Having been set to headline the 2020 Governors Ball that never happened, Stevie Nicks finally returned to NYC to headline Madison Square Garden on Sunday night (10/1). She was in the tristate area last year for festival appearances at Sea.Hear.Now and Sound on Sound, but she hasn’t played a proper show in the city since hitting the Garden back in 2016 on the 24 Karat Gold Tour. She spoke on stage about how even though she’s played the iconic arena multiple times before, it never gets any less special, and I doubt I’m alone in feeling like this truly was a special night for all involved… and not just because of the surprise she had in store.
The surprise, which Stevie revealed about halfway through the night, is that Mattel is launching a new Stevie Nicks Barbie, modeled after Stevie in the Rumours era, replica of her iconic boots from the album cover and tambourine included. She read a speech to the crowd that she wrote about the Barbie, displayed it on the big screen, and gave away the first-ever Stevie Nicks Barbie to a lucky crowd member. Stay tuned for more.
As for the rest of the show, Stevie was nothing short of remarkable. Her voice remains in fantastic, distinct form, and it soared through Madison Square Garden from the start of her two-hour set to the very end. She played the perfect mix of hits from both Fleetwood Mac and her solo career, and performed her recently-released cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” Always an iconic storyteller, Stevie punctuated her performances with stories about several of her songs, and it really does add a lot to hear these songs with the context of where they came from and what they mean to her–and the crowd was hanging on to her every word.
As she’s recently been known to do, she filled her set with tributes to two of her late collaborators, Tom Petty and Christine McVie. Her band walked out to Petty’s “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” she told the origin story of “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” and performed it with pictures of Tom on the big screen (and Stevie herself and Joni and Janis and Prince and Dylan and other legends), and she covered “Free Fallin’,” with more pictures of Tom, and Tom and Stevie together, from over the years. She closed out the night with an acoustic performance of “Landslide,” with a photo montage of her and Christine from over the years, and she ended with a short speech about how much she’s still grappling with Christine’s loss. Even with the lights coming on and the rush to exit beginning, so much of the crowd stood intently and listened to every word.
Though loss was a big theme throughout the night, the show was full of joy. Joy radiated out from Stevie and her ace band all night and the crowd gave it back tenfold. Every song felt like a treat, and every song felt entirely timeless. To see Stevie thrashing around during “Gold Dust Woman,” or staring down the unnamed muse of “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” or wailing away at “Edge of Seventeen,” or belting from the bottom of her heart on “Landslide,” decades after these songs were written, really speaks to Stevie’s undying passion and power. Not that anyone should need one, but it’s a reminder not to take a living legend like Stevie Nicks for granted.
Fan-shot videos and setlist from MSG below…
Outside the Rain
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac song)
If Anyone Falls
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
Fall From Grace
For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac song)
Sara (Fleetwood Mac song) (Sang the chorus a capella after she announced and then gave out a Stevie Nicks Barbie)
Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac song)
I Sing for the Things
Edge of Seventeen
Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty cover)
Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac song)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac song)