Showing posts with label Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour Review - Boston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour Review - Boston. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Unleashed on TD Banknorth
By Chris Dewey

Fleetwood Mac Live 
in Boston, MA 
March 11, 2009

Last Wednesday night, Fleetwood Mac brought their Unleashed tour to the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. The tour marks the first time the group has been on the road since 2004. The band, currently a quartet, includes singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, singer Stevie Nicks, bassist John McVie, and drummer Mick Fleetwood.

Fleetwood Mac kicked off their set with "Monday Morning," an upbeat song about Buckingham's frustration with love that dates back to the group's self-titled 1975 album. Without missing a beat, the band launched into "The Chain," a song that found Buckingham and Nicks sublimely combining their voices with urgent intensity. Half-way through, the song transitioned into an increasingly faster section marked by an ominous bass-line and an unrestrained guitar solo.

While Nicks' voice seemed to struggle slightly on songs like "Gypsy" and "Rhiannon," there were other times where it was nothing short of outstanding. Her rendition of "Landslide" was just about perfect. "Gold Dust Woman," a song chronicling her past struggles with cocaine, demonstrated that she is at her most powerful and haunting when harmonizing with former lover Buckingham. Donned in flowing dresses, scarves, top hats, and other eccentric pieces of clothing, Nicks twirled about the stage like it was 1977, a move that would have been more ridiculous if the 60-year old singer did not look so remarkably youthful.

Photo by Matt Becker

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fleetwood Mac Review - Patiot Ledger (Boston)

Fleetwood Mac unleashes their best


The "other" multi-platinum rock band from across the Atlantic in town Wednesday night didn’t play just a brief sample off their new record.

Fleetwood Mac doesn’t even have a new album yet, but the ``Unleashed'' tour that hit TD BankNorth Garden sure had plenty of music, as the quartet delivered two hours and 20 minutes of their best.

And if anyone has smart remarks about soft-rock, be advised Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham uncorked one of the most incendiary and lengthy guitar solos we’ve heard anywhere in the past decade.

The current version of Fleetwood Mac is a foursome because keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie retired in 2003, petrified of flying. The core band made up for McVie’s absence by adding Brett Tuggle on keyboards and Neil Hayward on guitar, along with a three-woman vocal trio. There were times when McVie’s vocals – especially in contrast or harmony with Stevie Nicks – were missed, and a few times her uniquely melodic keyboard sound also was missed. But time moves on, and the overall sound was excellent, aided by a superb mix.

While the concert got a minimum of publicity with our friends from Ireland invading Davis Square, the Garden was within a couple hundred seats of a sellout, and the 24-song show touched upon every Mac era.

One thing longtime fans will notice, as was true about their 2003 ``Say You Will'' album – the first without McVie – is that the four-person Mac tends to veer between Nicks songs and Buckingham songs.

But there didn’t seem to be any tension between the two famously star-crossed ex-lovers, and each seemed to support the other’s solo turns.

Nicks had the spotlight early with an easy-thumping "Dreams" and then a marvelously soaring "Gypsy". Buckingham’s really shone with the older tune "Go Insane", ripping off brain-curdling guitar lines. Right after that Nicks came gliding out for a "Rhiannon" that the rhythm section of drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie pushed into a pounding rock finish.

Nicks, 60, and Buckingham, 59, both looking and sounding superb, sang precise unison vocals on "Second Hand News". Buckingham did a segment with just acoustic guitar, ranging from a raucous "Big Love" to a delicately fingerpicked "Never Going Back Again" with Nicks.

Nicks’ eerie rendition of "Gold Dust Woman" led into a rowdy Buckingham take on the ancient (pre-Buckingham-Nicks) Mac tune "Oh Well". But it was the spacey ballad "So Afraid" that saw Buckingham rip into that 10-minute guitar solo, torrents of screaming notes that never lost the essential melody, and had the throng roaring at the end.

"Stand Back" and "Go Your Own Way" had a massive chorus of 20,000 to help the singers in a grand finale. The encores included a drum-drenched "World Turning", a rollicking "Don’t Stop" and finally a killer take on "Silver Springs", Nicks heart-wrenching vocal enhanced by more fine Buckingham guitar.


Sometimes the greatest hits, even with some dust on them, are indeed still the greatest

The Boston Globe
By James Reed

With no new album to plug, Fleetwood Mac is on the road again for the best and right reason: to have fun with the band's 40-year catalog.

Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham admitted as much last night at the TD Banknorth Garden, which was just shy of selling out but long on fervent audience enthusiasm.

