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

Friday, April 24, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Ft. Lauderdale

Fleetwood Mac's underlying drama means great show

The chemistry of former lovers who have reconciled — but realize things never can be the same — and the human drama that goes on with being close-quartered colleagues, or in this case, professional musicians, can be seen by all the world on Fleetwood Mac’s stage.

The band, founded by drummer Mick Fleetwood in the late 1960s, has evolved over the years, and its most prominent lineup, minus keyboardist/singer Christine McVie, played a 23-song set that lasted two hours and 30 minutes Thursday night at the Bank Atlantic Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Singer and “welsh witch” Stevie Nicks, guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham — the onetime couple — played off one another and at times sang to one another throughout the show.

Even those sitting in the upper reaches of the 20,000-seat — and almost full — arena could see, on the massive screens above each side of the stage, the expressions of remorse and reconciliation on the faces of Nicks and Buckingham as they played the ballad “Sara.”

Nicks’ singing and Buckingham’s melodic guitar playing were supported by the thunderous rhythm section of Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on the bass guitar.

“Every time we get together, we sit in rehearsal and try to make each return a little different,” said Buckingham, who turns 60 on Oct. 3. He did not look or play like his age. “This time, we said, ‘Let’s just go out there and have some fun.’”

And so they did.

Fleetwood, approaching his 62nd birthday on June 24, looks like Santa Claus. Except he stands a few inches taller — he’s 6-foot-6 — and wore black, not red.

Also unlike St. Nick, Fleetwood sports a silver pony tail and has eyes that bug out of his head.

And he sure can play the drums.

Pounding on the drums the entire night, Fleetwood finally had his chance for a solo.

After ending the 20-song set with “Stand Back,” and “Go Your Own Way,” most of the crowd did not go anywhere. They stuck around for the encore.

Toward the end of “World Turning,” the rest of the band, which included five supporting musicians, left the stage, leaving it to Fleetwood.

Following a five-minute drum solo, his bandmates returned for “Don’t Stop.”

And the band didn’t. They did one more song during a second encore, concluding the show with “Silver Springs.”

Fleetwood Mac opened with “Monday Morning” and “The Chain.”

Other highlights included “Gypsy,” “Rhiannon,” “Gold Dust Woman” — during which Nicks’ donned a gold-colored scarf — and this reviewer’s personal favorite, the bluesy “I’m So Afraid.”

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Better Than a Big Mac - Live in Ft. Lauderdale

Fleetwood Mac
April 23, 2009
Bank Atlantic Center, Sunrise, FL
By: Michelle F.

Better Than: A Big Mac

Having seen Fleetwood Mac at least a dozen times, and Stevie Nicks on her own probably twice as many, suffice to say I have a bit of history to compare Thursday night's stop in SoFla for the Fleetwood Mac "Unleashed: Hits Tour 2009."

For all the Mac fans out there (I am one of you, remember, before you continue reading further), there's no doubt of the talent and greatness of each of these demigods, including Ms. Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie. But Thursday night's concert left a hollow spot in my gypsy soul. The multi-Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees haven't released any new material since 2003's "Say You Will." So this latest tour is to dust off the old chestnuts that continue to make this band a draw whether there's something new to pitch or not.

Fleetwood said in a recent interview, "For the very first time, we're going out on the road without an album. All of the energy is really about just getting out there and putting on a show that really resonates emotionally."

Mick, that sounds all well and good, so what happened?

On Thursday night, every one was on autopilot. It was like my old bar band days when we'd be like, "Let's collect the money and get the hell outta here" after singing an evening full of cover tunes. Then, the crowd loved it, so we had done our job. Same thing with Fleetwood Mac, who has now become a cover band of their own tunes. The crowd loved it, so they had done their job.

At least Stevie remembered what Florida city she was playing in. A few years ago, while I was reviewing a show in Philadelphia, Nicks blurted out, "Hello, Pittsburggggh!" This time it was, "Fort Lauderdaaaaaaaaale. It's great to be here!"

