Showing posts with label Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour Review - Salt Lake City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour Review - Salt Lake City. Show all posts

Monday, June 08, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Salt Lake City Mac Attack

Mac attack is back
The demise of Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" has been greatly exaggerated.

The material on the Mac's seminal album, recorded over 30 years ago during a period of intense intra-band emotional turmoil, still resonates today -- as evidenced by Wednesday's concert at EnergySolutions Arena.

With no new album to plug, Fleetwood Mac took a full lower bowl of fans -- the upper section of the arena was curtained off -- on a memorable two-and-a-half-hour journey through the band's greatest hits, with a few select album cuts thrown in for good measure.

It was no surprise then that "Rumours," the band's 1977 album that sold more than 17 million copies and spent over 130 weeks on the charts, received the greatest amount of attention in Wednesday's set, with eight songs claiming ties to that record. The album is clearly a classic and Fleetwood Mac, just as clearly, continues to breathe new life into them live.

Namesakes Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass) may be the historical and rhythmic backbone of Fleetwood Mac, seeing as how they are the only two constants in the band's 40-plus years history, but Lindsey Buckingham (guitars, vocals) and Stevie Nicks (vocals, tambourine and spellbound dancing) are the heart and soul. Besides the whole Buckingham/Nicks romantic dissolution that provided the lyrical fodder for many of the band's biggest hits, the pair remain the main focal point for live performances.

Buckingham and Nicks don't shy away from that connection on stage -- indeed they seem to go out of their way to play it up for the crowd. The two were the last members to take the stage Wednesday, pointedly walking out hand-in-hand to assume their positions in front -- a move they duplicated at the start of both encore segments.

In a sly nod, the band opened with "Monday Morning" -- the very first song on the 1975 album "Fleetwood Mac," which marked the debut of Buckingham and Nicks in the group. Traditional concert opener "The Chain" followed and set the tone for an enchanting evening.

For starters, it must be pointed out that Buckingham may be one of the most criminally underrated guitarists of his generation. Whether it is due to Fleetwood Mac being best known for its more pop-oriented fare or slick album production, Buckingham's guitar prowess is seriously lacking in recognition. Whatever the reason, he must be seen live to be truly appreciated.

Watching him Wednesday, it was driven home that many of his most dynamic solos do not come in quick minute bursts in the middle of songs -- where most guitarists insert their flashiest solo work -- but rather appear in extended passages that close out tunes with a building, blistering conclusion.

There was not a better example of this than "I'm So Afraid" -- which features a frenetic five-minute guitar clinic by Buckingham to close out the song. "I Know I'm Not Wrong," "Second Hand News" and "Go Your Own Way" also featured great rideout solos by Buckingham.

Besides being Buckingham's emotional foil, Nicks brings an ethereal presence to the mix with her lyrical poetry, sultry vocals and somewhat mystical stage presence and twirling dance moves. Rocking her flowing dresses, knee-high boots, various shawls and, at one point, a top hat, Nicks belted out classics like "Dreams," "Rhiannon," "Sara," "Landslide," "Gold Dust Woman" and her own hit single "Stand Back."

Buckingham and Nicks also offered extended introductions to several songs, taking the time to detail some of the history behind them. Nicks provided the most interesting intro -- for the song "Gypsy" -- by recalling the years 1963-65, when she was a teenager living in Salt Lake City. Her father's work, however, forced the family to relocate to California.

"I was devastated," Nicks told the crowd. "I really loved Salt Lake."

But California is where she met Buckingham, eventually joining his band. That band made only one road trip -- which happened to be to Salt Lake City.

"We drove in Lindsey's Skylark," Nicks said, noting that their band opened for Leon Russell and Quicksilver Messenger at the old Terrace Ballroom, and then returned to immerse itself in the vibrant San Francisco music scene. "Ten years later, I wrote this song to capture those memories."

Christine McVie (keyboard and vocals) is the one missing member of the band's core lineup, having retired in 1998. Fleetwood Mac didn't ignore her material Wednesday, performing "Say You Love Me" and "Don't Stop." On both songs, Buckingham and Nicks handled one verse each vocally, before dueting on the third verse.

A pair of album gems included "Oh Well," from 1969, and "Storms," off the experimental double album, "Tusk," the followup to "Rumours." Nicks said "Storms" had never been played live by the band before this tour.

The rocking "Go Your Own Way" closed the main set and "Silver Springs" was a great choice to end the entire evening. "Silver Springs," though it did not officially appear on "Rumours," was the B side to hit single "Go Your Own Way." It first surfaced on record with the 1997 live album, "The Dance."

