Saturday, May 16, 2009

(REVIEW) FLEETWOOD MAC - VANCOUVER

Fleetwood Mac

GM Place Vancouver May 15, 2009
Nicks brightens up sombre Fleetwood Mac show
FIONA MORROW
Globe and Mail

Things started out a little flat for Fleetwood Mac at GM Place Friday night. The band had cancelled concerts earlier in the week in both Calgary and Edmonton, due to sickness, with unconfirmed media reports suggesting it was Stevie Nicks who was suffering.

Certainly the 60-year-old singer appeared a tad fragile onstage, moving rather gingerly and avoiding the high notes on "Dreams" completely. Not that the enthusiastic crowd seemed to mind — their combined voices made sure the lyrics rang out loud and clear.

If Nicks was under-the-weather, she still brightened up proceedings — a fact made abundantly obvious whenever she headed to the wings to let Lindsey Buckingham have his songs in the spotlight. Somehow we made it through a dreary rendition of "Go Insane" from his solo album, most notable for a thunderous roar of reverb that rattled the stadium's stands. He fairly screamed an acoustic version of "Big Love," beating his guitar into submission, determined to prove he's still a rock star — V-neck and medallion notwithstanding. He positively mangled "Never Going Back Again," turning it into something a drunk uncle might embarrass himself with at a family wedding. Though she was there, Nicks couldn't help him out on that one.

Neither could the pair invoke the spirit or sound of Christine McVie when they ventured into her traditional territory briefly with "Say You Love Me."

Other McVie classics were noticeably absent, but it's hard to imagine the likes of "Songbird" or "You Make Loving Fun" without her anyway. Quite what it would have been like had Sheryl Crow been part of the combo (an early possibility when the tour was being planned) plain boggles the mind.

With a couple of costume changes during a two-hour set, Nicks showed she hasn't relinquished her hippie roots. Bedecked in scarves and fringes, she played with silver chains draped around the microphone stand. For "Gold Dust Woman" she was wrapped in a gold shawl; on "Go Your Own Way" she sported a black top hat.

There was little personal interaction between the band — perhaps to be expected given their tumultuous history — save for an obviously orchestrated lean into each other by Nicks and Buckingham at the closing bars of "Sara." For their parts, Mick Fleetwood bounced around the drums gamely, while bass player John McVie spent the night at the back of the stage in the shadows. In contrast, Buckingham, was in his element, his ego unbridled as he practically climbed into the front row, encouraging them to touch him and his guitar.

But for all the Brit guitarist's pumped-up adrenaline, the show at times felt weirdly sombre. Their best work behind them, there was an air of desperation about this presumably lucrative endeavour. In the end, Fleetwood's bonkers, blissed-out extended drum solo — complete with whoops and howls — on encore track "World Turning" was the most authentic moment of the night. And with it, he more than earned his cut.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The idiot reviewer calls Lindsey "the Brit guitarist." I love it when critics don't have any idea what they are talking about. Besides the band has not confirmed which member caused the two show to be postponed. Perhaps it was not Stevie that was ill.

Lindsey G.. another Lindsey m/38 said...

Stevie looked tired and uninterested, her eyes have closed, one almost all closed, she spun around as she was about to fall over even thou her speed was half of a sick turtle.. Lindsey,, my hats of to him if he did'nt put the energy into the show that he did there would have been no show... Stevie was a complete disappointment... with me catching her even yawning during one song.. embarrassing to the rest of the band.. It was nice they still played thou, the band was great musicly but Stevie looked like she rather have been somewhere eles with no vocal effort at all.. bitter disappointing when I am such a fan..I hope the rest of the tour does'nt waste there money like I did as a dvd would have left a better inpressioin. I rather have gone to see Lindsey on a solo tour with Mick,, The bass Player ummmm who? he stood in the background and he really never showed himself ,, and he was great, again musicly, but showmanship sucked..as so does my spelling,,, But he played flawlessly,, Mick (as I am a drummer) disappointed me also, he was steady but I guess I expected more,, even thou his little drum solo was fun and very safe,and he looked as he was into it,.. I just expected he would wow me and he did'nt..I really thought Lindsey and sometimes Mick,,were the only ones in the show,,, Thats really the just of how the show went,, Sara Mclaughlin was at the show,, probally the more exciting part for me seeing her in the stands. enjoying a nite out on the town.. good for you Sara.. I wish I would have ask you out for dinner and a movie... but I didnt want to bother you as you looked as you were enjoying yourself.. wait for your response on the invite for a dinner and a movie... I'll check back... to see if your game....

Anonymous said...

John has never been in the spotlight. He prefers not to.

Anonymous said...

Ohh if forgot to rate it,,,,,, I give it a 5 out of 10...and give Sara a 10/10 lol Lindsey G.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of these comments to an extent. Lindsay stole the show, if it wasn't for him I would've rated it 5/10 but I give it a 7. Love his guitar solo and his effort. I'm glad they came hopefully they can get it together for other shows. Josee

Anonymous said...

I have seen Fleetwood Mac four times over the last 20 years and this is the ONLY show where Stevie was "out of it" and not totally engaged. She seemed to have a head cold and could barely stand up.

It is easy to criticize her from a comfortable seat, but at least they did not cancle the show and she did her best. Lord knows I could not have sung if I felt as bad as she looked. By the way, how many women are still rocking in their 60's?

Besides, I would be yawning too if I had to sing the same old hits over and over for 30 years. That is why Stevie's best moment during the show was when they sang "I am a Storm", something they have never recorded. That was so beautiful and touching, she was totally present in that song.

I wish they would have left all the overplayed hits behind (ESPECIALLY the ones that highlighted the missing band member). By far the best moments were the ones where they showed their creativity and evolution as artists. For example, Mick Fleetwood dumping his old solo routine of banging on his body (as in previous shows) and instead breaking into house/electronica. Unbelievable!

As far as Lindsay goes, he carried the show. At least Lindsay has evolved musically and was not afraid to take all of these "old timers" on an unforgettable musical journey, with some of the best guitar solos I have ever seen.

Although some may say he was showing off with his necklace(like that was even worth mentioning???), I have rarely seen an artist so confident to try to explore such uncharted territory within a sea of people that have so many expectations rooted in the past.

Lets not critcize them for what they were not, instead lets credit them for the courage that they showed!

Alex

Rykmann said...

I was there - very disappointing show, bad acoustics, not their best!

kf said...

I was there - good show, great sound glad they played Vancouver this time!

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