Thursday, June 04, 2009

Review: Fleetwood Mac Rocks Salt Lake City

Fleetwood Mac rocks
Blogger Review
by: Greg Wilcox

One thought kept coming back to me as I was watching Fleetwood Mac perform at Energy Solutions Arena—“This is way better then when I saw Slayer.” I will refrain from going into a comparison of the two, but suffice to say that the adult contemporary Fleetwood Mac somehow puts on a better live performance than any supposedly cutthroat band I've ever seen.

For starters, Fleetwood Mac had no opening band. Yes! Thank you. That was refreshing. Before long, the whole band was onstage: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham.%uFFFD They went on to play all the good stuff: “Dreams,” “Chain,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Rhianna,” “Secondhand News,” and “Gold Dust Woman,” to name a few. The show lasted a good two-and-a-half hours, so there was plenty of time to cover many of the songs fans love. Backing singers, musicians, and elaborate projections complimented Fleetwood Mac's performance.

Though significantly older than when Fleetwood Mac was in their prime, Stevie Nicks is still beautiful in her flowing witch-like black dress, radiating a graceful stage presence. She still sings with an immaculate voice that soothed the audience on songs like "Rhianna" and "Silver Springs."

But it was Lindsey Buckingham who held the audience in awe. Though he has a full head of gray hair, he has not let age slow him down. In fact, as the show went on, I couldn't help but think Buckingham is a severly underrated performer and guitar player. He had one of the most flamboyant and energetic stage presences I had ever seen. He doesn't even use a guitar pick; he does some weird technique just using his fingers, but somehow can pull off blazing licks and solos flawlessly. His intensity would grow while soloing, leading him to flail around onstage like a maniac while banging on his guitar, somehow hitting the right notes. It was impressive indeed.

Before playing “Gypsy” (a personal favorite), Stevie Nicks told the audience about her brief time living in Salt Lake City as a teenager, and how she was sad when her family had to move to California. She then told of her and Buckingham's experiences opening for such acts as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, saying that “Gypsy” was written out of nostalgia for that time.

Not long after “Gypsy,” The band left the stage to Buckingham and Nicks, who played Nicks' classic “Landslide.” Nicks dedicated the song to a friend of hers in Salt Lake City whom she met during her time living here. Though “Landslide” has been covered many times by various bands, only Nicks and Buckingham can perform it as powerfully and moving as they did last night.

The band also played “Oh Well,” a bluesy rock song from Fleetwood Mac's very early days with Peter Green.

Toward the end of the show, the band left the stage to wild-man Mick Fleetwood to do some solo drumming. Fleetwood delighted the audience by shouting out strange chants while drumming, such as “The Mac is back.” Fleetwood's frenetic energy onstage and eye-popping facial expressions has been said to be the inspiration for the muppet character 'animal.'

After finishing their set, the band gave two encores. On the first they played “Go Your Own Way” and “Don't Stop.” On the second, they played “Silver Springs.” At the end, Mick did the task of naming the band members to take a bow. He ended on John McVie, who, along with himself, are the oldest members of the band.

Fleetwood Mac's sound at Energy Solutions Arena was a little muddy at some points, and they performed some songs in a way that was gave them a different feel from the original recordings. But overall, Fleetwood Mac put on an incredible live show, and are probably one of the best performing bands in the world. This seems to be from years of experience and the onstage chemistry that exists between the wild Mick Fleetwood, soothing Stevie Nicks, subdued John McVie, and hyperactive showman Lindsay Buckingham. Though they have had a rocky history and are without Christine McVie (a key member in the band for many years), they connect to the audience both personally and musically in a way that few bands can do.

No comments:

Post a Comment