Stevie Nicks Live Review: Fleetwood Mac singer flies solo in Dublin

Having announced the end of Fleetwood Mac to MOJO last month, Stevie Nicks’ show in the Irish capital proves she can still cast plenty of magic on her own.

Stevie Nicks

by Pat Carty |
Updated on

Stevie Nicks

3Arena, Dublin, July 3, 2024

Speaking in the latest issue of MOJO, Stevie Nicks confirmed what many fans had feared. That following the death of Christine McVie in 2022, a rapprochement between her and Lindsey Buckingham was not on the cards and Fleetwood Mac were essentially no more. At the same time, she offered hope for her fans.

“I would rather not be freed up from Fleetwood Mac, because of Christine. But I’m in a place when I can concentrate on my solo work. I can do anything I want now and not have to worry about stopping and going back to Fleetwood Mac,” she told MOJO’s Bob Mehr, before stating that she plans to carry on as she always has, ever since she was little girl: “To get up and dance and put on outfits and sing and tell stories.”

It's precisely what her Dublin fans - who’ve been on Nicks watch ever since she was spotted at last weekend’s Taylor Swift show and joined Swift for a night out in the city -  are here in their droves to see. That many of them have made the effort to dress in imitation of their idol only adds to the joyous atmosphere.

When the lights go down and Tom Petty’s Running Down A Dream comes out of the speakers, the excitement goes up another notch and then there she is, dressed in black, hair almost to her waist and drawers’ worth of scarves tied round her mic stand.

She begins with Outside The Rain, from 1981’s solo debut Bella Donna. As she was on the record, Nicks is joined by Waddy Wachtel (Keith Richards, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt, Randy Newman) on the guitar. The veteran session player is here both to marshal the troops and act as a foil to Nicks and he gives good Lindsey Buckingham during Dreams, which is greeted with a surge of euphoria.

Is it Nick’s greatest song? Possibly. Does it show a certain chutzpah throwing it out this early in the game? Definitely. Even back in the gods, the roar along to the chorus from the floor is deafening. Wachtel throws a few Keith Richards-like shapes as ballet dancers sway on the screens during an equally useful If Anyone Falls In Love from 1983’s The Wild Heart, another million selling solo record, then Nicks pauses to start telling some of those stories.

She recalls how producer Jimmy Iovine came to her at the end of the recording of Bella Donna to say they needed a single. Fortunately, Iovine was also working with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at the time and they had a song. Nicks went to his house and met Petty for the first time - “way overdressed” she remembers “and we did it.”

With Wachtel taking Petty’s vocal parts, the song in question, Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, rocks magnificently as images of Nicks and all her fabulous showbiz friends in the 70s play out behind them. Despite being released in 2011, the warm FM radio sound of Nicks’ reading of Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth feels like it could have plucked from the same era.

The crowd sing along so enthusiastically to Gypsy from Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 album Mirage that they stumble ahead on occasion but the three-part vocal from the stage is beautiful. Wild Heart, Bella Donna, and Stand Back (Nicks gives it some trademark twirl during the latter) all land wonderfully, although a surprise Soldier’s Angel from 2011’s In Your Dreams is a more admirable sentiment than it is a song.

They’re all forgotten, however, when an exaggerated version of the intro to Gold Dust Woman is recognised. It’s also given an extended outro here, which transforms it into glorious swirling maelstrom of sound.

She brings out her vocal coach Steve Real, who acquits himself admirably and shows why he got the job, for Leather And Lace (given their past, a Don Henley appearance on the song was always unlikely) but there’s a bit of a misstep at the start of Edge Of Seventeen. The song’s instantly recognisable muffled riff sounds out only for the band to temporarily bury it under some back passing noodling, but once they get that out of their system the place nearly melts down.

While Nicks pauses before the encore, it should be noted that this show is not without its problems. She promised to tell stories and accordingly there are rambling introductions to several songs. Often as long, if not longer than the tunes they precede. For some this is manna from heaven as they hang on every word. Others would prefer Nicks sing more songs (Sara, Silver Springs, Storms, and those are just the S ones) rather than deliver monologues. We overhear one woman wondering if she’d been ripped off, while another beamingly declares she’s loving every second. On balance, it wouldn’t do any harm to rein it in a smidgen as the breaks slow the momentum.

Never mind all that now though, because Nicks is back for an encore that washes away all sins. The high notes might not be all quite there (although it must be acknowledged that, despite the very occasional slip up, Nicks’ voice is an age-defying wonder throughout the evening), but the sound of Rhiannon, a bewitching meld of drums, guitar and the vocals of both Nicks and her two backing singers, is mesmerising. Even this is surpassed by another song from 1975’s Fleetwood Mac, the beyond beautiful Landslide. Nicks sings it in front of a collage of images of McVie, and it is as moving as it was when she sung it over Lindsey Buckingham’s acoustic guitar during the last full Fleetwood Mac shows in this building in 2015.

“There is no chance of putting Fleetwood Mac back together in any way,” Nicks told MOJO. “Without Christine, it just couldn’t work.”

Surely everyone in attendance this evening would wish that wasn’t the case, but when Stevie Nicks is on form, as she is for the most part tonight, she doesn’t really need a return to the fold.


Outside The Rain


If Anyone Falls

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around

For What It’s Worth


Wild Heart

Bella Donna

Stand Back

Soldier’s Angel

Gold Dust Woman

Leather And Lace

Edge Of Seventeen




Stevie Nicks appears at London's Hyde Park on July 12

Picture: Stevie Nicks at BottleRock Napa Valley. May 24, 2024. Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

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