy Watchel also picking up a few lines from it.
Nicks’ set ranged from some of her oldest material – “Crying in the Night” from the Buckingham Nicks album that she released with Lindsay Buckingham prior to the duo joining Fleetwood Mac, right up through “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)” from her 2011 album In Your Dreams, a song which she noted was inspired by the Twilight movies. Nicks paused between songs to tell stories throughout, giving the show a much more personal feel than her performances with Fleetwood Mac (even noting, at one point, that she wanted the audience in the 18,000 seat arena to feel like they were in her living room). She included several Fleetwood Mac songs in the set as well – “Dreams,” “Gold Dust Woman,” and, at the start of the encore, “Rhiannon.” She closed the night with “Leather and Lace,” also from Bella Donna, which she noted that she had originally written for Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter but ended up recording herself with Don Henley.