At 6.00pm sharp, myself (Lisa Carrolan), Lisa Corish & Wendy Ellerington made our way in various degrees of 'Stevie attire' (platforms, chiffon & velvet) down to the lobby of Jury's Inn Custom House Hotel, right on the banks of the River Liffey, Dublin. The doors of the lift opened to reveal our excited selves to a reception full of the hotel's residents and a few whispers along the lines of (and I apologise for the awful accent here) 'Ah, would you look at da' ! TREE Stevie Nicks's !' We had decided to abandon the idea of walking to The Point (which we were assured was only 10 minutes away) in favour of hailing a cab to carry us to the venue, in all our glory, as the merest hint of moisture would ruin our carefully put together attire (well, as carefully put together as you can be in the 15 minutes we allowed ourselves to shower, change and get made up !!). This turned out to be a grand idea, as the weather was gross and the '10 minute walk' to the theatre neared more like 30 on the return journey (but more of that later …) We were pleased to see that there were only a mild smattering of audience members in the queue ahead of us and so happily went to take our places after meeting up with 'Our Aine' (I don't think I managed to pronounce the poor girl's name right all evening - I'm so sorry, Aine !! - she's a doll, by the way !!!). The time queuing passed relatively quickly - we chattered on about this and that and the previous apprehension all but disappeared - until we heard the soundcheck coming from inside. We could just make out the strains of 'Dreams', 'The Chain' and 'I'm so Afraid'. So it was true. 'They' were really there and in the building … Before we knew it the doors were open and we made a dash for it. I never knew you could run in 4 inch heels and a platform, but there you go ! I had cunningly concealed my camera down my left legwarmer - but needn't have worried as security amounted to a vague glance at your ticket and a heartfelt, 'Ah wudja WALK and not RUN, ladies' Our 'panther like' (ahem) sprint paid off, as we entered the concert hall to find that we were the only ones there. There was the stage. There was Stevie's microphone. Oh. My. God.
Playing guitar, throwing lassoes & thigh grabbing in general …
Unbelievable, but true, the hall took forever to fill up ! There were meant to be around 8500 people in attendance, but we all agree that it was more like 4500 to 5000 - a sellout, definitely, but this place was way smaller than the NEC. I gazed around the empty stage, hardly able to take in that Fleetwood Mac would be appearing right in front of my face in a matter of minutes. The crowd were very good natured. It could have been such a crush at the front, but it just wasn't - and because of that, I'd say you'd have been hard pushed to get a bad view of what was about to happen. The roadies were especially amenable, and took some gentle ribbing in good humour - like the poor lass who came out to tape the word 'Dublin' to Stevie's microphone stand base !! She was jokingly (?) dared to write other place names, but only laughed and walked away saying, 'I don't think she'd be very pleased !' He, he ! She was followed by a bloke who came and spoke to Aine & myself, asking us to keep the platform at our bit of the stage clear as 'Lindsey will come and play down here during the show'. Errr, ok ! The promised time of arrival, 8pm, came and went. A little good natured chanting began, until at 8.20 … the background music faded, the lights went out to an appreciative roar, then - entering from stage right - Mick Fleetwood bounded onto the stage in his pinstripe velvet knickerbockers and red stockings, John McVie, a solitary thumb up to the crowd, sauntered into position and strapped on his bass. 10 or so seconds passed … before Lindsey Buckingham walked on, hand in hand, with Stevie Nicks. The rush I felt was incredible. Here, just inches from where I stood, was the woman whose music I adored, whose hairstyle and clothing I imitated - as it's the coolest way to dress ! - and whose name I chose to call my very own daughter. It was all a bit much and I did fill up, just a little. As she came over to her mike, I managed to shout, 'Stevie ! We've missed you !' … she took a swerve to in front of where I stood, next to Aine, and smiled straight at me and waved. All of us agreed afterwards that the opening song, 'The Chain', went by in a total blur. We were far too excited and overwhelmed to take it all in. I know that all of this sounds cheesier than a cheese sandwich in Cheddar Gorge - but when you all go yourselves (and you are, VERY SOON !!) I defy you to feel any differently ! I want to make it abundantly clear also, that you could tell, right from the word go that the whole lot of them were having the time of their lives. I've read a few reviews that have said that things were a little lack lustre at the beginning, or moods were a bit touchy but there was absolutely none of this last night. As she was so close, and I'm a Stevie nut, I concentrated on her more or less soley for the first couple of songs. Stevie's voice was absolutely perfect (the sound was good at The Point anyway - we'd been told it could be hit and miss) She smiled and laughed a lot. She spread her arms out and danced. She made LOADS of eye contact with us lot at the front - smiling and doing little gestures. I read the tremendous review written by Lian at buckinghamnicks.net (her little group were stood to our right, next to Lisa Corish) and I'm so glad, and amazed , that she managed to get the set down and remembered so well. I thought I'd just add some little extra observations and comments of my own …
The Chain - as I said, passed by in a bit of a blur, but I won't forget hearing John's bass throbbing out from behind the walls of The Point as we stood in line waiting to go in. 'They are actually in there !!'
