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

Sunday, March 29, 2009

REVIEW: Toronto (night 2) Fleetwood Mac

Concertaholics Review - Toronto (night 2) for Fleetwood Mac
The concert goal tonight was to get a cheap single on the street and get inside to where my contact was so he could assist me with getting down front on the floor. There weren’t alot of singles floating around but after waiting about 6 songs in I grabbed a ticket for $20 and was into The Air Canada Centre now.

Concertaholics Full Review

Thursday, March 19, 2009

REVIEW: Monday Morning Launched The Show - Fleetwood Mac Live in Toronto

TORONTO, CANADA - March 17, 2009


Monday Morning launched the show off followed by The Chain and Dreams. Lindsey showed his strong presence early here in the show… his unique vocals and of course his guitar mastery. I wasn’t expecting to hear “Gypsy” and it was real cool to experience as it totally brought me back to the early 80’s. Think about how many times you heard that tune on the radio back then?

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Toronto - Hit Makers Delivered a Crisp Concert


When Fleetwood Mac began preparing for its current greatest-hits tour, the idea was to use Sheryl Crow as a lean, tan stand-in for former singer-pianist Christine McVie. But, either because of scheduling problems or because of Crow's unfrivolous concern that she would be required to sleep with at least one current band member, the All I Wanna Do singer passed. So it was Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, and band namesakes John McVie and Mick Fleetwood who arrived at Toronto's Air Canada Centre for the first of seven Canadian dates. Brad Wheeler scores the four



Monday Morning, the singer-guitarist's 1975 song of romantic indecision, came early - too early for the soundman, who hadn't turned on Buckingham's microphone yet. His singing, a bit scratchy to begin, improved as the 23-song show went along. Buckingham, a fit 59, dazzled as a guitarist, whether on the shimmering delta-blues intro to The Chain, the genteel finger-picking of Never Going Back Again, the iconic solo of Second Hand News or the superhuman arena-rocking shredding of I'm So Afraid. The same magic fingers that plucked those strings also, as the band walked onstage, clasped the hands of the golden-haired diva to his right.


"Now, I think we should get this party started," the woman in the flowing black gown said, audaciously, given that the concert was already a pair of songs in. But Dreams, third on the set list, was her first moment. Nicks, at 60, is no longer a sultry waif. Her voice is lamb-like; on Don't Stop, I wished that she would, because she was not suited for Christine McVie's parts. She was wonderful on signature pieces Sara and Rhiannon, though, and was positively jaunty with her black top hat on the buoyant singalong Go Your Own Way. Nice shawls, naturally, and her tambourine and mike stand had scarves attached.

Commenting on the chaos of the time and giving name to the band's landmark album of 1977, McVie observed that the songs sounded like gossip or rumours. Possibly, the hang-dog bassist hasn't opened his mouth since. With his newsboy cap, the 63-year-old Englishman appeared as a country gentleman, hanging back near the drum stand. But his playing, melodic in counterpoint to Buckingham's often percussive style, was noticeable. On the Who-intensity blues-rock of Oh Well, he was vigorous like John Entwistle, and the considerable bounce of Dreams came from his Fender-made instrument.


The overly tall, 61-year-old drummer is grey and bald - his pate shone like the gong behind him (which he never struck). His presence (and his lunatic grin) showed more often as the evening progressed: The jungle-tastic energy during World Turning made his drum solo the most bearable one I've ever had the pleasure to witness.


All in all, the historic hit-makers (augmented by three backup singers and a pair of sidemen) delivered a crisp concert - if anything, the longer it went, the better it got. "We plan to have fun on this tour, because there's no album - yet," Buckingham suggestively quipped at one point. Hmmm, just think what tomorrow will do.

Fleetwood Mac plays Ottawa, March 23; Montreal, March 25; Toronto, March 26; Calgary, May 12; Edmonton, May 13; Vancouver, May 15.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac at the Air Canada Centre, March 17, 2009

Iconic west-coast rockers stop thinking about tomorrow long enough to journey through the past

March 18, 2009

"Unleashed" seems like a very odd title for a Fleetwood Mac tour. "Unleashed" is a word that suggests risk and danger — even the possibility of violence. That might be appropriate for an Yngwie Malmsteen concert, perhaps, or a Satanic Slaughter comeback tour, but Fleetwood Mac? Unleashed by who — and to do what? Shake their jewelry at us? A greatest-hits tour by a band who, decades after their heyday, remain one of the best-selling, most iconic and recognizable groups in the world — that's hardly a risk-filled proposition. (Unleashed by their accountants, perhaps.)

