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

Friday, April 17, 2009


Fleetwood Mac at Wachovia Center
By Sam Adams
For The Inquirer

Early in Fleetwood Mac's show at the Wachovia Center Wednesday night, Lindsey Buckingham dropped a reference to the "convoluted emotional history" that spawned many of the band's best songs.

Rumours (1977), one of the best-selling albums of all time (and, given the state of the music industry, likely to remain so in perpetuity), was famously inspired by the simultaneous dissolution of the relationship between Buckingham and his then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks and the marriage of John and Christine McVie. Songs like "Go Your Own Way" and "Second Hand News" are more exultant than morose, but their slick surfaces are studded with spikes.

Wednesday's show, though, was all surface.

Supplemented by three backing singers and two guitarists who stood to the side and in the shadow, the core quartet of Buckingham, Nicks, John McVie, and drummer Mick Fleetwood rolled comfortably through a selection of their greatest hits. (Christine McVie left the band a decade ago.)

With 14 years elapsed since their last studio album, there was nothing to add to their repertoire, and only a handful of surprises in the set list: "I Know I'm Not Wrong," from the overreaching Tusk, and "Oh Well," reworked from the band's first incarnation as a British blues act.

Buckingham put on the semblance of a show, grunting and grimacing his way through a solo version of "Big Love," and frequently sounding out of breath, as if he'd just bounded on stage after running a few laps.

But his posture seemed dictated more by pose than passion. Buckingham is a true pop visionary, but he's also plainly enamored of his mad-scientist image, and prone to displaying his formidable guitar technique at excruciating length. Part of what makes "The Chain" and "Never Going Back Again" thrilling in their original versions is the way Buckingham's flourishes poke through the songs' watertight structures. Nowadays, his bandmates seem uninterested in reining him in.

Nicks seemed content to go through the motions, which didn't much faze the crowd; it's hard to think of another performer who could draw cheers just by spinning in a lazy circle.

Fleetwood and McVie stuck to the background, anchoring the songs without much in the way of flash. Fleetwood demonstrated both power and (with the exception of an ill-advised drum solo) grace, providing the kind of excitement his colleagues at the front of the stage couldn't quite seem to manage.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Hot and Cold in Philadelphia

Fleetwood Mac hot and cold in Philly stop of greatest hits tour

By Katherine Reinhard
The Morning Call

Perhaps it was because they had been on break for a few weeks. But there seemed to be two distinct Fleetwood Mac bands on stage at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia last night.

The first took up more than half of the two-hour plus show featuring greatest hits from the band's mid-1970s incarnation.

Sure, there was the trimmed down Stevie Nicks in a flowing gypsy black dress, killer boots and a mike stand draped in black scarves. Yes, the first three songs - "Monday Morning," "Chain" and "Dreams" - are among their best and could easily have filled out the end of the show.

But the performance was flat. You could barely hear Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham seemed to be trying too hard. Group founders Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were little more than wallpaper. And the back-up band and singers may as well been on another stage.

Ten songs in I was so bored that I seriously contemplated going to the bar area to watch the Flyers get hammered by Pittsburgh.

But then the second Fleetwood Mac band showed up when Fleetwood, McVie and the backup band and singers left the stage. It was just Buckingham and Nicks up there, like their pre-Mac days with Buckingham on acoustic guitar. Now dressed in a claret dress, Nicks' voice finally kicked in. It was a bit deeper than her early years, but it was still there. The duo performed "Landslide." The lyrics were not lost on the mostly older audience. "Children get older," Nicks sang.. "... I'm getting older, too." The crowd ate it up.

From then on it was a really good show. Fleetwood, McVie and the others returned to the stage. Fleetwood moved up to a small drum kit at the front of stage. When Nicks sang "Gold Dust Woman" it was as though she had moved into a different astral plane. Buckingham took on Peter Green's part in "Oh Well," the only song from the pre-Buckingham-Nicks day, and proved he still can play guitar like a '60s rock star.

By the time the band closed the show, playing "World Turning" and "Don't Stop," I wanted to stand up and demand a redo of the first half. I guess I'll have to wait for the next tour.

(Photo by Brian Hineline, Special to The Morning Call)