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

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Monday, May 04, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac rocks Tulsa’s BOK Center

TULSA, OK - MAY 3, 2009

By Brandy McDonnell Entertainment Writer

The passing of four decades, the retirement of a core member and one of the most turbulent histories in rock ‘n’ roll haven’t dimmed the star power of Fleetwood Mac one watt.

The remaining members of the seminal pop-rock band — singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, singer Stevie Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie — effectively sent the BOK Center into a time warp back to the 1970s for about two and half hours Sunday night.

“There’s no new album to promote — yet,” Buckingham told the appreciative near-sellout crowd of about 13,000. “So we decided let’s just go out and do those songs that we all love, and hopefully, they’re the ones you love, too.”

For the Tulsa stop on the “Unleashed: Hits Tour 2009,” the quartet let loose on a string of favorites, mostly from their classic ‘70s albums “Fleetwood Mac,” “Rumours” and “Tusk.” The years have taken their toll in a few ways, and the warm vocals of former singer/pianist Christine McVie (who retired in 1998) were certainly missed.

But Fleetwood Mac has maintained its consummate chemistry and musicianship. And that’s amazing considering what Buckingham described as the band’s “complex and convoluted emotional history.”

Emerging from darkness to the crowd’s excited cheers, the group launched the concert with the bouncy “Monday Morning,” putting Buckingham in the lead on vocals and showing off his still fleet fingers.

On his solo “Gift of Screws” tour last fall, the multitalented musician, 59, electrified Tulsa’s intimate Brady Theater, and he proved Sunday that his spellbinding picking and quirky vocals can still captivate an entire arena, too. He blazed through his flamenco-style version of “Big Love,” the frenetic “I Know I’m Not Wrong” and the intense “I’m So Afrai d,” often bending over limply and then straightening to shout “Oh, yeah” at the end of his songs.

With their deep catalog of hits, the group could afford to put their throbbing trademark “The Chain” second on the set list. The dramatic song got the fans chanting along on the chorus and proved that Fleetwood and John McVie still form a formidable rhythm section.

When Nicks stepped into the spotlight with the hopeful hit “Dreams,” the show briefly took a worrisome turn. Her vocals were markedly deeper and less supple than in the past, and she let the trio of female backup singers carry the high note at the end.

But the songstress, who turns 61 on May 26, sounded more like her familiar sultry-voiced self on the evocative “Gypsy.” Plus, she shared the story behind the music: Buckingham was a former schoolmate who called her a couple of years after they first met to ask her to join his hard rock band.

“That moment catapulted me into the greatest musical time of all time, 1965 to 1970, in San Francisco, Ashbury Park. ... where I’m back to the velvet underground,” she said, referencing the opening lines of “Gypsy,” a childhood favorite of mine that brought back potent memories.

By the time she got to her witchy signature track, “Rhiannon,” Nicks’ voice was warmed up and ready to blast out her powerful ballads. With her black dress, glittering shawl and long blond tresses flowing, she looked lovely and ethereal, and it wasn’t long before she was doing her distinctive swaying dance and twirling around the stage.

Later donning a crimson gown and shimmering golden shawl, Nicks wailed tunefully about shattered illusions of love and mesmerized the audience with her hypnotic dancing on “Gold Dust Woman.” My favorite Fleetwood Mac song, it thrummed with the drama of a Wild West showdown.

Though their romance ended long ago, the musical chemistry still crackles between Buckingham and Nicks. The former lovers were in perfect sync as they belted out hits chronicling their rocky relationship, from the achingly beautiful “Landslide” to the rollicking “Second Hand News.” They ended the wistful “Sara” with a tender moment, each laying their head on the other’s shoulder, with Buckingham still playing guitar.

“For the tour, we wanted to include a song we’d never performed live before. This is a stormy song for a stormy group of people,” Nicks said in introducing the heartbreaking “Storms,” which all four members performed at the forefront of the stage, with Fleetwood on a mini drum set.

The quartet stayed front and center for a bold take on “Say You Love Me,” a Christine McVie hit. Nicks and Buckingham took turns on vocals for their rootsier rendition, which was fun but couldn’t surpass the original.

The show featured too many highlights to mention, but Fleetwood Mac made sure to end the set on a high note. An extended drum intro built anticipation before the band erupted into the rollicking pop classic “Go Your Own Way,” which got the fans bouncing and singing along.

Screaming, clapping and stomping their feet, the crowd demanded an encore, and the band obliged with a foot-stomping rendition of “World Turning” which included a raucous extended drum solo from the wild-eyed Fleetwood.

The perky pop hit “Don’t Stop” again got the fans singing and dancing to what seemed to be an upbeat end of the show. But soon after the lights dimmed, they came up again for a second encore, the sparkling ballad “Silver Springs,” a soulful and fitting finale.