I so wholeheartedly wanted to embrace this iconic woman of rock, but I couldn't get beyond the Ghost of Nicks Past. On May 26, the rock chanteuse will be 61. Just for comparison's sake, a few months ago I caught Chrissie Hynde's show. The mascara-laden frontwoman of the Pretenders is 57, but she sure kicks it. And as long as I'm on the subject, freakin' Patti Smith is 62. And the high energy she exhibited at the last show I saw of hers in New York wasn't from a bunch of Red Bull's, but rather from a real passion.

But on Thursday night, it was Nicks, mostly, who had put herself on cruise control, propped up in front of a microphone, chortling out her greatest hits like "Dreams," "Rhiannon," "Sara," and "Gypsy."

Maybe what distracted me the most was my vantage point!

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Sunrise Florida

Fleetwood Mac's chemistry still on display in concert


Fleetwood Mac's always done dysfunction well.

Rumours, the group's greatest hit, was a testament to making art out of madness, and Thursday, before about 10,000 fans at Sunrise's BankAtlantic Center, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, along with ex-lover Stevie Nicks and the terrific core rhythm section namesakes of the band, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, paid homage to what Buckingham called ``a complex and convoluted emotional history.''

But for this Unleashed Tour, devoted to the band's greatest hits, Fleetwood Mac, for only the second major road trip sans their old ray of light Christine McVie, ''just wanted to go out and have fun,'' Buckingham said.

''Fun'' in Fleetwood Mac lingo, of course, was primarily the domain of Christine McVie's sunny pop tunes (she's the one, after all, who wrote You Make Lovin' Fun). For Buckingham and Nicks, ''fun'' is in the airing of their romantic disappointments in songs that champion all the ways in which lovin' isn't much fun at all.

''If you don't love me now, you will never love me again,'' spit the duo on the set's second song, The Chain, and it was hard not to observe Buckingham's glare at Nicks, who harmonized on the other side of the stage.

''You'll never get away from the sound of the woman who loved you,'' retorted Nicks in the show closer, Silver Springs, more than two hours later.

For 140 minutes and 23 songs, Buckingham and Nicks traded hits -- musical ones, natch -- to entice fans who are still hooked on the strikingly scored soap opera aspect of this band.

For Sara, a 1979 hit rarely performed live, Nicks sauntered over to Buckingham's mike from her side of the stage and the two entangled, heads resting against each other's shoulders. ''There's a heartbeat, and it never really died,'' Nicks whispered in Sara's delicate coda. Needless to say, the crowd delighted. Storms, a 1979 beauty never performed live until Unleashed, was even better as Nicks, 60 and radiant, introduced the album track as a song about ''stormy'' situations and people. Few do justice to the big time world heartbreak of drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll so well.

All of this would be trite melodrama if the band had chosen to coast on its enviable catalog. Buckingham, 59, in particular, had always bristled at taking the easy way out by repeating the success of Rumours, for instance. But for this tour, heavy on favorites from mid- to late-70s classics Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk -- nothing newer than 1987's Big Love featured and the foursome dug back into its '60s Peter Green blues period for a blistering Oh Well -- Buckingham and his musical partners proved amenable to celebrating the band's legacy. The most pleasant surprise, and a concert highlight, was Buckingham returning his solo single, Go Insane, to its original '80s synth-pop arrangement.

But any concerns that potentially shop-worn songs like Don't Stop, a Rumours hit burnished further into pop culture by a former United States president's fondness for classic rock, or Go Your Own Way or Gypsy might feel perfunctory evaporated as the band's stellar musicianship revitalized the material.

Nicks, introduced by drummer Fleetwood as ''the First Lady of Fleetwood Mac,'' was in strong voice, hitting the intense vamping ending of Gold Dust Woman and her sassy Stand Back with surprising ease and resonance. Buckingham's inventive electric guitar work is peerless as anyone who witnessed previous tours, The Dance (1997) and Say You Will (2003), can attest. But his voice, which hadn't kept pace, was in the best, most pliable shape it has been in since he first left the band in 1987.

Fleetwood Mac still matters because the links that kept this particular chain together -- the interpersonal chemistry, the passionate songwriting that has endured for 42 years, the desire for growth and the joy in the playing -- remains intact.