Showing posts with label 10-02-14 - Chicago. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 10-02-14 - Chicago. Show all posts

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Review: The return of Christine McVie remains a happy surprise to her band mates


by Jeff Elbel
Sun Times

A theme of celebration was evident at the United Center Thursday night, where Fleetwood Mac performed the second date of its On with the Show tour. The trip marks Fleetwood Mac’s first with its classic ‘70s lineup since supporting 1997’s “The Dance.”

Judging by anecdotes told from the stage, the return of Christine McVie remains a happy surprise to her band mates. On Thursday, it meant that fans could again hear favorite McVie singles “You Make Loving Fun,” “Over My Head” and “Little Lies.” Hearing standout “Don’t Stop” with McVie back at the piano was another treat.

The only evidence of jitters was a false start on “Say  You Love Me.” “Let’s try that again,” said McVie with a smile. The band shook off the mistake, and a supportive crowd doubled its force as backup choir. McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham savored the song’s final harmonies.

If Nicks was singing somewhat cautiously during “Rhiannon,” she soon found her voice during “Sisters of the Moon.” Nicks crafted a mysterious mood that built to fever pitch. She proved equally powerful during “Gold Dust Woman,” amplifying the drama with theatrical poses and shadows cast through a sparkling shawl. She earned an ovation for twirling steps in her billowing black dress during “Gypsy.”


John McVie appeared fit, with a clean bill of health following cancer treatment. Low-key in more ways than one, the reliable but reticent bassist provided a note-perfect and steady pulse during songs like “Tusk” and “Dreams.”

Buckingham took the spotlight for the riveting “Big Love,” a song he introduced as testament to the power and influence of change. Buckingham reveled in the energy of set closer “Go Your Own Way,” climbing Mick Fleetwood’s drum riser to bash a cymbal between strums of his guitar.

A constellation of iPhone flashlights brought Fleetwood Mac back for an encore, with former couple Buckingham and Nicks crossing the stage hand in hand. The band dug into an electrifying and bluesy “World Turning.”

Drum solos can sometimes seem like endurance tests for a rock audience. It’s a rare joy to witness one wherein the drummer seems to experience as much giddy delight as Mick Fleetwood did. He whooped and howled, coaxing the crowd in call-and-response shouts while demonstrating his singular rhythmic sensibility. Overhead cameras revealed the indulgence of his monogrammed drumheads. “A whole lot of fun,” said Fleetwood afterward.

Stevie Nicks lingered after the band’s final bow. “You guys are the dreamcatchers,” she said. “We got our dream girl back,” she added, referring to ex-retiree McVie. “I believe that somehow, it was all of us together that made her come back.”

Thursday’s set list drew exclusively from five vintage albums, looking fondly backward to recapture a particular spark. The band made clear that it’s not finished stoking that fire. Fleetwood introduced Buckingham as the man “always with an eye on the future of this band.” Buckingham himself cited the band’s new chapter. “It is going to go on for a long time and be very fruitful,” he said.


Friday, October 03, 2014

Photos | Videos: Fleetwood Mac Live in Chicago October 2, 2014


Photos and a few clips from last nights show in Chicago... Same set as Minneapolis... Lindsey's back in leather!

They will do it again tonight in Chicago... And it's a special night... It's Lindsey's Birthday today!  You guys up front, make sure you get the ball rolling and sing Happy Birthday!

Review: Fleetwood Mac at the United Center
Steve Johnson

Suddenly, Fleetwood Mac seems like it might be thinking about tomorrow again.

After touring since 1998 in various incomplete incarnations and with varying levels of comfort with each other, the onetime supergroup is now back to the full lineup of its late 1970s heyday, minus the bad habits and the romantic entanglements of that era.

And don’t think the crowd at United Center Thursday didn’t know and appreciate it. When prodigal keyboardist Christine McVie sang “sweet, wonderful you,” her first solo notes of the night, on “You Make Loving Fun,” exultant cheers came from the crowd.

