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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Calgary 2009

Fleetwood Mac in fine form
Band hints at new album coming soon

They told listeners not to look back in their 1977 hit, Don't Stop.

But last night, nothing stopped Fleetwood Mac from mining their extensive catalogue for the golden tracks that made them one of the biggest bands in the world.

Five years after they last graced the Saddledome stage, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood returned amidst the enthusiastic cheers of almost 12,000 adoring fans.

The show was rescheduled from last month, when the original concert was cancelled only hours before the band was set to hit the stage.

Not surprisingly, the near-sold-out audience was made up largely of the middle-aged set, but there was also a number of young hipsters who were equally excited to see Fleetwood Mac, despite being born about a decade after the band's chart-topping glory days.

Drummer Fleetwood was first to take the stage followed by bassist McVie.

And after a lengthy pause, singer Nicks and guitarist Buckingham walked hand-in-hand to the centre of the stage, warmly acknowledging the crowd before launching into the boogie-rock number, Monday Morning.

It was the first of more than 20 songs.

Buckingham's voice was raspy at first, but warmed up nicely as the evening progressed.

Nicks, on the other hand, was singing an octave or two lower than we're used to, but was propped up by two backing singers.

Buckingham and Nicks took turns introducing each tune with a story about how the song was written or gave insight into the band's history.

During the 1970s, the British-American quintet (fifth member Christine McVie left the band in 1998) was entangled in affairs, break-ups and drug abuse.

"We have a complex and convoluted emotional history," Buckingham explained.

That's putting it mildly.

But he said even though it hasn't been an easy ride, it's worked out in the long run.

He also hinted at a possible new album soon.

Buckingham probably knew the fans were there to hear the hits and reassured them that Fleetwood Mac were there to play them.

From McVie's exciting bass line breakdown in The Chain and Nicks' nasal drawl in Gold Dust Woman to the epic chorus of Rhiannon, the crowd had much to be happy about.

A lovely moment early in the show came courtesy of Nicks, who was clad in her trademark hippy goth wear, complete with sparkly scarves hanging off her microphone.

She told the crowd the tale of how she met her former lover Buckingham in San Francisco and how the song Gypsy was written as a way to remember her happiest times while the band was going through turmoil.

The performance of the song itself was a bit flat as were many of Nicks' numbers, but it didn't seem to matter to the devoted Stevie-ites singing along to every word.

However, Nicks' voice also seemed to improve as the show went on and by the time she got to the gorgeous ballad Landslide, she was sounding like the Stevie of old.

It was all about the music last night and therefore the band kept the stage setup simple. There were a few nifty lighting effects, but for the most part the stage was bare save for two blocks that changed colour every so often.

Buckingham was by far the most energetic of the group.

He rocked out like no time had passed and was constantly making eye contact with the front rows and giving out high fives.

He even pulled out his modest 1984 solo hit, Go Insane, which sounded fantastic. It's a very '80s song, but last night it sounded modern with a theatrical twist.

Fleetwood Mac may have been through hell to get where they are today. But their legion of Calgary fans are glad they made the journey.


Fleetwood Mac June 23, 2009
Venue: Pengrowth Saddledome
Attendance: 12,000
Rating: 4 OUT OF 5

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Calgary "Dilemma of the Classic Rocker"

Fleetwood Mac Live in Calgary, AB Canada at the Saddledome June 23, 2009

Photograph by: Stuart Gradon, Calgary Herald

What else can you call it when an announcement from Lindsey Buckingham that his legendary band Fleetwood Mac will not be playing any new songs during the group’s Tuesday night concert at the ‘Dome draws hearty cheers throughout a crowd of 11,000 fans?

As the 59-year-old singer/guitarist told the audience early, this "Unleashed Tour" of the Mac’s is all about "having fun" with none of the pressures of selling their fans on new material. This tour is about the hits.

Which is all that classic rock fans really seem to want, for the most part — to the chagrin of many a classic rock artist, some of whom still have something to offer artistically. Based on some of their more recent work, I’d say Fleetwood Mac fits into that category. But like the Stones, The Who, Elton, you name it, few seem to care when they work the new stuff. That’s drink time, bathroom time, talk amongst yourselves time — no matter the quality of the fresh tunes.
It has to be frustrating for the artists.

