Tuesday, November 06, 2018

REVIEW The musical soap opera known as Fleetwood Mac rolled into Toronto Nov 5, 2018

Fleetwood Mac Toronto 2018 Review

The musical soap opera known as Fleetwood Mac rolled into Toronto yet again for another tour but this time without its most important member Lindsey Buckingham whom they fired earlier this year.

Let us begin by saying we are huge Fleetwood Mac fans. We flew out to New Jersey to see the show from front row center and do a VIP meet and greet with Mick Fleetwood. We flew to London’s O2 arena to see them front row again, we saw them at an invite only party at CES in Las Vegas, and the list goes on. Please click on one of the links above to understand the type of coverage we provide.

Also please note that we paid for the ticket for tonight’s show (and every single other Fleetwood Mac show we ever wrote about, except for the invite only show mentioned above) – no free reviewer tickets here to sway our observations. In fact I think all music reviews should state if the ticket was bought or given for free from the promoter or the band.

News broke that Lindsey Buckingham is no longer part of Fleetwood Mac earlier this year, and this tour was announced right after that. While logic would dictate that this tour would not sell many tickets or that perhaps they would be discounted to something reasonable like $100, neither assumption proved to be true. It seems that many people had no idea that Buckingham would not be there and thus jumped in eagerly and it also seems that the band name is much bigger than the individual artists.

There is a trend in that most classic era rock bands tour these days without the golden era vocalists ( some quick example of bands we have seen recently – Yes without Anderson, Journey without Perry, Styx without DeYoung, Foreigner without Gramm, and even AC/DC without Johnson). For whatever reason  (9 times out of 10 it is because of $$$), the lead singer (and usually main songwriter), is not there. However Fleewood Mac without Buckingham is a much larger shock than anything above because he is also the main guitarist and the creative genius of everything the band made when they ruled the airwaves.

The really good news is that Buckingham is doing his own local show on Friday November 16th in a much more intimate setting in Kitchener’s Centre In The Square. As at the time of this writing a 20th row ticket in the small theater setting will cost about $80 to see the solo Buckingham show. On the other hand, tickets were still available for Fleetwood Mac at the Scotiabank Arena on the night of the show, and a lovely seat in the back of the 300 sections (i.e. where you so high up and so far back that feel you are watching people watching a concert) was selling for $211.25. Clearly the Kitchener show is a much better choice and yet it is not even sold out yet – the power of the band name proven once again.

Enough preamble… I am sure you know where we are going with this article.

Continue on to the full review

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Toronto 'Refreshing the ranks certainly didn’t hurt Monday’s performance'

Fleetwood Mac commands the Toronto stage, even without Lindsey Buckingham
By Ben Rayner, Pop Music Critic
The Toronto Star
RATING (*** out of four)
Scotia Bank Arena November 5, 2018

The polite thing to do would be to look the other way and simply pretend nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

Photo: Instragram: carolmatthews128

Fleetwood Mac is Fleetwood Mac, however, so a little soap-opera drama is to be expected along with the hits. And while the veteran transatlantic rock outfit did its best to make a show of how kicking Lindsey Buckingham out of the band earlier this year was no big deal, it only made it seem like a bigger deal.

In a sense, missing a crucial member or two is nothing out of the ordinary for Fleetwood Mac. Of the original 1967 lineup, only drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie remain, after all, and both Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie (along with Buckingham himself) have left the group and returned to the fold at odd points over the past 40 years or so. Nevertheless, Monday’s show at Toronto’s sold-out Scotiabank Arena found the band being almost stridently blasé about the fact that, for reasons that remain rather fuzzy — not to mention the subject of a lawsuit since filed by Buckingham — it had recently fired the songwriter and the voice behind some of its most recognizable tunes.

