Friday, June 12, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in New York City at Madison Square Garden

Fleetwood Mac Live at Madison Square Garden: 
June 11, 2009

New York Stevie Knicks

Tonight, everybody at MSG tapped into their inner-Stevie. So I broke out my long flowing black dress, healing crystals and yards of excess fabric to be one with Stevie.

Fleetwood Mac is taking their second trip across America this year. They are calling it "The Hits" tour -- meaning they are not going to bore you with new songs. That sounds good enough of a marketing ploy to me. I figured I need to see the legendary band before they needed wheelchairs to get on stage. It also helped that the recession era price was $50 for cheap seats ... which got upgraded to the 100 level because it was undersold. Holla!

With the lack of Christie McVie on this tour, you're not going to "You Make Loving Fun," "Little Lies" or "Hold Me". Man, if they broke out "Edge of Seventeen" the place might have exploded.

Some of my favorite performancesfrom the night included the drum-heavy march of "Tusk". Although to get the full effect, they need to hire a local marching band to recreate the USC marching band power. Loved "Gold Dust Women" with Stevie being Stevie. Then you have Mick Fleetwood's extended drum solo for "World Turning" where he speaks in tongue and chants. As the elder statesmen of the band, he looks like Papa Smurf and Ernest Hemingway

I knew I was going have a good time and I did. The show is straight forward with no surprises or extraneous bells and whistles. The stage set-up was minimalist, with rotating panels hovering over the stage reflecting simple patterns and colors. Even Lindsey Buckingham acknowledged on this tour that theyjust wanted to go out and have fun. The underline to that is "and make some easy money." I can dig it, because the show was great.

There was a moment where I saw some authenticity. With these veteran acts like The Eagles, Neil Diamond or The Who, each show is carefully choreographed and pre-planned. You're going to see the same set-up in NYC as you would in Atlantic City. So the one moment we got is where Stevie is singing Landslide, one of the most perfect songs ever. She looks over at Lindsey and she raises her eyebrow as if to say "You still with me guy." He looks to her, smiles and shrugs his shoulders. It was a wordless exchange that could say volumes about their 45-year relationship. Eventually, they hugged. Awwwwwww.

During one of Lindsey's speeches, he spoke the band's complicated history, which is the understatement of the year. Their VH1 Behind the Music should have been a 5-hour mini-series. That whole late-60s to mid-70s Laurel Canyon scene must have been wild. They were young, talented, rich, sexy, hairy and had easy access to narcotics. If those coke mirrors could talk. Fleetwood Mac, the latter incarnation when Stevie and Lindsey joined, are the go-to band if you want to find inspiration and clues into writing great songs that come from that scene.

Then there's Miss Nicks, who's looked the same since 1989. Her voice has remained the same for 40 years. She either has good doctors or a good make-up artist -- probably the same one Dolly Parton has. Of course, there is the cult of Stevie and the Night of 1,000 Stevies. I want to start the Cult of Lindsey. I'll call it the Night of a Handful of Lindseys. Anyway, I think she kind of plays up the Stevie Nicks persona with the long dresses and playing with strands of fabric. She goes through all the poses during "Gypsy" and twirls around like a mystic.

That's it on the Mac. I can't tell if they are the same band as they were in the 70s. I think the reason older people go is to relive the show they saw 30 years prior. For me, it was a "why not?" 4 out of 5 members playing classics. I'll take it.

The setlist for a 2 hour, 45 minute show ... damn:

Monday Morning
The Chain
I Know I’m Not Wrong
Go Insane
Second Hand News
Big Love
Never Going Back Again
Say You Love Me
Gold Dust Woman
Oh Well
I’m So Afraid
Stand Back
Go Your Own Way
ENCORE: World Turning
Don’t Stop
SECOND ENCORE: Silver Springs

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