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Opening the box, Stevie Nicks at the Smoothie King Center

26 Stevie Nicks - SKC - 3-15-17

Stevie Nicks (Photos by: Steven Hatley)

The cost of concert tickets across the US have been steadily increasing, and with that comes the revitalization of the whole stadium tour. The sustainability comes almost entirely from the artist, and most importantly, the willingness of their fans to pay. The silver lining from this trend is that the concerts themselves have gotten way more visually exciting. Stevie Nicks’ Smoothie King Arena show on Wednesday, March 15 was by all means a carbon copy of those notions.

As I was leaving the show, I couldn’t shake the feeling of amazement the show had brought to me. For all intents and purposes, this tour is a passion project. Stevie wanted to create a set of material that was dear to her.

Much of that material she hadn’t played in a very long time or at all for that matter. With this notion in mind, it led to the perfect opportunity to let the audience know the history of many of the songs. This story telling gave me insight that a straight-up concert would never happen. In all actuality, she may have been able to play one or two more songs, and I would have loved to hear those.

The set was full of Fleetwood Mac tunes as well as her solo material. Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders (who’s opening this tour) joined Mac on stage during “Stop Draggin' My Heart Around,” the first single Nicks ever had, written by Tom Petty. Some of my favorite stories revolved around her hit “Stand Back” which was inspired by Prince’s “Little Red Corvette.” She lamented on how ever since she recorded “God Dust Woman” and “Rhiannon,” they’d never missed a set and over the years have evolved and taken on lives of their own. She talked about how she would write down ideas and complete songs, only to put them away in a box never to be seen again.

The moral of this tour is reconciliation with that box. One of those box songs Nicks wrote was in response to Katrina. “New Orleans” is a story that had to be told, but Nicks didn’t want to patronize the city, so she put the song away. This tour is the first time ever the song has seen the light of day. As she was telling the story of what perspective she needed to take, I couldn’t even imagine how nervous she must have been to play the song to its home crowd. She sang the song to a hushed crowd, and the images that accompanied the song were powerful and needed, no matter how much they stung the core.

The last two songs of the main set and the encore encapsulates Nick’s career. “Gold Dust Woman” and “Edge of Seventeen” rounded out the main set, followed by “Rihanna” and an engagingly charming version of “Landslide.” All in all, it was a fantastic evening and her stories were a great addition. You can see more pictures here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Hatley is a New Orleans-based photographer. You can find more of his photography here.