Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review | Photos | Video: Fleetwood Mac Live in Toronto October 18, 2014

OCTOBER 18, 2014

Fleetwood Mac return to Toronto on February 3, 2015... Presale tickets go on sale tomorrow Oct 23rd at Ticketmaster. Password: GREATSEATS


Above Photos by Steve Russell - Toronto Star Photographer

Photos by Rock Xposure - View Gallery

Fleetwood Mac heavy on nostalgia at ACC
By Jane Stevenson
Toronto Sun

TORONTO - It truly was the return of The Mac at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.

Fleetwood Mac’s most successful mid-’70s-and-onward lineup arrived at the arena with major anticipation given singer-keyboardist Christine McVie is touring again with the British-American rock band after a 16-year absence from the road.

“Imagine what it feels like for me to be given this second chance,” said the 71-year-old McVie as she played alongside ex-husband-bassist John McVie, drummer Mick Fleetwood, singer Stevie Nicks and singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham on a slick-looking stage with an eye-popping video screen and accompanying visuals.

The nostalgia-heavy night, which stretched a marathon two-and-a-half hours and two encores, appropriately began with The Chain, the first of nine songs performed from Rumours, the band’s 1977 juggernaut album that has sold 45 million copies worldwide and counting.

It is the only song on that disc, recorded as McVie’s marriage and Nicks and Buckingham’s relationship fell apart, written by all five members.

And when McVie took over on lead vocals for the second Rumours song, You Make Loving Fun, the crowd roared its approval, warmly welcoming her back.

“So Christine, where have you been?” joked Nicks, 66, who appeared thrilled, along with the rest of the group rounded out by two backing musicians and three backup singers, to have her on stage with them.

Buckingham, 65, later referred to McVie’s return “as a new chapter in the saga of Fleetwood Mac.” Other Rumours cuts that went down well included the Nicks-sung Dreams and Gold Dust Woman (the latter complete with gold shawl and interpretive dance moves) and the Buckingham-led Second Hand News and Go Your Own Way.

Holding up well too were tunes from 1975’s self-titled Fleetwood Mac disc, also known as The White Album, most significantly Nicks’ Welsh witch ode Rhiannon, which saw her perform the first of a handful of her signature twirls, and the gorgeous Landslide, along with the McVie-sung Say You Love Me and Buckingham’s I’m So Afraid during which he practically vibrated as he played.

McVie also pointed out she wrote another tune, Over My Head from that disc, when she was still married to John.

“Do you remember that John?” she said to the 68-year-old McVie, who battled cancer in 2013 leading to the group cancelling their Australian and New Zealand dates.

On the minus side, the title track from 1979’s double album Tusk was good if not great - I would have preferred a real marching band to the one pictured on the video screen - and some of the evening’s lighter fare like Sisters Of the Moon, Seven Wonders (with a Nicks dedication to American Horror Story which she appeared on last season), and Silver Springs, could have been edited out to make for a tighter set which dragged a bit in the middle and towards the end.

I’ve also never been able to hear Don’t Stop the same way again without thinking about its use by Bill Clinton for his first presidential campaign in 1992.

Of all the Fleetwood Mac members, Buckingham was the most wonderfully intense although the 67-year-old Fleetwood came a close second with his wild drum solo during World Turning pronouncing afterwards: “My head is on fire!” Buckingham blew kisses after some virtuoso playing on I Know I’m Not Wrong, also from Tusk, shouted and grunted during Big Love from 1987’s Tango In The Night, and made a major musical meal out of the Rumours track Never Going Back Again.

Otherwise, it seemed as if no time had passed between McVie and the rest of her Fleetwood Mac mates as she also took over on lead vocals for Everywhere and Little Lies, both from Tango In The Night, and the gorgeous show ending Songbird from Rumours.

Nicks’ Gypsy, from 1982’s Mirage, was preceded by a story about how she went shopping for clothes in the Janis Joplin and Grace Slick-frequented San Francisco store, The Velvet Underground, and had a premonition, as a 22-year-old, that “something big was coming.” That “something big” was Fleetwood Mac, which Buckingham Nicks (as the duo were then called), would soon join and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fleetwood Mac at the ACC
Christine McVie back after 16 years but Fleetwood Mac is still the Stevie Nicks show
By Sarah Greene

By the time Fleetwood Mac played Rhiannon, early on in their two and a half hour long revue at the Air Canada Centre, it was clear that despite the brouhaha over the return of long-time member Christine Mcvie after a 16-year hiatus, it’s still the Stevie Nicks show. Nicks oozes charisma; and can get a crowd excited by waving her arm or doing a little twirl. Every time she sang (and she was singing well) the packed house got out of their seats. No wonder so many fans arrived dressed like her.

Starting with The Chain, the Mac played through nearly every song from their bestselling hit-machine Rumours, pulling out Silver Springs in the encore with an abundance of ridiculous chime sounds (the band clearly love their synths – why, oh why, did they not bring along a live horn section?).

Not to be outdone by Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham prepared for solo turn Big Love by charging up his right hand like a robot before launching into the loudest, most ferocious classical playing imaginable (Buckingham, a ham, admirably never left the stage, though some of his other songs came across as overwrought).

He was at his best when he loaned his guitar chops in service of Nicks’s vocals on Landslide, though everyone had their moments (including Mick Fleetwood’s indulgent drum solo in the encore).

The band say this is a new chapter that will last long and bear fruit, and they’ve got a new album on the way. Time will tell how long those chains will hold. 

Stevie backstage with Marilyn Dennis


ScottD said...

Hard to imagine how they'd actually be able to have a marching band tour with them but good reviews otherwise! I did have to wonder how the second reviewer thought of Sisters of the Moon and Silver Springs as "lighter fare?" I've always thought of them as among Stevie's most intense songs!

Anonymous said...

Too Stevie oriented review! Christine is equally a star , as is Lindsey!

Anonymous said...

That version of Gypsy is pretty perfect.
God I love them. Sounding better than they did on the Mirage tour (at least on Gypsy).

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