Dreams - The moment when I realised just how good Stevie's voice sounded. Stevie Nicks is singing 'Dreams' in front of me !!! Argh !!
Eyes of the World - So many people have said that this was an odd choice to be added to the set - but it completely rocks performed live. Plenty of 'expressive eyes' from our Stevie. The point when I first noticed Lindsey's playing. Or indeed that anyone else was on stage.
Peacekeeper - The 'but there's only one brush we need' part reminded me that I'd made a farty wallpaper graphic, incorporating that line. Lindsey made as if to paint around Stevie's face - which was cool.
Second Hand News - This was easily as good as the Bac version (LOL !!) Seriously, I love this anyway and Linds was bopping about and seeming to show that he was having a blast with it too. I really do feel that they enjoyed US as much as we did THEM. It was a proper party on and off stage. The way this song was done was when I realised it.
Say You Will - Ahhhh, I LOVED this ! I loved Stevie's little intro (we know it by now !!) but also her cute little dance for the chorus. All you 'front rowers' HAVE to learn it !! She's seems tickled pink when everyone starts to join in after the first or second time - it's basically a few arm stretches, to illustrate what she's singing, ending in a 'lasso throwing' type movement over her head to the 'If I can get you to dance' bit … I HOPE I got a photo of her doing it !
Never Going Back Again - Linds & Stevie together with an acoustic guitar. She stood with her back to us and head turned to him to sing her parts … they've been down THREE times dontcha know !
Rhiannon - 1st true highlight of the evening. We KNOW it's not like the 70's 'wig out' version and we KNOW that Stevie has explained to us that Rhiannon has 'got older and more wiser' too but last night's version was a corker, with my favourite 'all the same, Rhiannon' ad libs and the 'dream on silly dreamer' parts. Wendy was in heaven at this, and also as Stevie had changed into her dripping chiffon to perform the song. Her sleeves were initially wrapped loosely around her arms and steadily unravelled as she began to wave and sway about. Another photo I HOPE has turned out ;-)
Come - Heavens to Betsy. OK, I'm a Stevie Head - you all know that. You also know that I ain't a Lindsey Lover (well, I love him - I don't Love him …) But even I was knocked out by his completely and utterly over the top take of 'Come'. He sang and played the first part to a faintly embarrassed lady in the audience (who was also loving it !! hehehe) And when he got to the ' …I just can't let her go' part he motioned over to Stevie's, now empty, mike stand - which of course was totally staged and will give the S'n' L romantics plenty to chew over for days - but still seemed amazingly touching all the same - and then he went bonkers ! He whooped and whirled, flailing and falling around whilst all the time playing brilliantly and maniacally. His Hendrix impression brought down the house … and Stevie's mike stand too ! Whoops ! A hairy old roadie had to quickly swoop on and make a hasty repair job to the ribbons, chiffon and diamante ropes adorning it. When she returned to the stage to the opening notes of …
Gypsy - … she didn't look best pleased !! I think this sounded 'twee' last night after Lindsey's wig-out. It's not an especial fave of mine anyway, but it was good to hear her do it all the same, and I never forget who it was written for and about - which makes it an important song. Plus, she wore an incredibly gorgeous gold crocheted 'coat' with shimmery multicoloured panels at the hem. She was lucky to leave the stage with it intact once Wendy & Lisa saw it (in much the same way as I feared for my velvet coat during our whole trip !! J ) I need to get a pic of this at the NEC.
Big Love - Fantastic.
Landslide - Well, Landslide is always lovely, and this was especially so as it was dedicated to our crowd last night. Stevie did make a point all the way through the show of telling us how amazed she and the rest of the band are that we 'still support this band all these years down the line.' Like,d'uh.
Say Goodbye - I'm not really touched by this song, personally, and I wasn't particularly last night. But I saw the top two layers of Stevie's chiffon skirt lift gently from the breeze off the fan at her feet - which was cool.
What's the World Coming To ? - I LOVED this - it sounded great performed live !! And it was during this song that I had my first real interaction with my new husband- to- be, Brett Tuggle.
Beautiful Child - Oh, I was looking forward to this and I wasn't to be disappointed. Stevie spoke about it being from 'Tusk' and how pleased she was to get to sing it live after all these years, as she never thought she'd be allowed ! LOL!! She then went on to dedicate it to her Dad, Jess, who was there ! Awww, we all loved that. 'Daddy, this is for you. You are still a Beautiful Child' She sang it so, well, beautifully !
