Sunday, June 02, 2013

REVIEW | PHOTOS | VIDEO: Fleetwood Mac Live in Denver at the Pepsi Center

JUNE 1, 2013

Fleetwood Mac goes on and on in Denver, kinda like Beethoven
by Ray Mark Rinaldi
Photo by Scott Hastings

If you compared the crowd that was downtown this Saturday night to see Fleetwood Mac with the crowd downtown last Saturday night to hear the Colorado Symphony, you wouldn’t find that much difference.

Both audiences were up there in terms of age, mostly old enough to have grandchildren, and overwhelmingly caucasian, maybe 90 percent, if you can actually guess those things by looking.

The Pepsi Center folks drank more alcohol, and didn’t turn off their phones, and the orchestra attendees were way better-dressed and polite enough not to shout “We love you Stevie Nicks” while the singer was actually trying to perform. But the two sets shared one key element: enthusiasm. The ovations were made standing in both houses and that basic human need to be sated by very familiar music  – whether guitar-driven or violin-driven — was never in doubt.

Who would have thought 35 years after the band started playing, people would still be interested in hearing Fleetwood Mac. Or that the musicians, rich, adored and legacy secured, would still be interested in playing. 

But there it was Saturday at Pepsi, the house visibly sold out, the players up there rocking out, in earnest, and in appealing way that went way beyond nostalgia. They’re still very talented pop stars, attractive, energized, envied.  If classical music isn’t selling the way it was a few decades ago, don’t blame Beethoven. Blame rock ‘n’ roll for not giving up its hold on fans, for staying competitive for those concert dollars even when everyone, on stage and off, is old enough to retire.

That was especially true with Fleetwood Mac. Who played 22 songs for 2 hours and 41 minutes, with all but two of them from their vast catalog of hits. The band stayed in there, delivering pretty much all of the quirky and sure personality they are known for.

Lead guitarist Lindsey Buckhingham, 63, but with the lean body of a 30-year-old and a Hollywood tan, pulled off heroic solos, particularly on “Looking Out for Love.” Drummer Mick Fleetwood, 65, shouted, sweated and banged the night away. He held the stage, just by himself, for maybe 10 long minutes around “World Turning” during the extended encore.

Stevie Nicks, 65 last Sunday, worked her tambourine, and those scarves and gold chains tied to her microphone, and her lacey shawls and finger-less gloves and threw her guttural voice out like a rock star. After three decades of performing “Gold Dust Woman” and “Dreams,” the routine is down. She stills does her famous spinning moves on cue, (though just 14 careful turns Saturday eve), but she chooses her earthier moments like a pro and goes for it. She remains amazing to watch on stage.

Fleetwood Mac concerts used to be rowdier, more drugs, more screams, more dancing. Back in the day, half the women showed up in gauzy, Stevie Nicks drag. Last night, there were only a few gals rocking the high boots and bandanas, though it was good to see them.

But like a night at the orchestra, it all seemed unfailingly appropriate. The show started on time and the sound was at a reasonable level. The between-song chatter was about the importance of family. There were lots of sentimental tales of the band in its early days. It was kinda nice.

Some people would see that as the death of rock ‘n’ roll, no anger, no danger, no cigarette lighters, no youthful vibe, really. But rock has always taken its real strength from its humanity; its naturalness, rather than its costume-driven rawness. Natural, three decades in, isn’t as loud, and not as much beer gets spilled in the floor, but it has its own sort of enthusiasm, and it goes on and on and on.

It came, it went, it was truly great!

Last night Robert and I went to the Fleetwood Mac concert. We bought tickets 9 or so months ago, so it has been in the back of my mind that June 1st would be a spectacular night. And they did not disappoint!

Read the full post at outsidelookingin

Above photos by Scott Hastings

 Above Photos by lilyoaks

 Above photos by Ashleyglynn

 Above photos by diego_garcia94 | kittycatgrandi
 Above photos by laurahaskell | ophie11
 Above photos by tayromo
 Above photos by theseamusjames | zoejo12
Above photo by Eric Pahls
 Above photos by Michal Menert
 Above photos by ajrlexie | Julia Bell

Lindsey spotted before the show
Photos by: julinx98 | daftelizaa

A lot of the show has been posted by Michelle Maes... View them here


Anonymous said...

"and overwhelmingly caucasian, maybe 90 percent, if you can actually guess those things by looking."

What an absurd thing to write from a Denver reporter.
Denver is still one of the whitest, squeaky-cleaniest cities in the US. Of course, the crowd is going to be overwhelmingly caucasian. That's true for any event going on in any part of Colorado.
Yes it's changed and is getting more diverse all the time, but even New Yorkers with dark hair feel a little out of place in Denver.

Anonymous said...

I'm of Puerto Rican descent and love FM. I went to two concerts and come to think of it I don't remember seeing any other Latin-Americans. Hmm.. did see a couple Amerasians, though. No other races that I recall except white, interesting.... Didn't even occur to me to make that an issue. I just wanted to enjoy my front row seats. Who cared about the color of the audience when the Mac was a few feet away from you? I mean really....

Anonymous said...

This reporter obviously is not a good BEAT writer. FM didn't start 35 years ago. And this version of the band was put together in the early 70's. Also, to make a comment about the ethnicity of the crowd being caucasian is absurd....Dump Him

Anonymous said...

is there something wrong with having a 90 percent Caucasian crowd? it is not yet a crime to be white is it

Anonymous said...

It's not a crime, Mitt Romney.
Just a really weird and dated conversation to be having anyway. i think the writer was making an attempt at being ultra PC and progressive and urban, without considering Denver's lily-white conservative reputation. It's Fleetwood Mac and it's Denver, of course it's a white crowd!
Amazing how often this band attracts writers who love to write about everything BUT the music.

Anonymous said...

Americans - what race are you?


Anonymous said...

So who cares? When Stevie played the AARP concert in New Orleans, Gladys Knight came on first. I couldn't believe all the people leaving after Gladys. Then I realized they were all well-dressed blacks and were only there to see ole Gladys and what is left of a Pip. Didn't bother me at all. They probably don't know a thing about Melissa Etheridge OR Stevie Nicks and don't care. It's not their thing. I think AARP was just trying to provide a variety to attract a wide array of music enthusiasts. I don't really mind Gladys but was not there to see her and was glad she was over.

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