There are rumblings that the band will return to the studio to work on new material once this tour is over. Fans hope those hints prove to be more than "Rumours."

Doug Fox
Daily Herald

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Review: Fleetwood Mac Rocks Salt Lake City

Fleetwood Mac rocks
Blogger Review
by: Greg Wilcox

One thought kept coming back to me as I was watching Fleetwood Mac perform at Energy Solutions Arena—“This is way better then when I saw Slayer.” I will refrain from going into a comparison of the two, but suffice to say that the adult contemporary Fleetwood Mac somehow puts on a better live performance than any supposedly cutthroat band I've ever seen.

For starters, Fleetwood Mac had no opening band. Yes! Thank you. That was refreshing. Before long, the whole band was onstage: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham.%uFFFD They went on to play all the good stuff: “Dreams,” “Chain,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Rhianna,” “Secondhand News,” and “Gold Dust Woman,” to name a few. The show lasted a good two-and-a-half hours, so there was plenty of time to cover many of the songs fans love. Backing singers, musicians, and elaborate projections complimented Fleetwood Mac's performance.

Though significantly older than when Fleetwood Mac was in their prime, Stevie Nicks is still beautiful in her flowing witch-like black dress, radiating a graceful stage presence. She still sings with an immaculate voice that soothed the audience on songs like "Rhianna" and "Silver Springs."

But it was Lindsey Buckingham who held the audience in awe. Though he has a full head of gray hair, he has not let age slow him down. In fact, as the show went on, I couldn't help but think Buckingham is a severly underrated performer and guitar player. He had one of the most flamboyant and energetic stage presences I had ever seen. He doesn't even use a guitar pick; he does some weird technique just using his fingers, but somehow can pull off blazing licks and solos flawlessly. His intensity would grow while soloing, leading him to flail around onstage like a maniac while banging on his guitar, somehow hitting the right notes. It was impressive indeed.

Before playing “Gypsy” (a personal favorite), Stevie Nicks told the audience about her brief time living in Salt Lake City as a teenager, and how she was sad when her family had to move to California. She then told of her and Buckingham's experiences opening for such acts as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, saying that “Gypsy” was written out of nostalgia for that time.

Not long after “Gypsy,” The band left the stage to Buckingham and Nicks, who played Nicks' classic “Landslide.” Nicks dedicated the song to a friend of hers in Salt Lake City whom she met during her time living here. Though “Landslide” has been covered many times by various bands, only Nicks and Buckingham can perform it as powerfully and moving as they did last night.

The band also played “Oh Well,” a bluesy rock song from Fleetwood Mac's very early days with Peter Green.

Toward the end of the show, the band left the stage to wild-man Mick Fleetwood to do some solo drumming. Fleetwood delighted the audience by shouting out strange chants while drumming, such as “The Mac is back.” Fleetwood's frenetic energy onstage and eye-popping facial expressions has been said to be the inspiration for the muppet character 'animal.'

After finishing their set, the band gave two encores. On the first they played “Go Your Own Way” and “Don't Stop.” On the second, they played “Silver Springs.” At the end, Mick did the task of naming the band members to take a bow. He ended on John McVie, who, along with himself, are the oldest members of the band.

Fleetwood Mac's sound at Energy Solutions Arena was a little muddy at some points, and they performed some songs in a way that was gave them a different feel from the original recordings. But overall, Fleetwood Mac put on an incredible live show, and are probably one of the best performing bands in the world. This seems to be from years of experience and the onstage chemistry that exists between the wild Mick Fleetwood, soothing Stevie Nicks, subdued John McVie, and hyperactive showman Lindsay Buckingham. Though they have had a rocky history and are without Christine McVie (a key member in the band for many years), they connect to the audience both personally and musically in a way that few bands can do.

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Salt Lake City

Salt Lake Magazine

I don't know what the magical spark is that makes one arena-sized tour thrill an audience while another feels cold and impersonal, but the four members of Fleetwood Mac certainly have it.

The band's show Wednesday at EnergySolutions Arena was certainly an impressive production, full of giant video screens, massive moving light rigs, three backup singers and two extra musicians. But it was the undeniable chemistry between the four remaining Macs—Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie—that made the show feel more intimate than oversized.

The band's history of breakups and makeups is oft-told, but after nearly 40 years playing music together in various incarnations, it's clear that the four partners have a musical connection that is rare in any genre. And the interpersonal connections between former lovers Nicks and Buckingman and long-time musical compadres Fleetwood and McVie are palpable still, after all these years.

