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

Monday, March 16, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits Concert at Mohegan Sun

Fleetwood Mac Shines With Greatest-hits Concert At Mohegan Sun
By Kristina Dorsey

Even bitter breakups can't kill great musical chemistry.

They certainly didn't for Fleetwood Mac, whose hook-ups and bust-ups were well-documented back in the 1970s - and whose intra-band animosity would occasionally bubble up in the years after that.

Now, 32 years after releasing its biggest album, “Rumours,” Mac still bristles with the feisty energy of opposites coexisting. But now they seem to be coexisting happily. During their Saturday concert at Mohegan Sun Arena, the band members emanated a distinct, shared joy.

Central to Mac's success are the quirky contradictions between its two lead singer/songwriters. (Christine McVie, the third singer/songwriter, has retired.) Lindsey Buckingham sparks with edgy intensity. Stevie Nicks swirls with ethereal lyricism. It certainly made for a neat balance Saturday; after Buckingham's screaming guitar on one number, Nicks would swoop in to soothe with a ballad.

Buckingham - who is 59, a year younger than Nicks - performed as if the term “a man possessed” was invented for him. He attacked guitar solos, snapping and pawing at the strings, on “I'm So Afraid” and “Big Love.” He cooed and yelped, injecting each song with fresh emotion. It was heartening to see that he was having a hell of a great time, and so was the audience.

The beauty of this go-round, their first tour in five years, is that there is no new album to promote, so Fleetwood Mac is staging a greatest-hits, fans-dream concert. And Mac isn't merely settling for a musty revival-for-revival's-sake tone. Instead, the band goosed the old songs with fervor and new angles. The once countrified loping cadence of “Second Hand News,” for instance, was sped up and sung by Buckingham with a distinct aggression.

Nicks, too, often toyed with the familiar melodies - sometimes, granted, because she might not be able to hit the high notes like she used to, but often because it made for an intriguing twist.

Nicks' purr is now more of a growl when it comes time to rock, but her voice sounded supple on mellow tunes like “Sara” and “Storms.” And, yes, Nicks rotated through a number of costume changes that inevitably ended up a different variation on her signature look - flowy dark, gypsy-like ensemble, shawl optional.

Much quieter a stage presence was John McVie, but his bass work was sharp as ever. Animated Mick Fleetwood thwacked and swatted the drums in his own inimitable style, especially on that hugely entertaining drum rhythm on “Tusk.”

As if proving that you don't have to repeat history, Nicks and Buckingham worked better and seemed more figuratively in tune as the night went along, and they actually came out for the encores hand-in-hand


Fleetwood dazzles
Monday, March 16, 2009

If you're sick of superstar bands going out and playing too many obscure songs during their concerts, then Fleetwood Mac's first tour in five years will hold a whole lot more appeal for you.

The 1970's superstars are out on the road and bringing a truckload of hits with them on their "Unleashed" tour, which was unleashed Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

While the Mac went through plenty of personnel changes during decades of rockin', this tour features four-fifths of their most famous lineup. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, singer Stevie Nicks, and founding fathers Mick Fleetwood on drums on John McVie on bass are all there. Unfortunately the great keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie, who retired from the band in the late 1990s to return home to England, is not back on board for the latest reunion and early rumors that Sheryl Crow would take her place blew up when Crow blabbed about it before the agreement had been finalized.

Nevertheless, there's plenty to like about this tour, which finds Buckingham in particular as well as Nicks out front and in fine form.

With tickets priced between $125 and $175, this wasn't a cheap seat, but the band nevertheless played to a packed house.

Accompanied by two additional musicians and three female backing vocalists, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees opened the two-hour and 20 minute performance with "Monday Morning" before Fleetwood's huge, pounding beat drove "The Chain," and Nicks said it was time to "get this party started" with a crowd-pleasing take of "Dreams."

Early in the concert, Buckingham acknowledged Fleetwood Mac's "convoluted and complex emotional history." It was a supreme understatement for anyone who's followed the band's soap opera-like journey through the decades.