Still, it's great to have them back. And I suppose the concert was ferocious enough to just about deserve that "Unleashed" moniker. The band started, unfortunately, with the night's three worst performances, with Lindsay Buckingham faltering on the lyrics to the very first line of "Monday Morning," and the mix sounding abysmally echo-y and indistinct — as it would, with intermittent exceptions, for the entire evening. "The Chain," which followed, was just as stumblebum, with John McVie fluffing the cue to the bass riff at the start of Buckingham's guitar solo. (Don't worry, John, it's only the most important part of the song.) When Stevie Nicks then promised to finally "get this party started," only to respond with an off-key, pudding-paced "DREAMS," you felt the audience starting to brace for the worst.

Thankfully, things improved in drastic fashion with "I Know I'm Not Wrong," the first of several numbers from the Mac's seminal Tusk double album. When the band said this was a greatest-hits tour, they weren't kidding — save for "Gyspy" and "Big Love" (from Mirage and Tango in The Night, respectively), two numbers from Buckingham and Nicks's solo careers ("Go Insane" and "Stand Back"), and a cracking performance of Peter Green's "Oh Well (Part 1)," the band stuck entirely to the three records that made their name in the 1970s: their self-titled 1975 album, Tusk, and — of course — Rumours.

You would have thought that Nicks, with her drapes and scarves and bangles and glitter and multiple costume changes (I counted four, including a last-minute encore change into a pair of knee-high white pointy-heeled boots) would have dominated the concert, but in fact Buckingham provided most of the gig's most memorable moments: scissor kicking and primal-yelping with glee at the end of several songs, and indulging in a sublimely wanky, seven-minute (!) guitar odyssey during "I'm So Afraid," a solo that only appeared to end because he ran out of high notes to play on his fretboard.

Nicks, on the other hand, had to pace herself — not worrying about hitting the high notes on her first few songs, then going ballistic by the time the band reached "Sara" and "Gold Dust Woman" later in the set. Christine McVie, who last played with the band in 1998, opted once again out of performing this year, and while her absence was obvious on the group's last record, Say You Will — she's essentially the McCartney to Buckingham and Nicks's Lennon — she wasn't missed tonight, with Buckingham and Nicks providing creditable vocal turns on two of her songs, "Say You Love Me" and a predictable (if well-performed and received) encore of "Don't Stop."

"The 'Mac is back!" Mick Fleetwood yelled at the end of the show (dressed, for some reason, in red shoes and knickerbockers) — and they certainly were. Just for once during this financial crisis, let's raise a toast to accountants.

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Toronto - Rolls Out The Hits

Fleetwood Mac rolls out the hits
Live in Toronto, ON at Air Canada Centre - March 17, 2009


It felt like the mid-to-late '70s all over again at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night as Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits - Unleashed tour pulled into the hockey hanger for the first of two shows on St. Patrick's Day.

And while the opening song, Monday Morning, wasn't a very smooth start to the two-hour-plus concert - singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham's first words weren't on microphone - and the followup tune, The Chain, sounded a bit disjointed and unpolished, the evening eventually picked up as the veteran rockers found a decent groove by the third number, Dreams.

"We are Fleetwood Mac, and we're thrilled to be here tonight. We hope you have a wonderful time. And now I think we should get this party started," said iconic singer Stevie Nicks, 60, decked out in her usual costume of flowing black dress and black suede boots with black scarves and silver chains decorating her microphone stand.

On their first tour together in five years, the band - rounded out by Brits Mick Fleetwood, 61, on drums and John McVie, 63, on bass - played material primarily from 1975's Fleetwood Mac, 1977's juggernaut Rumours (30 million copies sold worldwide and counting) and 1979's Tusk, embracing their most commercially successful years after Americans Nicks and Buckingham joined the group. (British keyboardist Christine McVie - and John's ex - gave up touring in 1989.)

Notable deviations from that trio of albums were Gypsy from 1982's Mirage, Big Love from 1987's Tango In The Night, Oh Well from 1969's Then Play On, Buckingham's 1984 solo tune, Go Insane, and Nicks' 1983 solo song, Stand Back, all highlights in a set brimming with hits.

"We're a band of complex, convoluted emotions," said Buckingham, 59, a recent visitor to Toronto's Music Hall last October on behalf of his latest solo album, Gift Of Screws.

"Every time we reconvene it's different. As we got into rehearsals this time we just said, 'We're just going to have fun, and because there's no new album to promote - yet - we're going to do the things that we love and hopefully they are the things you love as well."

