AU's Student-Run Internet-Only Radio

WVAU

AU's Student-Run Internet-Only Radio

WVAU

AU's Student-Run Internet-Only Radio

WVAU

Stevie Nicks & Billy Joel Concert Review

Stevie+Nicks+%26+Billy+Joel+Concert+Review

Throughout 2023, Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel have made stops in eight cities to perform together in the “Two Icons, One Night” tour. I had the opportunity to see them in Baltimore earlier in October. 

After going back and forth on buying tickets for months, I splurged on a ticket for myself as an early birthday gift. Billy Joel has been one of my favorite artists since I was in eighth grade and committed to learning every word of “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” which I can proudly say I still know today. Fleetwood Mac has also been a favorite band of mine since I heard the song “Landslide” for the first time and cried because I resonated with it so much. With these two iconic artists just an hour away from me, I knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. 

On October 7th, I walked through swarms of Orioles fans leaving Oriole Park, mixed with people dressed in Stevie Nicks’ witchy style and groups of friends humming “Uptown Girl” heading into M&T Stadium for a magical night. 

At 7:15 p.m., the lights shut off in the stadium, and the intro to “Outside the Rain,” from Stevie Nicks’ debut solo album, Bella Donna started. Although I’ll admit I didn’t know the song, Nicks’ stage presence entranced me the moment she stepped on stage. In her signature fashion, she was wearing a flowy black dress that twirled as she danced across the stage. Even at 75 years old, she still has it. 

Her set was 15 songs, including five Fleetwood Mac covers, a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” and Bruce Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” amongst her original music. The songs I knew best were the Fleetwood Mac songs, but hearing “Edge of Seventeen” and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which she performed with Billy Joel, was an experience that made me feel like I was genuinely living in the 80s.

I sang my heart out to “Rhiannon” and “Gypsy” and cried as Nicks sang “Landslide,” with pictures of her late bandmate, Christine McVie, playing on the screens. The tribute to McVie, who passed away last November, was moving, and I could hear the pain but also the nostalgia in Nicks’ voice as she sang. 

“Landslide” was the perfect end to Nicks’ 90-minute set. As I wiped my tears away from “Landslide,” I couldn’t help but smile, knowing that I had just seen one of the most iconic women of all time who helped set the foundation for women in the music industry. Although I know more of Fleetwood Mac’s music than Stevie Nicks’ solo music, after watching her perform in a stadium full of fans, I have become a fan of all things Stevie Nicks. 

After a 30-minute break, Billy Joel finally took the stage, beginning his 22-song run. He walked on stage in a coat and scarf while sipping a mug of tea, which made me laugh as I realized that I was watching a 74-year-old man perform songs that he wrote 50 years ago. Which, in turn, made me realize that I was, in fact, the youngest person at that concert who was there by my own will. 

The real question is, how many 20-year-old girls will Uber an hour from college to see an artist from the 1970s? But then again, I knew I deserved to be there. 

My mom saw Billy Joel a few years ago, so I knew what to expect – an old man sitting at a piano for two hours. However, he blew me out of the water. The majority of the concert was, in fact, an old man at a piano (he is the Piano Man, after all), but there was one point in the concert where he told the crowd that his team told him to stand up on his setlist, so he was up and moving and dancing during “An Innocent Man,” and “The Longest Time.” 

 

About halfway through his set, the real reason why I wanted to see Billy Joel so badly came to fruition. “Vienna,” a track from The Stranger released in 1977, was performed. “Vienna” is my favorite, most-played song of all time. For context, I have listened to it over 600 times in the past five years, according to my Spotify stats. I knew every single word to 11 of the 22 songs Joel performed, but “Vienna” was genuinely the reason I was there. I could write an article about how much that song means to me and its role in my life over the past few years, but the bottom line is when I heard it played live, I lost my mind. I sobbed. Concerts bring so much joy out of me that my emotions come out as tears at most of the shows I attend. 

As I recovered from “Vienna,” I sang along to “Only the Good Die Young,” “New York State of Mind,” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.” Joel wrapped the concert with “Piano Man,” of course, playing the piano with a harmonica strapped to his head. Finally, he came out with his encore, which included “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” and “Uptown Girl,” and I thanked my thirteen-year-old self for wanting to memorize every line of the former. 

Walking out of the M&T Stadium, I couldn’t sto

p smiling. I had just seen two bucket list artists, and of all the concerts I’ve been to, which is a lot, this one meant something to me that the others never have. I honestly think it was the older audience and the lack of phones recording the whole time.

I only recorded a few songs and took a few photos because it felt so out of place to have my phone out among the audience. Everyone was absorbing the artists in a way I had never experienced before. I compare it to when I saw Taylor Swift or Lana Del Rey, both concerts where everyone around me had their phones out the entire time. I did, too, and I honestly will continue to take videos and photos at my concerts. But for some reason, I didn’t feel the need to record Stevie Nicks or Billy Joel; I just wanted to take it all in and remember everything as clearly as possible. I was incredibly successful in that. 

If you’re interested in seeing Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel together, they have two more shows this year on November 10th in Minneapolis and December 12th in Phoenix and one show planned for next year on March 9th in Arlington, Texas. However, they are both performing individually for the rest of 2023 and into 2024, so I highly recommend looking up if either of them are playing near you. They changed my life; maybe they’ll change yours too.

View Comments (4)
More to Discover

Comments (4)

All WVAU Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    TonyJun 22, 2024 at 10:16 am

    I saw both Sting and Billy in Tampa in Feb-both left me gob·smacked;
    they still bring the heat. Admittedly, I saw Billy in 1984 as well. He is ageless. Funny how age defines our perspective-Talent is talent-not defined by age…ask the fans of Tony Bennett or Elvis that are your age. Good quality music is timeless, which is why composers such as Vivaldi, Schubert, Mozart, etc., are still timeless. I found your comment interesting, “how many 20-year-old girls will Uber an hour from college to see an artist from the 1970s? Not many probably. BUT THATS OK you couldn’t pay me enough to see a Taylor swift concert.(over rated). PS. when I saw Billy Joel in February, we had plenty of young people at the concert. We had a mother and daughter sitting next to us, the mother was pregnant with her daughter the first time she saw Billy in 2005; her daughter is now 18 years old. As I said, quality music touches your soul, no matter one’s age, it speaks to the heart perpetually.

    Reply
  • S

    SteveApr 19, 2024 at 12:33 am

    I’m glad you liked the shows and shared your love for live music. Keep it up! Just one note – for What it’s Worth is by Buffalo Springfield

    Reply
  • D

    DebbieNov 11, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    Just saw them last night in Minneapolis and I have no regrets just happy memories from my youth and last night.
    They are both in their 70s and sound as good as ever. I did video a little of my favorites. I loved when he played piano man and let the crowd sing the chorus and we all 66,000 plus people sounded great!
    Pure joy

    Reply
  • J

    Jon ZevenbergenNov 11, 2023 at 7:51 am

    Just at Mpls concert. Too aging superstars who killed it. I took love Vienna and am a huge Billy fan. All his time entertaining me over the past 50 years is invaluable. Thanks for your review. It helped me reflect further on a great night!

    Reply