Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Reviews | Photos | Video: Fleetwood Mac Live in Pittsburgh October 14, 2014

Review: Return of McVie gives Fleetwood Mac show a nostalgic boost

By Kellie B. Gormly
October 15, 2014

Photos: Jack Fordyce - View More at Triblive
Watching Fleetwood Mac on Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center felt like a high school reunion.

Christine McVie — after a 16-year absence — rejoined her former bandmates, providing her unique voice to songs from the 1970s and ‘80s that she helped to define.

McVie joined Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and other band members for a 2 1⁄2-hour “One With the Show” tour stop. McVie, a British singer and songwriter, filled the void that had been left in Fleetwood Mac for the past decade and a half.

The audience gave McVie a warm ovation, and it got to hear some Fleetwood Mac hits the band just couldn't do without her, like “Everywhere,” “Say You Love Me” and “You Make Loving Fun.” The added songs eliminated some of those Nicks' solos that had filled much of the setlist on recent tours.

Both McVie and Nicks, 60-something blonde beauties, still look glamorous and sound great, and their voices have not changed much. Both still have that highly distinctive and opposing sound.

Nicks still does her trademark shtick, as she stretches out her arms and twirls during “Gypsy.” At other points in the show, she wore a black magic hat and a glittery gold shawl. Nicks thumped her tambourine, with streaming pieces of decorative fabric, as McVie shook her maracas and played the piano.

Nicks also let the crowd in on some background stories about the origins of the songs and Fleetwood Mac's history.

With his guitar, Buckingham tore through songs like “Big Love” and “I'm So Afraid” with an in-your-face intensity that left him breathless, but energized the audience.


Concert review: Christine McVie's return makes Fleetwood Mac a whole lot of fun

By Scott Mervis
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 15, 2015

"Sweet, wonderful you."

They were the first three words we clearly heard from Christine McVie Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center, opening the second song, "You Make Loving Fun," and it got the ecstatic greeting you would expect from the packed house.

It was the first time we've heard that voice here since September 1997 (at Star Lake), a year before Ms. McVie left the group after 27 years due to her fear of flying. Now, at last, she's back on board and the band saluted that by hitting the stage with a rousing version of "The Chain," a rocker about unbreakable bonds.

"Welcome, Pittsburgh!" Stevie Nicks shouted. "And welcome back, Chris! She hasn't told us what she's been doing the last 16 years, but I'm sure she will. ... The story will come out at some point."

Ms. McVie's extended absence left Ms. Nicks alone with the boys -- singer-guitarist/ex-flame Lindsey Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie (Ms. McVie's ex) -- and also left a number of the band's classic hits out of the set list. Of course, with Fleetwood Mac, there were plenty left to fill a two-plus hour show, but it sure was nice to see the revival of "You Make Loving Fun," "Say You Love Me," "Over My Head" and others.

Ms. McVie, one of three Brits in the bunch, is known for her warm, smoky vocals, to go with the raspy, husky ones of Ms. Nicks. At 71 and 66, respectively, they don't sound like they did on the records, which is to be expected, but there's still so much beauty, melody and character in those voices.

Ms. Nicks' "Rhiannon," for instance, is rough around the edges, but more haunting than ever and, clad in black with her flowing shawl, she remains just as bewitching. "Dreams" was a gem, as was "Seven Wonders," which she dedicated to a character in "American Horror Story." She only got better as the show went on, soaring to the rafters on "Landslide," "Gypsy" and "Gold Dust Woman," a show-stopper with tortured wails and a witchy dance in sparkly golden shawl.

Ms. McVie hasn't worked that vocal muscle as much over the years, and it showed, but her songs do call more for a simple purity of tone that she was able to muster. Three backup singers in the shadows added some extra heft to the harmonies. (There were also two backing musicians, and a percussionist hidden behind Mr. Fleetwood.)

Lindsey? My goodness. At 65, he's still a kid, still the energy force in the band, with blazing chops and a voice that can cut through a fog. He ran wild on the percussive romp of "Tusk" (with the USC Marching Band on the screen) and was practically pogoing as he blew through "Second Hand News." Once again, he sent them all off for "Big Love," his passionate exercise in acoustic speed metal, did magical finger-picking on "Never Going Back Again" and all but ripped off the strings on the maniacal "I'm So Afraid" solo.

He introduced "I Know I'm Not Wrong" saying, "Fleetwood Mac is a group that continues to evolve, continues to prevail, through the adversity and the good times, especially now with the return of beautiful Christine. We have begun a beautiful new chapter in the history of Fleetwood Mac."

For now, this chapter is infusing new energy into a bottomless catalog of classic songs, romantically entangled hits that truly hit home with adoring fans raised on '70s radio.

As usual, they were generous with them, going well beyond the two-hour mark and powering the climax with the likes of a knock-out "Go Your Own Way," a percussive "World Turning" with Mr. Fleetwood’s drum insanity and celebratory "Don't Stop."

And let's hope they don't, because these five amazing musicians, who somehow found each other across an ocean and a continent, still have the ability to take us to paradise.


Anonymous said...

SPOT ON reviews! Just an AWESOME show! I thought last year's was great - this was a million times better with Christine!

Anonymous said...

What character did Stevie Nicks dedicate Seven Wonders too?

Anonymous said...

Great Concert last night in the Burg..........But how about throwing we Long dedicated fans a little: Hypnotized....Sentimental Lady............Oh Well.........
I mean we are 60's Children that owned ALL the Albums...

Unknown said...

Who s the third back up singer?


It was my first time seeing Fleetwood Mac in concert. We were six rows back on the center floor so it made for a great sound and visual experience. Stevie Nicks was always one of the sexiest singers in rock. Still looks great. All the songs but one that they performed at the Consol Energy Center are available on their "Very Best of Fleetwood Mac" 2-CD collection, so picking that up if you don't already own it makes for a nice unofficial memento of this concert.

Anonymous said...

Great show!!! First time I've been to a Fleetwood Mac Concert! Got picked to go up front! Dream come true! Amazing!!!

Post a Comment