The fun quotient picked up considerably as the initially remote Nicks and Buckingham, a former couple who met as teenagers and split up shortly after joining Fleetwood Mac (Nicks would later have an affair with Fleetwood), actually started to sing while looking at each other and even embraced - it was more of a lean actually - during Sara.

Eventually, they held hands and were arm-in-arm, respectively, as they returned to the stage for their first and second encores.

Standouts proved to be Nicks' signature songs, Rhiannon, Sara, Goldust Woman (complete with her in a gold shawl) and Stand Back with a crowd-pleasing twirl; the fiery Second Hand News and Go Your Own Way, with Buckingham letting out one of his big whoops when the first song ended and Nicks decked out in a black top hat for the second; Buckingham's acoustic-guitar-driven Big Love and Never Going Back Again and then electrifying electric guitar work on I'm So Afraid; Landslide, which featured Nicks in a new burgundy dress and matching suede boots and Buckingham on acoustic guitar alone together on stage; and the old Peter Green blues-rocker Oh Well with Buckingham taking over lead vocals and a grinning Fleetwood having a grand old time behind his kit.

They also played the pretty and haunting Storms, from Tusk, which they have never performed on tour before.

"A stormy song for a stormy group of people," explained Nicks.

Less successful was Say You Love Me as Nicks and Buckingham traded verses on one of Christine McVie's signature tunes and her absence was definitely felt and Fleetwood's primal drum solo during World Turning.

The band were backed by two other musicians on keyboards and guitar and three vocalists but it was hard not to imagine how the lineup might have sounded given they briefly flirted with the idea of having Sheryl Crow join them on this tour.

There was also large curved video screens behind and above the stage that could have been put to better use with a montage of old footage or photos of the group given this was a Greatest Hits show.

Fleetwood Mac returns to the ACC on March 26.

  • Monday Morning
  • The Chain
  • Dreams
  • I Know I'm Not Wrong
  • Gypsy
  • Go Insane
  • Rhiannon
  • Second Hand News
  • Tusk
  • Sara
  • Big Love
  • Landslide
  • Never Going Back Again
  • Storms
  • Say You Love Me
  • Gold Dust Woman
  • Oh Well
  • I'm So Afraid
  • Stand Back
  • Go Your Own Way
  • World Turning
  • Don't Stop
  • Silver Springs
SUN RATING: 4 out of 5

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Toronto March 17, 2009

Fleetwood Mac fuelled by 'stormy' conflicts
Band draws crowd into the band's `convoluted' history


For a group that's conquered its demons, again and again, Fleetwood Mac sure does love to wallow in the memories.

No less than three times, during last night's Air Canada Centre show, either singer Stevie Nicks or guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who do all the talking for the foursome rounded out by founding members, sneaker-shod bassist John McVie and ponytailed drummer Mick Fleetwood, alluded to the well-noted upheavals of the four decades-strong pop-rock group. These traumas included changing lineups – both Buckingham and Nicks departed for a time – and failed intraband marriages or romances.

But to hear the players tell it, these conflicts fuelled the songs and artistry that define them.

"Fleetwood Mac, as most of you know, has a complex and convoluted emotional history and it's actually turned out to be kind of cool," Buckingham said last night. Without a new album to push – "yet," he explained, the quartet was indulging themselves and fans with a 23-song, two-hour-and-20 minute hits concert, which drew heavily from 1977's Rumours – "Dreams," "Go Your Own Way," "The Chain," "Never Going Back" – and 1975's Fleetwood Mac – "Rhiannon," "Say You Love Me," "World Turning," "Landslide."

They also turned in a not previously toured tune, the moody, aptly titled "Storms" from 1979's Tusk, which allowed Nicks to again reference the group's peripatetic past – "it's a stormy song for stormy people and a stormy bunch of relationships and stormy problems."

She's actually the group's weakest component on this tour, which kicked off in Pittsburgh March 1 and returns to the ACC on the 26th.

If it weren't for that inimitable tremor in her voice, any female singer could've been substituted.

What Nicks lacked in energy and charisma, Buckingham delivered tenfold. He proved a crack showman whose fierce playing and vocal drama – replete with karate screams and maniacal laughter – was smoothly supported by Fleetwood's glee and tomahawk pounding and McVie's cool, steady groove.

And with a catalogue this deep – they didn't even get to "Everywhere" and "You Make Loving Fun" – it's great to have these sexagenarians back on the road after a five-year break.