Buckingham has kind of had the last laugh, anyway, since it’s taken two musicians to replace him: former Crowded House/Split Enz singer Neil Finn on the vocal front and Mike Campbell, the late Tom Petty’s longtime right-hand man in the Heartbreakers, in the guitar-god department. But just to make sure we all knew that it was business as usual in Fleetwood Mac, the band opened with “The Chain,” one of Buckingham’s signature songs from Rumours. And, to some extent, it was business as usual. Finn could certainly hold down the vocal parts, as he would do two songs later on “Second Hand News” and at the very end of the two-and-a-half-hour set on the crowd-pleasing whoppers “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop,” while Campbell dropped a scorching mini-solo on the outro to allay any fears that we’d be denied six-string fireworks.

Campbell is far less a passenger than Finn in this particular iteration of Fleetwood Mac, which is actually padded out to 11 members when one includes the second percussionist, two backup singers, the extra keyboardist and the third guitarist arrayed around the principals. He took on his role as lead guitarist with vigour on Monday, dirtying up the arrangements with raunchy guitar tones that were more in line with the band’s bluesy beginnings than Buckingham’s finesse playing, and even taking lead vocals on a gnarly version of founding member Peter Green’s “Oh Well.”

Finn feels a bit more like a karaoke singer, although the band did let him take the reins for Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” just to demonstrate that he had a life before he was imitating Lindsey Buckingham for a living.

Green, of course, was no doubt invoked to make a point about a lot of people passing through the ranks of Fleetwood Mac over the years, just as former guitarist Danny Kirwan — who died this past June — was invoked by way of introduction on his “Tell Me All the Things You Do,” another pre-Buckingham/Nicks gem that found its way into the set list.

Truth be told, refreshing the ranks certainly didn’t hurt Monday’s performance. Fleetwood Mac is a reliably solid live entity, no matter who’s onstage, and the band does indeed appear to be relishing the new energy at the moment. You could only miss Buckingham so much, even if you wanted to miss him.

It’s arguably all about Stevie Nicks, anyway. When Fleetwood went around the stage to introduce each of his bandmates — this would be after his torturously long drum solo in the middle of “World Turning,” by the way — only the perpetually humble and quiet John McVie came close in terms of audience reaction. The screams for Stevie were deafening. And, man, can she still hold it down.

Christine McVie sounded a little wan when she took the mike for “Little Lies” and “Everywhere,” but Nicks’s voice was huge and still in impossibly good shape on “Rhiannon,” a feminized version of Green’s “Black Magic Woman,” her solo hit “Gypsy” and a bare, beautiful late-set reading of “Landslide.” She prowled the stage like a panther conjuring some major voodoo vibes, too, during a truly menacing attack on “Gold Dust Woman” — anchored, fittingly enough, by fellow fan favourite John McVie’s rumbling bass line — that easily won out as the most show-stopping moment of the night and probably should have ended the set.

No one, of course, was getting out of there without hearing “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop,” but they seemed a little anticlimactic after such a beast of a tune — especially when the guy behind them wasn’t actually onstage. But by that point, it had become rather easy to overlook Buckingham’s absence and simply enjoy what was a very good arena-rock show. And, hey, Stevie came back to pay tribute to her old pal Tom Petty with Campbell on an unnecessary, but nice enough cover of “Free Fallin’.” If Stevie’s in the room, all can be forgiven.


REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Toronto Nov 5, 2018 "I guess Lindsey Buckingham should feel flattered"

CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac goes its own way
by Jane Stevenson
Toronto Sun

Fleetwood Mac
Scotiabank Arena
November 5, 2018
RATING (*** out of four)
Photos Jane Stevenson

I guess Lindsey Buckingham should feel flattered when he’s not suing his former bandmates?

Fleetwood Mac came to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on Monday night and it took two stellar musicians to replace the singer-guitarist who was fired from the veteran British-American rock band earlier this year and a lawsuit subsequently followed in October.

Anyway, the latest incarnation of the mighty and enduring Mac — whose rotating lineup is hardly new in the band’s 50-year history — sees Crowded House’s Neil Finn, who possess one of the best voices in pop, and guitarist Mike Campbell, who previously played with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, picking up the slack.

There’s actually a total of 11 players including singer Stevie Nicks, singer-keyboardist Christine McVie, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie on the stage making a big beautiful sound during such anthems as “The Chain” — which opened the show — “Second Hand News,” “World Turning,” “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop.”