Wednesday's concert made clear that Buckingham remains a mad musical genius; Fleetwood even said as much when he introduced his fellow band members, calling the incredibly skilled guitarist and writer the band's "mentor." His songs dominated the set, and his searing solos that accompanied nearly every song elicited random rounds of cheers as slack-jawed fans watched his fleet fingers pummeling the strings in extreme close-up, thanks to those giant video screens.

Nicks, though, was clearly the audience fave, and with good reason. She's a one-time Salt Laker who introduced "Gypsy" with a story about her years in Utah and how Salt Lake City was the destination on the very first Buckingham/Nicks road trip when the started playing together in the Bay Area in the mid-'60s. Her gruff voice and ethereal dancing-gypsy vibe remain in fine form, although her regular departures from the stage for a dress change was more noticeable on this tour than past gigs in Salt Lake.

The relationship between Nicks and Buckingham remains the centerpiece of Fleetwood Mac in most fans' minds, and even though they are long past their time as a couple, the energy between the two as they sang songs once written for, to and about each other was obvious. As was their affection when they re-emerged on stage hand in hand for each of the two encores.

Fleetwood Mac is calling this jaunt the "Unleashed" tour, and both Buckingham and Nicks noted early on that since there was no new Mac album to play, they were just going to "have some fun" and play the hits. And that's just what they proceeded to do, delivering 22 songs in three mostly incredible hours. I don't know how they could have fit Christine McVie's songs into the set if she still toured with the band.

The concert opened in a deluge of classics, and it didn't take the band long to get warmed up. Opener "Monday Morning" led straight into "The Chain," "Dreams," "I Know I'm Not Wrong" and "Gypsy" before Nicks left the stage for the first time for Buckingham's experimental take on his solo "Go Insane."

The show's second segment might have been the best, with the band ripping through "Rhiannon," a joyfully snarky "Second Hand News," "Tusk," "Sara" and Buckingham's haunting, solo take on "Big Love." Then it was just Nicks and Buckingham doing acoustic duets of "Landslide" and "Never Going Back Again."

Nicks introduced "I've Always Been a Storm" by saying the band decided at its January rehearsals for this tour that they wanted to play one song that had never been performed on stage before. Turned out to be a fine choice, as was a duet between her and Buckingham on Christine McVie's "Say You Love Me."

The main set ended with a roaring one-two punch of Nicks' solo hit "Stand Back" and the still-potent "Go Your Own Way." But even after more than two and a half hours, the band wasn't done. Their two encores included "World Turning," which evolved into a lengthy Fleetwood drum solo, the buoyant "Don't Stop" and ended poignantly with NIcks' "Silver Springs," nearly three hours after the first note.

REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham steals the show during Fleetwood Mac show

Guitarist-singer revs up excitement and energizes the crowd during night of hits

By David Burger
The Salt Lake Tribune

Not to disparage the rest of Fleetwood Mac, but Wednesday night's show at EnergySolutions Arena turned into The Lindsay Buckingham Show.

The nimble-fingered guitarist and singer for the British-American rock band put on a fevered showcase during the band's two-and-one-half-hour show, never leaving the stage during the quartet's generous 23-song offering, and picking up the slack for the still-missed Christine McVie, who is not touring with the band.

Mick Fleetwood, the ageless drummer and founder of the band with bassist John McVie at his right-hand side, applauded Buckingham during the show, calling him the "mentor in the studio, maestro on stage, and man with the magic fingers."

Buckingham was so possessed that he overshadowed singer Stevie Nicks' return to Salt Lake City. The Nicks family lived in Salt Lake City between 1961 and 1964, and Nicks spent her eighth, ninth and part of 10th grade in town. During her introduction to "Gypsy," Nicks told the crowd how devastated she was to move from Utah, and later dedicated "Landslide" to her friends who still live here.

Nicks, 61, also looked and sounded ageless. She dressed in several different costumes that included long, billowy dresses, a top hat, and a tambourine and microphone adorned in charms and laces, and still played the part of the band's muse and fairy-rock goddess. Fleetwood and McVie looked nearly identical with matching vests and berets that covered their balding heads: Fleetwood is also 61, and McVie is 63.

Buckingham, 59, couldn't help stealing the spotlight from his older bandmates, who were backed by five musicians that included three back-up singers. It's not that he was envious, jealous or scheming. He just fed off the crowd all evening, and the large video screens hanging from the ceiling of the arena often focused in on his pickless right hand strumming and picking furiously near the scratch plate. Clad in a leather jacket and jeans, he danced joyously on the heels of his black boots all night, often standing at the slightly outstretched lip of the stage like a guitar hero.