“Our dream girl is back,” Stevie Nicks would say later, just after McVie had sat at a grand piano and delivered her simple, soulful “Songbird” to end the almost 2-1/2-hour show.

McVie, with the help of a therapist, has conquered a fear of flying and given up a life in the English countryside to rejoin the band, making the second stop on its reunion tour in Chicago (where it plays again Friday).

Except for a quick reference to her long-ago marriage to bassist John McVie — part of this band’s charm is its complicated past, often mythologized in song -- she mostly left the talking to her bandmates. But with her songs back in the set and her calm, angular presence back on the stage, there was an undeniable feeling of rejuvenation.

“Making all of us complete,” drummer Mick Fleetwood said of McVie, “our songbird has returned.”

We’ve heard, in the tour buildup, that Fleetwood Mac is even writing and recording new material, news that holds no small promise considering how many enduring songs they’ve already made.

And now we’ve seen, in Chicago, that they’re playing like a group with an eye on the horizon, one that’s sharing the spotlight and taking every occasion to say kind things about one another. The show ended, not with a song, but with curious little speeches about unity and togetherness from Nicks and Fleetwood. (This is not recommended for groups with a lesser track record.)

So a tour showcasing new material may not be that far off. But what Mac delivered Thursday was 24 tunes from the heart of its catalog, classic rock live.

Christine McVie’s presence took some of the focus off of the Californians, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, whose 1974 addition to an existing British blues outfit kicked the band into the album-sales stratosphere, particularly with 1977’s “Rumours."

Fleetwood and John McVie, on bass, reminded concert goers why the band is named for them. They still put a layer of muscle behind everything the band did, even the unapologetic soft rock of Christine’s “Little Lies.” Fleetwood pounded and then barked his way through a four-minute drum solo in “World Turning."

But this band is about its songwriters. Christine McVie was almost regal, taking in more than she gave out, letting her silky love songs speak for her.

Buckingham, though, snarled his lyrics, jumped with the high notes on his guitar solos and generally belied what people might think they know about him from “Saturday Night Live’s” running parody. He may look like Art Garfunkel’s younger brother stuffed into skinny jeans, but this man is a vital musical presence, the soul of the band.

Ditto for the vitality of Nicks, its cauldron-stirring spirit. She didn’t twirl as fast or as often as she used to; a few spins, executed gingerly, were enough to draw fervent applause. The tempo on “Rhiannon,” one of her signature tunes, doesn’t blister as it once did.

But her voice quickly warmed up to put power and depth, if not range, behind her trademark rasp. Her showcase songs, “Landslide,” “Gold Dust Woman” and, especially, “Silver Springs,” were the night’s highlights.

As for stagecraft, give credit to Fleetwood Mac for keeping the microphones pointed in the right direction. The crowd was happily singing along most of the night, but never — never! — as lead vocalists. That is a rare thing in 2014, especially from a band who wouldn’t need to show any of the words on screen.

Less praiseworthy was the video screen behind the stage. It started promisingly, with just color, light, some nature scenes. But the video got more and more aggressive until on one tune it showed us footage of eyes, noses and facial pores. Somebody must have dragged that director away from the controls, because the final bits backed off, simply showing the band.

A couple of musicians backed the core group on guitar and keyboards, but Buckingham was ferocious and tireless as lead guitarist. (His “Big Love” beatdown of an acoustic guitar recalled Richard Thompson.) There were two backup singers, too, also in shadow, ready to fill in on the high notes, but, really, the trio of Buckingham-Nicks-C. McVie had nothing to apologize for as lead vocalists.

That trio is now hovering around 70 years of age. But even as young pups they were writing songs that contemplated the march of time. Now, with McVie’s unexpected return and the potential for new material, those lyrics about yesterday being gone and time making you bolder seemed to hold a special resonance.

Check out these amazing photos by Erin Brown... Gallery




Still loving the way she's transformed her performance of this!!)