That doesn’t mean Buckingham, whose solo tour arrives in Kitchener’s Centre in the Square on Nov. 16, wasn’t missed as there is an intensity to both his guitar playing and flinty interplay with his former girlfriend Nicks.

But his absence Monday night meant the band, founded by Peter Green in 1967 and named after Fleetwood and McVie, delved into their back catalogue for such Green and second guitarist Danny Kirwan-era songs as the Santana-popularized “Black Magic Woman” and “Tell Me All The Things You Do,” which truthfully weren’t never really that missed.

The one exception was “Oh, Well” with Campbell taking over on lead vocals and given his guitar a real work out.

Nicks, as usual, was the evening’s undisputed star in her trademark suede black boots, on such standouts as “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy” (which included a twirl), “Landslide,” and “Gold Dust Woman” working various shawls to wonderful effect.

McVie, surprisingly, was the weakest vocal link despite sounding solid last year while on tour with Buckingham of all people (including a summer stop at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage), although she spoke the most poignant words of the night while introducing the final and older song, “All Over Again.”

“This is a song about change, about surviving change, and the future,” she said.

Much to the crowd’s delight, Finn trotted out the Crowded House gem, “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” with Nicks taking a turn on one verse, and there was also a tribute to Petty in the encore with Nicks singing lead vocals on his hit, “Free Fallin’” while pictures of him (and often Nicks together) appeared on the back video wall.

“It’s wonderful to be in your fair city with this magnificent band,” said Finn, whose only false step came during a rough start to “Monday Morning.”

In a way, this is more of a supergroup than just Fleetwood Mac’s latest lineup change and given they’re already set to return to Scotiabank Arena on April 8, you never know what new twist might just come next.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Toronto Monday, Nov 5, 2018 "Rock n’ roll was very much alive and well last night"

Review: Fleetwood Mac @ Scotiabank Arena
By: Adam Harrison
Aesthetic Magazine

Photo Beckymccreath
Rock n’ roll was very much alive and well last night in Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena for one of all-time’s most classic bands, Fleetwood Mac, who now date back fifty years with the release of their self-titled debut album in 1968. It was a rare experience to be apart of the sold out arena welcoming the band to its sixth decade.

The now eleven-person touring band featured four-fifths of the traditional lineup, including rock goddess Stevie Nicks, keyboard songstress Christine McVie and her husband John on bass, as well as ponytail sportin’ namesake drummer, Mick Fleetwood. Original guitarist and vocalist, Lindsey Buckingham, was fired from the band in April 2018 and was replaced with Crowded House’s Neil Finn as well as Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell.

The band opened their impressively lengthy 130-minute set with “The Chain” from their 1977 hit album Rumours, and at the very first note the fans let our a roar of excitement and appreciation. While the audience spanned multiple generations, it became one of those crowds who couldn’t decide whether to sit or stand, not unlike a Catholic Church service.

As Fleetwood Mac made their way through a songbook of hits like “Little Lies,” “Dreams,” and “Landslide,” one of the most interesting elements was how each song had a different arrangement of band members. Of course at the centre of the stage was Stevie Nicks who not only grasped you with her iconic singing voice, but also her powerfully feminine charisma. She often swayed about in her black robe mesmerizing like a gypsy.

Photo Kristen Shilton
During “World Turning,” the 71-year-old, Mick Fleetwood, took on a 10-minute drum solo, proving he can still hang with the kids, as he rolled through tom-tom rhythms alongside touring percussionist Taku Hirano, who furiously smacked on the bongos. Fleetwood accompanied his drumming with jungle like screams as well as his signature wide eye stare.

One of the best highlights of the night came when most of the band cleared the stage for Finn to perform “Don’t Dream It’s Over” which he wrote for Crowded House. The arena lit up with cell phone lights as Finn dove into the first chorus. Halfway though the song he was joined by Nicks who finished the song with him as a duet – A rare and spin-tingling moment to say the least.

