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

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Oh Stevie, how could you?

Fleetwood Mac made a long-awaited return to LA last week, allowing a fact-finding visit to the cheap seats sideways-on to the stage.

This revealed that Stevie Nicks now benefits from a TV next to her microphone, screening lyrics to Go Your Own Way, Dreams, and all the other old hits.

Ms Nicks is 61, and those years of rocking and rolling have no doubt taken their toll on her memory. But an autocue feels rum: Mac fans are surely entitled to expect better than a glorified version of karaoke.

[ I say who cares.... as long as she's present and singing away...]


Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Last Thursday night I went to Staples Center to see Fleetwood Mac.

I was truly excited. Last time through, they killed.

But this was a dash for cash. Lacking the balance of the pristine Christine McVie, we were left with guitar solos and Stevie Nicks' desire to be twenty five forever.

It's a construct. We won't admit the band is over the hill if we don't have to admit that we too are aged, that our bodies are sagging, that we've achieved only a fraction of our hopes and dreams. We pay a fortune to be brought back to what once was. But it can never be again.

Last time through, Fleetwood Mac Hoovered up every last dollar. Played some markets three times. So, what was the incentive to go to the show this year? This a case of mismanagement. Give us a marketing hook, play along with us. Can't they be promoting SOMETHING? Can't there be a story? Of course, no one cares about an entire new album. But can't you give us A SINGLE? How hard would it be for this band to go into the studio and cut a track? If it's creatively bankrupt it could even do a cover. Hell, isn't the best Stevie Nicks song ever a Tom Petty tune?

And I saw TP backstage. It was a cornucopia of stars. But although Frasier Crane was very friendly, the brush with greatness that touched me most was my encounter with Perez Hilton. He was coming right towards me, I'd seen that he'd recently signed up for my Twitter feed. What the hell, I'll introduce myself.

And that's when Perez said he'd signed up for my feed. THAT'S WHY I STOPPED YOU!

But what stunned me was how NORMAL Mario Lavendeira was. I expected a bit of flamboyance, a man detached from the everyday world. But Perez had his feet firmly planted. So we had a discussion. I asked him about that ad he had on his blog last week, the one that was smack dab in the middle of the page, that was made to look like a story. Perez told me he had no idea what I was talking about. He had people who placed the ads for him! And he'd whore himself out to ANYONE!

That was insightful. So different from the older generation. And it's working for him.

Anyway, our seats were PHENOMENAL! I was so excited. But Fleetwood Mac was a bit flat. But the rhythm section was PHENOMENAL! Fleetwood and McVie were rock solid, a thundering bottom sitting under Lindsey Buckingham's exquisite leads. If only they played Bonnaroo as a blues band instead of reprising these aged hits. "Oh Well" was fantastic. Made one yearn for the days of Peter Green. Lindsey's got the chops. Why is he working out for these fans who are coming for nostalgia, not music? The younger generation still cares. Believe me, if these three, the core, Mick, McVie and Lindsey, played the blues at festivals across this great nation of ours, they'd be seen as vital again. Instead, no one under the age of twenty five was in attendance. Unless dragged there by their parents.

And that's the ultimate question... Are you a musician, or a star?

I've wondered for eons why Stevie Nicks dances like Elaine on "Seinfeld". Now I know. Her goddamn heels are so high that if she moves like a normal person, instead of with that arm shrug thing, SHE'LL FALL OVER!

It's sad. So she's short. SO FUCKING WHAT! In a nation where we've got a black President, you're still hiding your perceived shortcomings? The future is about OWNING THEM!

Truly, I'd love to tell you Fleetwood Mac were great. But it ended up being creepy. Like watching a classic movie. Except for the instrumental passages, the show didn't breathe, it lacked life.

But the Refugees were FULL OF LIFE at the Getty Saturday night.

It's a supergroup of never-beens. Wendy Waldman, Cindy Bullens and Deborah Holland. All with notches in their belts, but none of them household words. But they decided to form a band. To join forces to create something NEW!

They're not trading on the old days, they've written new songs, THEY'RE STILL TRYING! That's the problem with so many of the has-beens, they've given up. They don't want to come down off their perch, they don't want to take a risk.

It was a free show. But that didn't mean the Refugees didn't fill the hall, didn't get a standing ovation. The major labels said the Internet would KILL music. Just the opposite, technology allows everyone to make music. But it's extremely hard to break through. And being musicians, I'm not sure the Refugees will. They need a business mind. Someone to get them a gig on Lifetime. Or, as they desire, the cover of the AARP magazine. Because if the boomers just experienced the Refugees, they could become the female Jimmy Buffett.

Sure, it's about the songs. But it's also about the vibe. It's about the SHOW!

A show isn't just standing up there playing calcified hits. A show is its own entity, something BEYOND the record. None of the Refugees songs will become hits. Where would anybody play them? But they service the act well. Yet the glue that seals the deal is the stories in between. About hot flashes, about post-menopausal Barbies, Ken with a combover. There's humor, but there's also truth.

That's what's lacking in Fleetwood Mac, truth. Stevie Nicks covers up her avoirdupois. The act is opaque, there's no penetration. These are stars. You get no access. In an era where Perez reveals every facet of his personality and uncovers your warts too.

How about Stevie and Lindsey speaking about their animosity? How about Christine McVie beamed in via satellite? How about the texting on the side screens featured at a Taylor Swift show?