"Because there is no new album to promote - yet," he said, teasing the audience with the implication, "we're just going to do the things that we love and hopefully you love as well."

It appears they succeeded on all levels.

Centered between two of Nicks' signature songs, "Gypsy," and "Rhiannon," Buckingham turned in a drop-dead brilliant "Go Insane," filled with the mesmerizing finger-picking and pure passion that he exhibited nearly every time he stepped into the spotlight Saturday.

"Tusk" started slow and somewhat eerie but built to a huge ending before Nicks brought her raspy lower range into focus for "Sara," while Buckingham offered the high harmonies.

An acoustic triad featuring "Big Love," "Landslide" and "Never Going Back Again," was placed perfectly into the set, which also included a few genuine rarities, including one they had never played live before this tour, 1979's "Storms."

While this is definitely a Buckingham and Nicks kind of tour, they did acknowledge Christine McVie with a sharp arrangement of the latter's "Say You Love Me."

Buckingham's firepower reached staggering heights when he did "Oh Well (Part 1)" from the days when Peter Green played lead guitar for Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham's take brought the house down, as did the follow-up "I'm So Afraid."

The night wound down with highlights that included "Go Your Own Way," and encore faves such as "World Turning," complete with a very amusing tribal drum solo courtesy of Fleetwood; "Don't Stop;" and a moving version of "Silver Springs."

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Fleetwood Mac Focuses On Familiar In Uncasville
The Courant
March 15, 2009

There is no false pretense to the current Fleetwood Mac reunion tour. With no new album to push, it is a pure nostalgia play, a look back and the band's considerable height of popularity in the 1970s and '80s. At Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville Saturday night, the group focused on precisely that, a parade of hits that retained their accessible appeals even when the people forging them showed signs of wear.

With four of the five members from its commercial heyday on hand, the act leaned heavily on the familiar from the outset, opening with the contoured pop rock of "Monday Morning" as a showcase for guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who recalled the greatest part of his past appeals when barking lyrics. He was the sharpest part of the vocal harmony as he joined with vocalist Stevie Nicks for "The Chain," which John McVie's plump bass line pushed toward its familiar driving finish.

Always a somewhat unconventional vocalist, Nicks retained some of the ragged sweetness that was her hallmark, but made her offerings with limited intonation that stiffened the otherwise fluid pulse of "Dreams." The musical backdrops over which she hovered were sturdy and smooth, strong enough to cover for her flattening the lyrics of "Gypsy" and a brittle reading of the otherwise supple "Rhiannon."

Drummer (and lone original from the band's initial 1967 incarnation) Mick Fleetwood manufactured robust pacing for the likes of the rattling "Second Hand News" and the bounding "Tusk," the latter of which saw its marching band passages replicated by keyboard player Brett Tuggle, one of two support musicians who, along with three vocalists, filled out the show's arrangements.

Alongside such familiar fare as a Nicks/Buckingham acoustic duet on "Landslide" and a jaunt across "Say You Love Me," the show also ranged a bit off the beaten path, forgoing bigger hits (including some sung by the now-retired Christine McVie) for the likes of the flowing ballad "Storms" and the rumbling, propulsive 1969 number "Oh Well." Buckingham and Nicks also dipped into one solo catalog tune apiece; he strummed hard on an acoustic guitar for "Go Insane," while Nicks yelped at the synthesizer backbone of "Stand Back."

Most of the big spotlight moments came from Buckingham, who extended "I'm so Afraid" with an indulgent electric guitar solo, and turned the set closer "Go Your Own Way" into a finale that amounted to little more than everyone else in the band watching him work out. After an initial encore that included a full-bore trip through "Don't Stop," the group returned a second time, stretching its show to two hours and twenty minutes with "Silver Springs," an outtake from its 1977 album "Rumours." The show featured seven other tunes from that popular album, and not a one from the most recent Fleetwood Mac disc in 2003, a tally certainly in keeping with the show's greatest hits theme.

Fleetwood Mac's performance Saturday night included the following songs: "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," (Encore) "World Turning," "Don't Stop," (2nd Encore) "Silver Springs."