Seven songs were from "Rumours," the band's classic 1977 album that was produced during the break-up of the McVies' marriage and Nicks and Buckingham's relationship. While the band was still able to blow kisses to one another, Buckingham was able to summon the rage and anger during the emotional "The Chain," with him seething during the lyrics, "Damn your love, damn your lies." And he changed up the fingerpicking classic "Never Going Back Again," also from "Rumours," into a slower song that barely masked the resignation and the pain.

The sound of the arena was strong, with the sole exception of McVie's bass, which sounded like muddled thunder during "The Chain," sounded better on "Rhiannon," and then became awful again during "Gold Dust Woman." Another quibble is that the concert's arrangement of songs lacked a consistent theme; for example, the show's opener, "Monday Morning," is a song about early mixed feelings about a relationship, but then the band followed that with the devastating break-up song, "The Chain." It was too sudden a change, and too early.

The band played songs from its entire, vast catalog --including Buckingham's stinging take on "Oh Well," a bluesy rave-up that predated his entrance into the band.

The nearly sold-out arena -- although the entire upper bowl was curtained off -- was told some good first-hand news by Buckingham early on.  He said, "There's no new album to promote ... yet."

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Returns with Renewed Energy

Fleetwood Mac returns with renewed energy
EnergySolutions Arena,
Salt Lake City - June 3
By Pat Reavy
Deseret News

Fleetwood Mac returned to the EnergySolutions Arena Wednesday night for their "Unleashed" tour. The band has no new album to promote and its show is essentially 21/2 hours of greatest hits. The most "recent" song on the set list was released more than two decades ago (1987's "Big Love").

But yet, the Mac on Wednesday brought a passion and enthusiasm to the stage that was lacking during their 2003 stop in Salt Lake City.

This time around, Fleetwood Mac had a renewed energy as they opened the show with the upbeat "Monday Morning" followed by what had been the traditional opener, "The Chain."

"Salt Lake City, we are thankful you came here tonight to be with us," announced vocalist, guitarist and Master of Ceremonies for the evening Lindsey Buckingham.

Buckingham raised the enthusiasm of the crowd by handling the rocker numbers of the evening, including "I Know I'm Not Wrong" and "Tusk," and showcased his brilliant finger-picking guitar style on "Big Love" and "I'm So Afraid."

But the real magic of Fleetwood Mac is still the deep, raspy, golden voice of Stevie Nicks. Nicks, who turned 61 last week, still sings with a power and emotion in each song that most women half her age can't match.

Some of Nicks' numbers, such as "Dreams," "Rhiannon" and a magnificent "Gold Dust Woman," were among the highlights of the entire evening. Nicks, wore her traditional black dress, several different shawls throughout the evening and one black glove for most of the night as the twirled and gripped her microphone stand draped with scarves and chains.

Both Nicks and Buckingham, who walked onto the stage hand-in-hand, took turns sharing stories about the origins of some of the songs. Nicks introduced "Gypsy" as relating to the time she and Buckingham lived in San Francisco and "the most amazing scene" in music and culture between 1965 and 1971. She also talked about her brief time living in Salt Lake City when she was 13 and dedicated "Landslide" to her lifelong friend Karen Thornhill, who still lives in Utah.

Buckingham talked about the band's much publicized relationship history and the making of songs off 1977's "Rumors," one of the biggest selling albums of all time. It was an album about optimism, humor and aggression, and one that band members had to live through a number of "emotional opposites" to record, said Buckingham before launching into "Second Hand News," the first song recorded for the album, and one of eight "Rumors" songs and outtakes performed Wednesday.

Buckingham and Nicks faced each other as they sang "Sara," another song about relationships though not involving Nicks and Buckingham, though the two hugged at the end.

Mick Fleetwood and John McVie provided the backbone rhythm section, as they have for over 40 years.

The only thing that was missing from Wednesday's show was the soulful voice of Christine McVie who retired from touring after the 1997 reunion tour. Her contribution was missed particularly on "Say You Love Me."

Nicks and Buckingham each contributed a song from their solo albums, Buckingham playing "Go Insane," the title track from his 1984 album. And Nicks sang her hit "Stand Back" from 1983's "The Wild Heart."

A pleasant surprise was "Storms" off the "Tusk" album, a song that had never been played live prior to this tour.

Fleetwood Mac ended the night heavy on the "Rumors" album again, including "Go Your Own Way," which found Nicks moving around stage with her tambourine and top hat, and "Don't Stop."

Overall, the Mac proved Wednesday night that they still had a connection with the music that so many fans spent most of their lives listening to, and made one believe they might still be able to this for years to come.