The 2-hour show didn't present the band's greatest hits in a new light, but rather was a striking reminder of their endurance. If I didn't already own them, I would have rushed out to buy "Rumours" and "Tusk" after realizing how timeless songs from those seminal albums still sound.

Fleetwood Mac has always thrived on, for better or worse, the dynamic among its members, and that tension was a vital part of the show's ebb and flow. Introducing "I Know I'm Not Wrong," Buckingham said the band has had "a complex and convoluted emotional history."

Case in point: After singing "Sara," Stevie Nicks sauntered over to Buckingham's microphone, peered into his eyes, and sang the last verse directly to him. Even though the song is more about Nicks's relationship at the time with Mick Fleetwood, Buckingham collapsed his head on her shoulder. Scripted or not, it was the evening's most poignant highlight. "We didn't rehearse that one," Buckingham said afterward, looking a bit flushed.

Nicks, ever the beloved rock goddess at 60, often kept her strength in the reserves. With her signature shawls and gold-flecked black scarves dangling from her mike stand, she was unusually tepid on "Dreams" early on but then a lively, black-magic woman on "Rhiannon" a few songs later. "Gold Dust Woman" ended with Nicks cast in silhouette, arms outstretched and her back, covered in long blond hair, to the audience.

Buckingham, however, was a man on fire, showing a youthful elasticity in his singing and guitar playing. He's 59 going on 40. Some songs were clearly tailor-made to showcase his guitar prowess, namely a bombastic take on "Big Love" and a searing, extended solo on "I'm So Afraid."

Meanwhile, every time the cameras caught him, Mick Fleetwood looked like the mischievous kid who had scampered onstage to pummel the drums on his favorite songs. Chrome-domed and still sporting a ponytail, he was the evening's designated ham - and eminently watchable. And bassist John McVie looked happy where he's always been: anchoring the group from the shadows. Fleetwood Mac's other anchor, Christine McVie, decided to skip this world tour.

Even without her, the band was at its most thrilling when all its members were in synch with the crowd. On "Go Your Own Way" and "Don't Stop," you couldn't tell how much of the volume was coming from the stage or from the surround sound of stadium-size singalongs.

It says something, though, when an entire arena falls silent for spectral ballads such as "Landslide" and the evening's farewell, "Silver Springs." Sometimes the greatest hits, even with some dust on them, are indeed still the greatest.


It’s official: Fleetwood Mac hasn’t lost a step.

By Lauren Carter

They may be aging rock stars on the back end of massive stardom and near-meltdowns, but apparently they’re no worse for the wear.

Five years since their last tour, sans keyboardist and singer/songwriter Christine McVie, the Mac remains a well-oiled machine that need only be kicked into gear when the timing is right.

Wednesday night at a nearly sold-out TD Banknorth Garden, the famous foursome rocked as though they’re not technically hovering near senior citizenship.

John McVie was the silent, sturdy anchor of the rhythm section, tugging at his bass with businesslike precision.

Counterpart Mick Fleetwood was, as usual, giddy and borderline crazed with joy to smash away at a drum set and serve as the band’s pulse.

At 59, Lindsey Buckingham continues to play with the inspired, tortured fervor of a guitarist with much more to prove and much less in his bank account.

Whether plucking away solo on the acoustic monster “Big Love,” playing backup to Stevie Nicks on the always poignant “Landslide” or letting loose like a man possessed on “I’m So Afraid,” Buckingham’s guitar work remains an undeniable star of the Mac spectacle.

A radiant Nicks reprised her role of dreamy enchantress on “Gypsy,” a beautiful “Sara” and “Storms,” the “Tusk” gem that is seeing the light of performance for the first time on this greatest hits tour.

Nicks’ voice has deepened, but its emotive quality is still intact, and she accessorized the Mac’s music with her typical array of add-ons - layers of lace and chiffon, a top hat during “Go Your Own Way,” swats at the tambourine, wry smiles, her signature sways and spins, wardrobe changes while Buckingham went to work on the guitar, and - occasionally - shared glances with Buckingham that probably did as much for the crowd as the music itself.

At two-plus hours and 23 songs, the set allowed latitude for the band to delve into their greatest hits and beyond, including “The Chain,” the shadowy “Gold Dust Woman” and “Say You Love Me” as well as “Don’t Stop,” Nicks’ synth-rock hit “Stand Back” and the one-time “Rumours” B-side “Silver Springs” during the second encore.

The extra dimension that Christine McVie adds to the band’s harmonies - as well as their musical selections - was clearly missed, but her absence let the focus alternate between Nicks and Buckingham.