The main set came to a climactic conclusion with an inspiring performance of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hit and one of the greatest rock n’ roll songs of all time, “Go Your Own Way.” For this moment, it was not hard to decide whether to sit or stand. In fact, it was nearly impossible to stay off your feet. The arena echoed with applause for several minutes after until the band returned for an encore.

Fleetwood Mac would kick off the encore with an emotional cover of “Free Fallin’” with Nicks paying tribute to Tom Petty on vocals. Slideshow images of Petty with the band members appeared above them. By the end of the song, Nicks was on the verge of tears as she expressed her thanks to be able to sing the legendary song on his behalf.

The ever-catchy greatest hit “Don’t Stop” also graced the encore for one last dance-happy sing-a-long. The night then concludedwith a beautiful duet of Nicks and McVie singing “All Over Again.” It was truly phenomenal to experience one of rock music’s all-time greats still performing at top-level, surrounded by an arena full of people, traversing multiple generations, in attendance to appreciate it.

Photos Brad Jordan

TWO NEW FLEETWOOD MAC DATES ANNOUNCED: Werchter Boutique Festival and Pink Pop

On Saturday 8 June the Werchter Boutique Festival celebrates the best in pop music. Fleetwood Mac, the day's headliner, has held the patent on pop for over fifty years. The legendary band is planning a handful of gigs in Europe next summer and we are honoured to welcome them to the Festivalpark in Werchter. The tour will feature the newly announced line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie along with newcomers Mike Campbell and Neil Finn.

Tickets to Fleetwood Mac at Werchter Boutique go on sale on Friday 9 November at 10 am via proximusgoformusic.be and ticketmaster.be.

It was also announced today that Fleetwood Mac will close the fiftieth edition of the Pinkpop festival next year on June 10th in Landgraaf, Netherlands. Tickets on sale Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Sunday, November 04, 2018

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Ottawa, Canada November 3, 2018

Fleetwood Mac
Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa ON, November 3
By Daniel Sylvester
Photos by Kamara Morozuk

Although much has been made about Lindsey Buckingham's dismissal from Fleetwood Mac earlier this year, the band has been a revolving door since their formation in 1968. Hitting the nation's capital for their fourth consecutive tour, the Ottawa fans seemed nonplussed about the departure of one of the band's chief songwriters, packing the 19,000 capacity Canadian Tire Centre for "An Evening with Fleetwood Mac."

Heading up the 11-piece live band, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were joined onstage by Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, along with newcomers Neil Finn from Crowded House and former Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, whose lazy guitar style seemed out of step with his new band members.

Curiously opening the show with "The Chain," Finn sounded youthful and charming while replicating Buckingham's vocals, while the Christine McVie-penned "Little Lies" energized the crowd, who went on to sing along with Nicks passionately during "Dreams." Moving into Rumours album track "Second Hand News," the band flew through "Say You Love Me" and "Everywhere," which found McVie struggling to propel her reedy voice across the massive arena. The Nicks-sung "Black Magic Woman" (a Fleetwood Mac original made famous by Santana) featured a spectacular Christine McVie keyboard solo that unfortunately found much of the crowd leaving their seats to explore the arena's concourse.

Just as "Rhiannon" sent the audience back into a frenzy, the band ventured into a set of songs specifically designed for hardcore fans, playing pre-Buckingham/Nicks material that included 1970's "Tell Me All the Things You Do" and 1969's "Oh Well" with Campbell on vocals. "World Turning" stretched out to include an unremarkable and borderline-exasperating 14-minute drum solo from Mick Fleetwood that acted as a makeshift intermission for the other members.

After a solid rendition of "Gypsy," much of the band abandoned the stage again, leaving Finn alone with his acoustic guitar to belt out his Crowded House hit "Don't Dream It's Over." Then, following "Isn't It Midnight" and "Monday Morning," the band finished strong with fan favourites "You Make Loving Fun" and "Gold Dust Woman" before closing the set off with Buckingham's "Go Your Own Way."