Gold Dust Woman - A complete stormer. Loved this - Stevie really came alive and moved very seductively throughout it all. I've heard it a million times, but last night's performance of this old favourite brought it back to life for me.
I'm So Afraid - Heavens to Betsy, part 2. I adore all the live versions I've ever heard of this and it's my personal Lindsey favourite. So, can you imagine how we felt when, during the spine tingling solo, he came across to where Aine, myself, Wendy & Lisa stood, placed his foot on the monitor and basically played it over our heads. I really, really was open mouthed. He was THERE - close enough to touch (which 'Madam' did - his boot at this point, but it got worse …) The lights behind and around him turned a dazzling white as he whipped the guitar (and Aine !!) into somewhat of a frenzy. Another Kodak moment.
Silver Springs - We sang along to the end part, during her stop and start ad libbing. ' I heard you singing !' she teased ' That was beautiful, thank you'
Tusk - Bonkers boxing, nearly knocking Johnny over (steady on, Linds, it's nearly his birthday ya know !) and a little slow dance to round off. Tremendous.
Stand Back - Wendy was really looking forward to this one and it didn't disappoint. After a long intro from Brett, (wonder what our kids will look like ..) Stevie crashed across the stage, a-twirling and a-whirling. Wendy and I did a freestyle Standback dance routine during the chorus which we enjoyed … can't say the same about those behind and to the side of us …
Mr Tuggle knows the way to a girl's heart - he played keyboards with his elbow at one point (he was just showing off to catch my eye - bless him)
Go Your Own Way - Heavens to … ah, you know. Aine's little face, 'well maybe he's not gonna come and play here after all' changed into a mix of terror and exhilaration as LB came and did his 'spank my plank' right at her !! He motioned for her to play the guitar and she duly obliged. I was SO chuffed, cos she loves him ! Everyone else joined in to (including your truly !! I strummed his guitar, man !!!!) I glanced down and, what's that ?? A tiny little hand a-rubbing and a-fondling his thigh ?? MISS ELLERINGTON ! Is THIS yours ??!! Honestly, she clung on like a barnacle. Actually, the wiley old sod was loving it and he wasn't gonna move out of the way - NO WAY !!! I hope I kept my word to Aine and managed to get a corking pic of her with her man ! Prior to these shenanigans, my enjoyment was spoiled somewhat by an annoying pisshead who insisted on barging up to the front, between me and Wendy, and tried to get moving footage on his Vodafone, which was as broken up and pixelated as hell and I hope looks like shite today HA! He copped a feel as he went (my fiance looked concerned, but he was working and couldn't come to help, sadly) and then I 'copped a feel' of the top of his foot. With my 4 inch platform. Hurrah.
World Turning - This was going to be our 'loo song', so I didn't expect the 'rush' I'd feel seeing Mick stomping and pounding about with his talking drum and 'magic' waistcoat (he'd be great on children's telly) He's pretty tremendous, actually - and loving it too.
Don't Stop - Oh no ! It's almost the end ! But an anthemic end all the same. Brought back memories of 'The Dance' for some reason. Me and my chief bridesmaid Wendy got a wave, a 'cheers' with cup held aloft, a smile and a mouthed 'thank you' from Brett. I'll be back, sweedie. Mwah.
Goodbye Baby - Lots of people made to leave - come back you silly articles !!! This was breathy and gorgeous. A little girl was held aloft in front of Lindsey, whom he thought was lovely (she was only 7 or 8) She gave all of her attention to Stevie, though, and was rewarded with a few words and a hand hold at the end. Sweet !
Mick did the intros of everyone and told us all how marvellous we were (we KNOW !! hehehe). He introduced Stevie as 'the lady of the band, Miss Stephanie Nicks'. The 'lady of the band' moved over to us and we all got a mouthed 'thank you' and a great smile. She thanked us again for 'supporting this band for all of these years' and thanked us also for spending our evening with them.
I decided not to tell her that I'd missed 'How Clean is Your House ?' …
And so, out into the muggy, damp night we spilled - ears ringing, hoarse dry mouths from the singing and shouting and me, with boots that someone had cunningly removed and replaced with razorblades for the walk home. A few cold beers and a natter wouldn't have gone amiss but the hotel bar was packed to capacity with gig goers (Ah, wudja look at tha' - FOUR Stevie Nicks's …) so we four retired to our hotel room and had a chin wag about the evening's events, before Wendy, Lisa & myself turned in for the night after a healthy and nutritious 'post gig' snack of cheese n onion crisps and coke. And our final thoughts about the evening ? 'Those platforms that Stevie wore at the end, with the diamante strip on the heel, looked like they were from the Rag Market' 'yeah, but they were better than the platform Reeboks …'