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LIVE: STEVIE NICKS with THE PRETENDERS – Perth, 2 Nov 2017

LIVE: STEVIE NICKS with THE PRETENDERS – Perth, 2 Nov 2017
Perth Arena, Perth, Western Australia – Thursday, 2 November, 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Peter Gardner

Lest we forget, Chrissie Hynde was there at ground zero for UK punk, working in Malcolm McLaren & Vivienne Westwood’s shop Sex and travelling in the same social circles as the Sex Pistols, et al. True punk is all about attitude, and Hynde has never lost hers, as she showed with a great rock and roll set at Perth Arena.

Showing no sign of the irascible Hynde that abused a Dubai crowd and cut short her set only a week ago, Hynde was friendly and charismatic as she introduced fellow original member Martin Chambers as “the best rock and roll drummer in the world,” and treated fans up front with some down low high fives and guitar picks.

Bolstered by guitarist James Walbourne, a Perth boy, The Pretenders opened with Alone and Gotta Wait, mixing big hits (Message Of Love, Back On The Chain Gang, Middle Of The Road) with some deeper cuts (Private Life, Let’s Get Lost, Thumbelina), but it was a simply stunning near-acapella version of Hymn To Her and a boisterous, sexy, joy-filled Brass In Pocket – the latter getting dancers on their feet in spite of strict security – that brought the biggest cheers.

Stevie Nicks couldn’t be more of a contrast, the wistful gypsy of soft rock to Hynde’s spiky punk popstress. Where Hynde wasted few words, Nicks told long, rambling stories (“I know I’m probably going on like an old aunt you have to put up with,” she said at one point) about key points in her life and the songs she was singing. Where Hynde was relaxed in jeans and a t-shirt, Nicks looked uncomfortable in painfully high boots, and shared a seemingly endless succession of shawls and throws with her crowd.

Hynde joins Nicks’ band for a great run-through of the Tom Petty duet Stop Dragging My Heart Around in tribute to the recently deceased rocker, before Nicks delivers an inspirational speech about following your dreams – “if you have something priceless, don’t let anything get in your way!” and veteran guitarist Waddy Wachtel elevated the music by his presence and sensational playing.

Mostly performing solo hits (Belle Fleur, Bella Donna, New Orleans, Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream), with a few Fleetwood Mac classics (Gypsy, Gold Dust Woman, and a brilliant encore of Rhiannon and Landslide), as well as Stand Back – the song she wrote using Prince’s Little Red Corvette as a starting point, and enlisted His Purpleness to play on – and Buckingham Nicks’ Crying In The Night.

Fans of either legend will have their favourites from the night (Pretenders on points for this reviewer, Stevie’s monologues sucked too much energy from the room and the performance), but in truth great music was the clear winner here, with both performances being exemplary.

 

 

LIVE: STEVIE NICKS with THE PRETENDERS – Perth, 2 Nov 2017

Filed Under: Live ReviewsPhoto Galleries

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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