Returning to the stage for an encore, Nicks took over the vocals for their cover of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" that found the stage's video screen maudlinly flashing photos of Petty with Stevie and/or Campbell. After another Buckingham song, "Don't Stop," the band closed off the show with Christine McVie's soft rock ballad "All Over Again" from 1995's little-remembered Time. That song, which is about moving on from a breakup and looking forward to the future, may or may not have been an analogy for the band's recent split.

Although Nicks' magnetic stage presence gave their set some much-needed energy, Fleetwood Mac's latest incarnation seemed obsessed with their former band member, finding them utterly unable to stop themselves from reminding the crowd about the gaping hole Buckingham's departure left on the evening's performance. 


Friday, November 02, 2018

REVIEWS Fleetwood Mac Live in Pittsburgh, PA November 1, 2018

Stevie Nicks still the highlight of newfangled Fleetwood Mac

Photo: Mike Drazdzinski

The Chain was supposed to keep them together, wasn’t it?

But, in the buildup to the current tour, it broke over what appears to be a fairly petty argument and now we’re in the midst of the ultimate Fleetwood Mac drama.

It didn’t stop the 11-piece band that showed up at the PPG Paints Arena Thursday from starting the show with “The Chain,” one of the signature songs of frontman Lindsey Buckingham, who is currently suing his old mates.

Their “take that, Lindsey!” moment put them in the position of sounding like a Fleetwood Mac tribute band from the outset, albeit with a pair of well-respected ringers in Neil Finn (from New Zealand’s Crowded House) and guitar hero Mike Campbell (from the Heartbreakers). Finn has a pleasant voice similar in tone to Buckingham but without the angry edge.

Despite the sold-out crowd seeming perfectly excited by it, it struck me as a rough start and had me immediately missing the plaintiff.

But then, there’s Stevie Nicks, the real drawing card, the one who has fans dressing up in black, lacy clothes. Sometimes it takes a minute for her to warm up those husky pipes, so “Dreams” was a little uneven. That went with a fairly flat “Little Lies” from Christine McVie at the keyboards, Finn doing Lindsey again on “Second Hand News” and Campbell, though very solid, making us pine for Santana on “Black Magic Woman,” reclaimed on this tour by Fleetwood Mac from the Peter Green days.

Shortly after that, though, Nicks was ready to take over the show, starting with a stunning, hard-rock version of “Rhiannon” driven by her fiery vocal. That she is 70 is a miracle...of something.

Her momentum was briefly interrupted by an intermission in the form of Mick Fleetwood’s maniacal 15-minute drum and hollering solo at the end of “World Turning,” ably assisted by percussionist Taku Hirano.

Nicks returned with a lovely “Gypsy” and then handed the stage back to the “two gentlemen [introduced] into this crazy band.” Campbell did a rare vocal turn, kind of a talk-sing, on “Oh Well,” the killer blues-rock song that first put Fleetwood Mac on the radar in the late ‘60s.

Finn’s evening highlight was a beauty. “This is a song of unity and I’d like to dedicate it to the grieving families of Squirrel Hill and Pittsburgh throughout...my heart goes out,” he said, introducing a very pretty version of Crowded House’s “Don't Dream It's Over” with lighters and cellphones all aglow.

Then, Nicks did her part for the healing.

Before a screenshot of the city skyline lined with candles, she said, “My mom always told me, ‘Stevie, you’re on a mission, you’ve always been on a mission, and your mission is to go out into the world and sing your songs and try to make people better when they need somebody to come sing something that will just take them away for maybe one moment in time.’ … I have a favorite phrase that’s called being a spiritual warrior …

“What I want you to know is, we are so sad for you,” she said, choking up, “and there’s nothing to say, except that, you know, they can’t win, and you will come around and your spiritual warriorness will take over at some point and you will get better. So, I’m going to dedicate this song to you like we have so many times in times of trouble -- after 9/11 and after, we went into Boston the day after what happened in Boston, and so it always seems we end up coming in these times. It’s called ‘Landslide,’ it’s for you.”

She poured all that emotion into the melancholy ballad, cheered by her faithful along the way. A few songs later came her show-stopping moment on “Gold Dust Woman,” complete with her gypsy shawl dance and an impassioned climax channeling pain and rage while wailing lines like “you should see me now” and “you can’t shake me down.”

