Friday night was one of those nights that I will never forget. Two legends, one stage and night full of hits and wonderment. I mean, do I even need to write this review of Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel? Or is me saying I saw Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel on Friday enough for you? Not enough? Okay, that’s fine. I have no problem reliving the magic that I experienced.
My friend and I were a little bit late getting into the enormous U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday. We were both a little frazzled and a little stressed trying to weave in and and out of traffic to get to parking and then weaving between excited fans as we found our seats. It was all a bit much but, thankfully, we were not the only ones running a bit behind and the show was delayed by about fifteen minutes. The timing ended up being perfect and as soon as we sat down in our seats, the house lights went down and Stevie Nicks, the legend herself, took the stage and instantly started stealing the heart of everyone in attendance.
There was something so magical in the air throughout Stevie’s set. I wish I had the right words to describe what that magic was but I don’t. It was as if time was standing still as she sang through her thirteen-song set followed by a two-song encore (which was a bit odd for an opening act to do but, come on, it was Stevie Nicks). Although I never got super deep into Fleetwood Mac or Stevie’s solo music, I have very distinct memories of “Landslide” playing in my mom’s car. The memories don’t get much deeper than that yet are so vivid and that just added to that “time stood still” kind of feeling I was getting throughout the night.
At 75 years old, I didn’t expect much from Stevie’s performance on Friday night and, truthfully, she didn’t do much. There was one moment towards the end of the set where she stepped away from the microphone and spastically moved to the music in an odd yet truly organic and beautiful way but, beyond that, Stevie seemed to use the microphone stand and the gorgeous fabric hanging from it as a bit of a crutch. Seeing how slowly she would move when grabbing water between songs was a bit heartbreaking to watch but let’s be honest, this woman has been through some stuff and the fact that she is still performing today is already a feat. The fact that she can do it and still sound as flawless and perfect as she did on Friday night is truly just jaw-dropping and inspiring.
From the beautiful flowing dress that she had on (which she accessorized with her signature shawls that changed throughout the evening) to the passion and love that she praised the audience with multiple times throughout her hour-and-a-half-long set, everything about Stevie Nicks’ set was exactly what I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, there were surprises like the staggering cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” or when Billy Joel surprised her (quite literally) on stage to perform “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Stevie but, overall, Stevie’s set was perfectly understated and truly gorgeous.
Just in case you don’t personally know me or haven’t been following my blog since back in 2017 (That was so long ago! What the heck!?!), let me fill you in on something– I LOVE Billy Joel. It’s not something I like to admit because, you know, I have this hard metal/punk-loving kid image to keep up with but the truth is, if you put a Billy Joel song on, chances are that I will drop everything, start singing, and start doing the best air piano performance of my life. I’ve had the honor of seeing Billy Joel perform a couple of times (the last time being back in 2017 when he stopped by Target Field for a show) so I knew I was going to love every minute of his set on Friday night but I think I underestimated just how much I would love it.
Much like when Stevie Nicks took the stage, time seemed to stand still as Billy Joel appeared behind his piano just about twenty minutes after the stage had been vacated by Stevie Nicks (it was a super quick transition– bravo to the entire team that made that happen). Without any warning, Billy Joel introduced himself to the crowd by playing a stunning rendition of “Ode To Joy” on the piano before kicking into his “real” set with “My Life”.
Billy’s set on Friday night seemed to focus a bit more on the deep cuts than the past few times I’ve seen him. I was surprised to hear songs like “Zanzibar” and “Summer, Highland Falls” but, no need to fear, we also got hits lie “Piano Man”, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “The Longest Time”. The balance that this man has struck between satisfying his long-time die-hard fans and those who are there just because, you know, it’s Billy Joel, is something that I wish more legendary acts like him would strive for. It keeps the night fun and unpredictable while leaving everyone more than satisfied — or at least as satisfied as you can get with a twenty-two-song set from a legend who could play for days on end without repeating a track.
Although there was excitement in the air throughout the night and especially during the headlining set, there was something very personable about it. There were moments where I almost forgot that I was watching Billy Joel as it felt more like watching my dad joke around on stage in a way. From showing off his “moves like Jagger” while covering “Start Me Up” to the way he asked for prayers when it came to hitting the high notes in “Innocent Man”, there was just something less legend and more down-to-earth about Billy’s whole being. I think this is what has kept Billy Joel on top for so long– sure, he’s a legend and we all know that and there is no denying it but there’s still something fun and fresh about him. He doesn’t get on stage and act like he’s just going through the motions. He gets on stage and pours his heart and soul out there.
I know tickets weren’t cheap to the Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel show on Friday night and I wish I could have taken all of you with me. It was just one of those nights that was so legendary, so perfect, so beautiful, and so magical, it was so everything you want a show to be and it was a night that I am truly honored and humbled to have been able to experience.
Venue: US Bank Stadium
Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable
Average Age of the Crowd: There is no way to answer this. It was seriously such a broad range
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 0
Mosh-ability- 0 out of 10
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- 0
Broken Bones- None Noticed
Spotted Flying Through The Air- nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Passed Out Kids- 0
Idiots Taken Out By Security – 0
How Irritated I Was With The Audience – 0 out of 10
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Stevie Nicks– 0
Billy Joel– 4
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score – 12 out of 10
Show on Deck — Scene Queen / Ellise / Rivals
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