Monday, March 23, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in NYC "A weekend replete with Fleetwood Mac was exactly what I needed"

Fleetwood Mac Soothe Kim Stolz’s Soul With NYC Gig
by Kim Stolz
MTV Newsroom

A weekend replete with Fleetwood Mac was exactly what I needed to detox from the wrangles and chaos that was MTV Spring Break 2009. Sure, I may have spent a full month’s salary on my ticket, but it was worth every penny. I’ve fallen in love with indie-pop bands over the years like the Knife and Animal Collective, and recently I’ve fallen in a type of lust for hip-hop artists like Drake, Lil Wayne and Charles Hamilton, but my heart undoubtedly beats steady and strong for the classic rock I grew up with — specifically, Fleetwood Mac.

I’ve spent hours watching the video for “Silver Springs” from the Dance Tour, and I am obsessed with any DJ that mixes Fleetwood Mac along with the more “club-worthy” sounds of Kanye, Lady Gaga, Crystal Castles … you get the picture. So, when I found out that Stevie, Lindsey, John and Mick (Christine McVie seldom performs with the band, except for an occasional U.K. appearance) were doing a Hits Tour, I dropped everything and bought tickets to two of their shows in the NY area.

Wearing the first of several scarves that would make appearances throughout the show, Stevie took the stage — along with Lindsey and the rest of the band — and began “Monday Morning.” The set then went on to include “The Chain,” “Sara,” “Rhiannon,” “Tusk” (which was surprisingly sonically satisfying even without horns), “Stand Back” (also surprising but very exciting) and the other likely suspects of a Fleetwood Mac Hits Tour.

With the epic and tragic — but also media-friendly — tale that was the love story of Lindsey and Stevie, it’s hard to decipher how much of their onstage tension and affection is genuine and how much is part of the show. Fleetwood Mac and “Silver Springs”-obsessed, I have to believe that it’s real and crave even the shortest glance between them. In the beginning of the show, Lindsey spoke about their decades-long affair and “emotional and tumultuous history,” adding that “each time we come together, it’s always different. … We’re always moving in a forward motion and we decided that this time, we’re just going to have fun.” Still, though, in the moments where they sang the most heart-wrenching of lyrics — written for each other — you could see a certain look in their eyes, which, to me, was a clear example of the years of practice in keeping their lives separate and, in a sense, an attempt to hide the residual feelings, which never seemed to vanish.

During “Go Insane,” it dawned on me that — more so than the Fleetwood Mac concerts I’d watched on television — this particular set could almost be classified as “The Lindsey Show.” Of course, the vast majority of the audience kept their eyes on Stevie as she twirled around, creating a hypnotizing silhouette, leaving the stage and coming back from time to time with different scarves. Although she displayed different emotions — another sign that perhaps her fight to close off the feelings for Lindsey is still in full force — Lindsey did most of the speaking, and his songs and guitar solos were a major focus of the show.

Their second encore began with “Don’t Stop,” and as the rest of the audience swelled with joy and sang every lyric, my heart sank a little bit, fearing that “Silver Springs” would be left out of the Hits Tour. But a few minutes later, the chimes that commence the track echoed in the arena and, holding hands, Stevie and Lindsey began the song, seemingly symbolizing an emerging friendship between the two. However, as the painful and extremely personal lyrics continued, Lindsey and Stevie barely looked at each other — when Lindsey gave his famous side-glance in Stevie’s direction, her eyes remained fixed on the crowd, almost emotionless at times, and when she turned her head toward him, it was clear she was staring just past him rather than in his eyes.

As far as looking forward, Stevie Nicks has announced a “Live in Chicago” DVD, to be released on April 1. And during the set last night, Lindsey told the audience, “We don’t have a new album to promote … yet!” Before walking off stage for the last time, he thanked the crowd for coming and quelled our panic at the potential for this being their last tour, saying, “We’ll see you next time!” I took a deep breath and immediately updated my Twitter with the good news.

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