Before he left the stage, Fleetwood quipped, “Remember, the Mac is back.” And on Sunday night, they showed everyone at the BOK Center that their greatest hits truly are still great.


Fleetwood Mac rocks BOK
World Assistant Scene Editor

In their hit song "The Chain," Fleetwood Mac says they'll never break the chain. It seems they've made the chain even stronger. 

And after Sunday night, thousands of fans are forever added as links. 

Fleetwood Mac roared into the BOK Center to a huge crowd that was at once young, old, rock 'n' roll and classic, heavy metal and soft rock. The crowd roared back, from the opening "Monday Morning" to the second-encore closer "Silver Spring." 

Fleetwood Mac formed in the 1960s, and has often had its own internal soap opera. But its solidarity, strength and storytelling remain as polished and relevant today as when their album "Rumours" topped the charts. 

"Our band has always had a complex and convoluted, emotional-ness to it," guitarist Lindsey Buckingham said. "But that has always worked in our favor. We take breaks, but every time we get back together, we get a sense of forward motion." 

Buckingham said band decided that since they aren't touring in support of an album, "Yet," he said to cheers of those hopeful for a new Fleetwood Mac venture, "We thought 'Let's just go out there and have fun and do the songs that we love ... and hopefully they'll be the ones you love, too.' " 

Oddly enough, the next song was "I Know I'm Not Wrong," from their album "Tusk," a song not as well-known as some of their other hits. Still, the audience grooved, and when Buckingham ground his guitar, going into one of many solos of the evening, he hopped like Chuck Berry across the stage. 

Afterward, he grabbed his back as if aching, grinned to the audience hopped some more, growling "Oh yeah!" into the microphone. 

The show's spotlight went back and forth between Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who got the audience going when she told the story of the song "Gypsy." 

"I met Lindsey when I was a senior and he was a junior," she said. "I met him one day and didn't see him again for two years. Then, out of the blue he called me one day and asked if I wanted to be in his band. I was like, 'yeah,' and I didn't even know what kind of band it was." 

"He later told me it was a hard-rock band. And that moment catapulted me into the greatest musical time of all time, 1965-1970 in San Francisco ... where I'm back to the velvet underground" (the first line of the song "Gypsy"). 

The crowd went crazy for Nicks, who was looking as beautiful as ever, her waist-length honey-blond hair swaying, her arms wrapped in a sparkly black shawl. Meanwhile, on a screen behind the band, a sentimental song became even more so as snapshots of the band in their younger days went by. 

Nicks was equally bewitching on "Rhiannon." She turned her back to the audience and went into her patented trancelike dance, swaying her hips, shawl floating through the air. She was as cool and enigmatic as ever. 

It's hard to find a highlight on a greatest hits tour that features songs that you know by heart, but one of the most electrifying was "Gold Dust Woman." Nicks disappeared off the stage often. Before that particular song, Nicks sang former band member Christine McVie's part in "Say You Love Me," which was weird coming from Nicks, but a nice homage to McVie. 

Then Nicks darted off stage, and the band started the haunting beginning of "Gold Dust Woman." 

On the screens, chunks of gold confetti fell and there was Nicks, gold shawl wrapped around a black cat suit under a flowing red dress. She nailed the song, hitting notes she often leaves up to her backup singers. She was brooding, mysterious and moody, and it was downright spooky in parts. 

Buckingham's guitar work was as impressive throughout the show. He's one of the most underrated guitarists in history, inventive and clean, charismatic and cool. 

He sang some of his well-known songs, "Big Love" and "Never Going Back Again," and the whole band joined in on "Second Hand News." 

Nicks also dazzled with a song from her solo career, "Stand Back." 

Some of the most touching moments were Nicks' "Sara" and "Landslide." During "Sara," Buckingham backed up Nicks, and she later went to him for a lengthy embrace, a tender moment between the former lovers. 

"I don't personally know anyone in Oklahoma," Nicks said to the frenzied crowd before playing "Landslide." "So I'm just going to dedicate this to all you Oklahomans. We love you." 

The band actually had to wait for the audience to stop cheering so they could close the song. It was beautiful, awe-inspiring, and makes you understand why many bands have covered it. 

Fleetwood Mac did two encores. When Nicks and Buckingham walked on stage for the first encore, they held hands. The band closed the first encore with the song that makes many think of Bill Clinton's first campaign for president, "Don't Stop." For their first encore song, drummer Mick Fleetwood had a rousing drum session that bumped the BOK Center and got everyone on their toes. Then he introduced the backup band, which includes Lori Nicks, Stevie's sister-in-law. Then he introduced Buckingham, Nicks ("Our first lady," he called her) and bassist John McVie. 

The BOK Center was close to a full house Sunday night, and Fleetwood Mac, whose fame has spanned 40-plus years, still has the chops to amaze and captivate any audience from start to finish.