Stevie Nicks / An Enchanting Fairytale In Dublin 3Arena

There are certain things a household should never be without. A copy of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is most definitely one of them. It is a life necessity. Tonight, bohemian rock queen Stevie Nicks, the lady who helped mastermind the timeless masterpiece, graces the 3Arena in Ireland’s capital as a solo artist for the first time in 35 years.

Stevie Nicks

3 Arena, Dublin – 3 July 2024

Words: Brian Boyle

Social media last weekend was awash with videos of Taylor Swift’s three massive Dublin shows. And on Sunday, a masked-up Stevie Nicks was spotted in the VIP tent enjoying the Pennsylvania songstress’s gigantic Pop circus.

While a large chunk of the knee-high patrons most likely didn’t have a clue who Nicks or Fleetwood Mac were, Swift made sure everyone knew who she was by dedicating Clara Bow to the legendary singer.

But the 14,000 in here tonight don’t need educating. Her ethereal voice has been hypnotizing them for years. Some are here decked out in Nicks garb with the top hat and feathers and the famous sweeping dress, all here to basque in her resonating storytelling.

There is a good mix in the room, young and older, and older again, always a heartening sight at a rock concert.

 After Tom Petty’s Runnin’ Down A Dream blasted over the darkened arena, Nicks made her entry straight out the back of the stage and immediately greeted her people with an elegant bow.

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Irish folk don’t really do regal moments, but that felt like we were witnessing one.

Outside The Rain was the perfect tone-setter with a relaxed looking Nicks already weaving her spell. Then we get an early present of Dreams. The reaction doesn’t need explaining. Stevie gripped her bedazzled mic-stand, gently releasing soft smiles as only she can, throwing a virtual comfort blanket over the whole arena.

Stevie likes to talk. As they say in these parts, she could talk for Ireland. She did, and not once was it a chore. You hang on to every word, totally enchanted.

Stevie regaled us with a hilarious story of her first meeting with Tom Petty, which led into a hair-raising Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around with Nick’s longtime guitarist, the well-travelled Waddy Wachtel, doing Petty’s role with class.

The storytelling went up a level with a telling of herself and Lindsey Buckingham’s first encounter with the rest of the classic Fleetwood Mac lineup. A story she’s no doubt told a thousand times, but she appears to get a kick out of telling it. It teed up the nomadic charm of Gypsy with Nicks’ soothing voice soaring around the room majestically.

Despite not being one of her signature tunes, her witchy take of Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth had plenty movin and a shakin’, something you rarely see in a protest song.

But this is Ireland. We can dance to anything, like the full-on Standback where Stevie worshipers rose from their pews to soak up a song that still knocks years off you.

We got to view a fine piece of music history. The blue cape worn on the back of the Bella Donna album adorned the music icon, who then subsequently dropped it, a career first.

There are no such mishaps in the song itself. It still flows effortlessly with mystique and ceremony. 

The war-themed Soldier’s Angel brought a bit of poignancy to the evening. But there was no political ranting and raving, as that’s not her style. The emotive performance and the pained image of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on screen told the whole story. 

The chatter before Leather And Lace sounded like we were getting a local to fill the role originally done by Eagle, Don Henley. I heard a couple of ‘is it Bono,’ while a chap behind me was pleading with the Gods it wouldn’t be Glen Hansard. Thankfully, we were spared any butchery as Nicks’s vocal coach, Steve Real, filled the role with ease and pretty much stole a sizable chunk of the limelight off his boss.

And the big ones just kept on coming. A lengthy and powerful Gold Dust Woman saw Nicks giving her most physical performance of the night. Waddy Wachtel teased out the famous riff to Edge Of Seventeen several times, and each one got the same hysteric reaction. But when it fully loaded up, it was a sight to behold. In Dublin speak, the ‘place went fucking mental.’

The home straight was a solid bar of Fleetwood Mac gold. First up, Rhiannon, which in a live setting is still as other-worldly as it ever was, and that haunting delivery could have been 1975 all over again.

The finale would have brought a tear to a glass eye. Landslide was a wonderfully emotional tribute to the late Christine McVie. Close moments between Stevie Nicks and her dear friend appearing on the screen just heightened the spirit of the song. At times, it was hard to believe that she is no longer with us. If this moment did not stir something in you, get yourself seeing to.

A fitting end to a night that will genuinely live long in the memory. There is only one Stevie Nicks.

Sleeve Notes

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