To their credit though, Fleetwood Mac sidestepped the issue gracefully in Calgary, playing a set finely jammed with crowd faves.

They kicked off the show with Monday Morning, which immediately showcased the band’s great strength — that sunny California folk-pop filtered through the English blues-rock base of drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie.

This was followed up by a fantastic version of The Chain, which still stands as one of the Mac’s great masterpieces, Fleetwood, 62, every bit the mad pirate drummer on that one, hammering his giant gong.

One of the criticisms Fleetwood Mac often draws these days is the charge that singer and resident diva Stevie Nicks, 61, can’t deliver like she used to. It’s a valid point and that was evident enough at times, as in the rather limp version of Dreams, one of her signature tunes. Actually, it sounded as if both Nicks and Buckingham were being carried by their backup singers at certain points in the concert.

But Nicks also proved that her sultry rasp still has some life in it, most notably on beautiful versions of the acoustic ballad Landslide and her pseudo-mystical hit Gold Dust Woman.

As far as impassioned deliveries went, however, Buckingham stole the show.

On his acoustic showpiece Big Love there was no doubt as to what a fiery and incredibly underrated guitarist the man is and his vocal performance was so fevered, almost maniacally so, that you’d have thought the guy was about to explode.

Even though the Mac limited themselves to the all-classics format on this tour, it was also commendable the way the band found ways of maintaining a vibrant and fresh approach.

Dusting off hidden gems like Storms off Tusk was one means of achieving that. So too was the band’s storming version of the heavy rocker Oh Well, which goes back to Fleetwood Mac’s pre-Lindsey and Stevie days in the ‘60s when the band’s star was blues guitarist Peter Green. On this tune Buckingham again shined, his chops on the six-string absolutely fierce.

In the end, Fleetwood Mac’s Tuesday show at the ‘Dome was one with far more highs than lows, even if the sweet harmonies of departed member Christine McVie were missed throughout the evening, and certainly when the band encored with one of her tunes, Don’t Stop.

By that point though, the only thing that wasn’t stopping was the adulation, and that’s something Fleetwood Mac had earned on this night.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Singer's illness postpones Fleetwood Mac

Singer's illness postpones Fleetwood Mac concert in Calgary

Fleetwood Mac cancelled its Tuesday night concert in Calgary due to undisclosed illness.

The legendary rockers are currently on their "Unleashed" greatest hits North American tour and were scheduled to play a sold-out show at the Pengrowth Saddledome at 8 p.m.

Word leaked out about the cancellation on Tuesday afternoon when crews and staff were sent home from setting up for the band's performance. There are reports the cancellation is due to singer Stevie Nicks is being sick.

"A rescheduled date will be announced soon. Tickets that were purchased for the Pengrowth Saddledome show will be honoured at the rescheduled date. Refunds will be available at original point of purchase," said a notice from Ticketmaster posted on its website just four hours before the concert's slated start time.

Fan Marguerite Suchet flew into Calgary on Tuesday morning from Regina to attend the concert with her daughter.

"I'm disappointed, but I understand," she said. "If it's due to illness, what can you do?"

Suchet, who has never seen the band live, said she'd likely not attend the rescheduled Calgary concert but she remains a fan.

"I enjoy them. I like their music. Reminds me of my youth," she said.

Fleetwood Mac, who formed in 1967, are scheduled to play Edmonton's Rexall Place on Wednesday and Vancouver's GM Place on Friday. There were no notices on the Ticketmaster website indicating changes to those shows.

The band scrapped a show in North Carolina on April 26 due to scheduling conflicts.

Edmonton Journal
Calgary Sun

Fleetwood Mac postpones concert
Montreal Gazette

Fleetwood Mac has postponed tonight’s show at Pengrowth Saddledome due to the illness of an unspecified member of the band.

According to a press release from tour promoter Live Nation, the rescheduled date will be announced soon. Tickets that were purchased for tonight’s concert will be honoured for the newly rescheduled date. As well, refunds will be given at the point of purchase.

Despite reports that some shows on the classic rock band’s tour weren’t selling as expected, Libby Raines, spokesperson for Pengrowth Saddledome, said that tonight’s show was “virtually sold out.”