Saturday, December 08, 2018

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Delivers Solid Performance in Oakland, CA

by Ted Asregadoo

Fleetwood Mac delivers a solid performance at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA

If there’s one word that describes the members of Fleetwood Mac through the years, it’s this: drama. The band’s rise to superstardom has been chronicled many times, but the continued tension between band members (most notably Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham) has been a source of ongoing conflict since they joined the group in the mid-’70s. However, any sense of lingering acrimony between the players after Buckingham’s dismissal from the group in January (and subsequent lawsuit by Buckingham citing breach of contract) was absent on Sunday night in Oakland. Not that one would expect pros such Fleetwood Mac to air their dirty laundry in front of a paying audience, but it was pretty obvious a major component of the group was missing. To fill the gap, the current Buckingham-less Mac found replacements for Lindsey who both hit all the right notes and brought a heavier sound to songs that are more Adult Contemporary in flair. Mike Campbell and Neil Finn are from musical backgrounds that are quite different from one another. Campbell’s career is mostly known for being the lead guitarist and songwriter of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Finn’s success is more new wave, with stints fronting Split Enz and Crowded House. Finn ably sang Lindsey’s songs and played mostly rhythm guitar, while Campbell filled the guitarist role Buckingham used to play in the group. Their addition to the group, while kind of a puzzler on paper, worked well in practice. Finn could sing in Buckingham’s key, and Campbell provided a more raw lead guitar sound to Fleetwood Mac classics. Would I have like to hear Buckingham singing “Monday Morning,” “Go Your Own Way,” and “Second Hand News?” Well, duh. Yeah. Of course I would! But Finn sang the songs with such gusto that the choice to put him in front of classic heavy hitters was the right one. In short, not only could he handle the job, he excelled at it. Sure, there are going to be purists who long for Buckingham’s return to the fold, but Fleetwood Mac has weathered changes in their line-up — with Buckingham, Nicks, Christine McVie leaving at various times. This tour, however, there are no pretensions the group can produce new music that can match the heyday of their 1975-1987 output — so they stuck to the hits on Sunday night, with a few deep cuts thrown in for good measure.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Oakland, CA November 25, 2018

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac get bluesy with new members in Oakland
by Rick Starbuck

OAKLAND — During its heyday in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Fleetwood Mac was nearly as famous for drama as for music. Despite big egos, love triangles and a penchant for indulgence, the band managed to crank out hit after hit and establish itself as true rock-pop royalty.

Following a widely publicized split with vocalist-guitarist (and key songwriter) Lindsey Buckingham, the band returned to the Bay Area, playing shows in San Jose, Sacramento and Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Sunday. For a band with such big personalities, the remaining members and two big additions showed that they are, as ever, more than the sum of their parts.

Taking the stage to the familiar opening kick drum thump, the band ripped through “The Chain,” a fan favorite that showcased the signature three-part vocal harmonies that define the Fleetwood Mac sound. Newcomer Neil Finn (Crowded House) held down the Lindsey Buckingham parts, including the iconic “Running in the shadows” line, to good effect.

A flurry of hits came next, each featuring a different lead vocalist: “Little Lies,” with Christine McVie up front, was followed by “Dreams” (Stevie Nicks) and “Second Hand News,” off Rumors, with Finn singing lead. Finn matched the soaring intensity of the original vocals without turning to mimicry. His performances throughout the night were solid and almost craftsman-like. It was clear he’s aware of the role he is now playing in a much larger musical machine. “Say You Love Me,” the Christine McVie-penned tune from the band’s 1975’s eponymous record, rounded out the string of chart toppers.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Sacramento November 23, 2018

Live Review: Fleetwood Mac 4.0 Descends on Sacramento The band seem happier on stage together than they have in years, and there's a reason.

by Joshua B. Porter
The Good Men Project
Photo: by Serena Marini - More Photos Here

I have a confession to make: I have a bit of a crush on Stevie Nicks. My lovely wife tolerates this, as long as I’m a few thousand people back while in the same room with Ms. Nicks.

So it was with a bit of excitement that Fleetwood Mac descended on the new(er) Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA on November 23rd, 2018 to perform a sold-out show to celebrate their 50th anniversary as a band. Never immune to drama, the missing member of the band added a bit more for their golden anniversary.

To say in those five decades that there has been a bit of turbulence in the line up would be an understatement. Onl
y two of the original members – namesakes Mick Fleetwood and John McVie – remain from the original band that released their self-titled bluesy first album in 1968. That original lineup with Peter Green on guitar and vocals, produced hits such as 1968’s “Black Magic Woman” (later covered by Santana) and “Oh, Well” (1969). Green left the band in 1970.

The version of Fleetwood Mac that the layman would know didn’t come into existence until 1974; when, after nine previous albums, the band added the talents of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks after Mick Fleetwood heard a demo of a track off their “Buckingham Nicks” (1973) album. The pair officially joined Fleetwood Mac on New Years eve, 1974.

Declaring this incarnation of the band “successful” would be an understatement. Recording mega-hits such as “Gypsy,” “Dreams,” “Say You Love Me,” as well as ,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Go Your Own Way”  and “The Chain” propelled them to one of the best selling bands of all time. Their second album with Nicks and Buckingham, 1977’s “Rumours,” is the eighth best selling album of all time with over 40 million copies sold worldwide.