Image is no longer everything. Because the truth outs.

The truth is Fleetwood Mac is creatively bankrupt, and won't take a chance for fear of alienating their paying fans.

The truth is musicians even less well-known than the Refugees are packing up their gear in vans, starting at the grass roots level. Will they and the Refugees break through? I DON'T KNOW! But is that really what it's about? Or is it about playing, the experience of being on the road, the band sharing one hotel room.

The apex has collapsed. No one sells ten million records anymore. The superstars are so worried, they're just protecting what they once had and will never have again. We're starting over. There are no rules. You don't need a hit, because your audience will probably never hear it on the outlets that make it so. You need to win hearts and minds. Middlemen are irrelevant.

Everybody's reunited so many times that we've got no desire to see almost anybody get on stage and play their hits. This business has been propped up by the so-called superstars for far too long. Now it's imploding. THANK GOD!

by: Bob Lefsetz 
Lefsetz Letter

Sunday, May 31, 2009

VARIETY at Fleetwood Mac Los Angeles Show May 28, 2009

Fleetwood Mac
Los Angeles - May 28th

In "Don't Stop," one of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits and the penultimate song of their Staples Center performance Thursday night, the band advises "don't you look back." But with no new album on the horizon, the entirety of their two-and-a-half-hour concert was an exercise in nostalgia.

But nostalgia isn't what it used to be. While the setlist focused on their multiplatinum albums "Fleetwood Mac," "Rumours" and "Tusk," the romances and recriminations that animated them burned out long ago, and this edition of the venerable British/American band felt less like a re-creation of their mid-to-late-'70s glory days than a Lindsay Buckingham solo concert. With Christine McVie retired from touring (with her down-to-earth bluesy presence sorely missed) and Stevie Nicks' voice and charisma diminished, Fleetwood Mac is more than ever Buckingham's band.

The set included an indulgent version of "Go Insane" (the title track from his second solo LP) and included a solo acoustic showcase. A facile guitarist whose solos are not quite as inventive as he thinks they are (tellingly, his best moment was a version of Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer's 1969 guitar workout "Oh, Well"), he stalked the stage with an uncomfortable mix of modesty and preening self-regard, ending almost every song with his head bowed and guitar lofted high, as though he was a victorious warrior paying fealty to his king.

But at least he was present, which was more than you could say for Nicks. The energy level flagged whenever she took the lead. Her performance was little more than a procession of shawls; with the exception of "Gold Dust Woman," her heavily processed vocals were metallically hollow, and for long periods she wasn't even on stage.

It was left to the rhythm section of founding members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie to hold things together, and they did an admirable job. Fleetwood attacked the drums with a loose-limbed but powerful enthusiasm, while McVie's bass provided a modest if muscular bottom. Their unassuming musicianship (save Fleetwood's less-than-scintillating solo during "World Turning") provided a timeless tonic to Buckingham and Nicks' tired and conflicting star turns.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Lindsey Buckingham takes spotlight on Fleetwood Mac tour
by: Dean Goodman

If the name had not already been taken, Fleetwood Mac might be more accurately known as the Buckinghams. 

Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, dubbed the veteran rock band’s “mentor” and “maestro” by drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood, poured on the highlights during the Mac’s 2-1/2-hour concert at the Staples Center on Thursday.

Clearly invigorated by his tour last year to promote his latest solo album, Buckingham wowed the 18,000-strong boomer crowd with flashy, pick-free guitar work on such tunes as “Go Insane,” “I’m So Afraid” and “Big Love,” which he dedicated to his wife and young children in the audience.

Co-conspirator Stevie Nicks was off stage for the latter two songs, but she won over fans with her gravel-voiced take on “Gold Dust Woman” and show closer “Silver Springs.” Perhaps the loudest roar was reserved for her synth-laden solo tune “Stand Back.”

Not all of Buckingham’s tunes worked. The brassy climax of “Tusk” could have benefited from a guest spot by the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band, who performed on the original recording and are based down the road from the venue. Instead, some deft playing by a touring keyboardist had to suffice.

Singer/keyboardist Christine McVie was also sorely missed. The writer of such tunes as “You Make Loving Fun” and “Little Lies” retired to her English country estate a decade ago to focus on her culinary passions. But that did not prevent Buckingham and Nicks from trading verses on two of her best-known songs “Don’t Stop” and “Say You Love Me.”

Fleetwood Mac are touring without a new album — “yet,” Buckingham told the crowd. The idea is to “just go out and have fun,” he said.

But for the first half of the show, Buckingham, Nicks, Fleetwood and bass player John McVie barely acknowledged each other, firmly keeping to their designated areas of the simple stage. However Nicks embraced Buckingham after she finished singing “Sara,” and other bonding moments soon occurred. By the end, it looked like a major love-fest among the various ex-lovers and combatants.

The souvenir stands did a roaring trade in $40 tambourines (what recession?), though this led to a lot of unnecessary accompaniment during the show. Mick Fleetwood wigs might be a better choice on the next tour.


Thursday night, Pretzel attended the Fleetwood Mac concert at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, and he had the very special privilege of meeting Miz Stevie Nicks. STEVIE NICKS!!!!!!!



Jennifer Anniston, Courtney Cox and her husband David Arquette were snapped leaving the Fleetwood Mac concert at the Staples Center in LA last night (May 28th)