McVie, by contrast, brought her cool delivery to “You Make Loving Fun” and the deep cut “Isn’t It Midnight.” The main set climaxed in full-blown rocking style with “Go Your Own Way,” sparked by Campbell’s stinging guitar work.

When I saw “Free Fallin'” on set lists, I wasn’t sure who would be singing it, but I didn’t expect it to be Stevie. The song is actually perfect for her voice. She had her own wonderful history with Tom Petty, and with pictures of the late rock icon filling the screen, she thrilled us with one of her finest vocals of the night.

After bouncing through “Don't Stop,” they brought the evening to a quiet close with Nicks and McVie sharing a duet on “All Over Again.”

In the end, it was a fine, joyful show and an interesting tangent in FM’s history, but if and when they come back, and let’s hope they do, it would be nice to see Buckingham back in his spot.


The Chain
Little Lies
Second Hand News
Say You Love Me
Black Magic Woman
Tell Me All the Things You Do
World Turning (with drum solo by Mick Fleetwood)
Oh Well
Don't Dream It's Over (Crowded House cover)
Isn’t It Midnight
Monday Morning
You Make Loving Fun
Gold Dust Woman
Go Your Own Way
Free Fallin' (Tom Petty cover)
Don't Stop
All Over Again

Fleetwood Mac pays tribute to synagogue victims in Pittsburgh concert
By Scott Tady

Classic rockers address Squirrel Hill tragedy

PITTSBURGH — They sounded good, but it felt different. And there were emotional, touching moments addressing last weekend’s Squirrel Hill synagogue shooting.

There’s much to discuss about the new-look Fleetwood Mac’s concert Thursday at a full-house PPG Paints Arena.

At times, it seemed like every other concert Fleetwood Mac has played the past few decades at Pittsburgh’s current and previous hockey/concert arenas.

The classic-rockers started with the traditional “The Chain,” building the intensity to reach that deep, uncluttered and cool John McVie bass solo.

His ex-wife, Christine McVie, positioned stage right at her keyboards, let loose with her warm voice, singing songs like “Say You Love Me” and “You Make Loving Fun.” Her vocals weren’t quite as soaring and flawless as at the band’s 2014 Pittsburgh show, but still pretty special.

Stevie Nicks, as always, earned the loudest cheers with that potent rasp of hers still going strong, and that bohemian, bewitching persona equally intact to deliver crowd-pleasers “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy,” which featured a patented Stevie twirl, and “Gold Dust Woman,” where she wore a glittery gold shawl.

Also true to form, Mick Fleetwood played a drum solo that took too long to get revved up, amid shouting things like “are you out there?” to crank up the crowd noise. It was a such a lengthy solo, a roadie came out and held a plastic cup of refreshment to Fleetwood’ lips as he continued to bash away. Hey, when you’re the top-billed namesake and founder of a band, you get to solo as long as you want.

Though it was impossible to forget Lindsey Buckingham wasn’t there, booted from the band he’d brought exceptional and underrated guitar to for decades.

He’s been replaced by two stalwarts; Mike Campbell from Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, and Neil Finn from Crowded House, whom Fleetwood made a public point Thursday of welcoming into the band.

Finn capably handled Buckingham’s vocal leads on “Go Your Own Way,” “World is Turning” and “Second Hand News,” the latter of which had a faster than normal but fun pace led by Fleetwood.

Finn offered the night’s most poignant sequence, starting with him dedicating a song to “the grieving families” of the Squirrel Hill tragedy, and to Pittsburghers in general still immersed in sorrow because of it. Finn then began singing his lovely ’80s Crowded House hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” backed only by light guitar and soft hand percussion as most of the band left the stage. For the final verse and chorus, Nicks came back out and sang along. Many spectators lifted and illuminated their phones like candles. It’s a song you’ve heard countless times, to the point you may have forgotten some of lyrics that stood out vividly Thursday; lines about negative forces trying to build walls between us. Finn emotionally emphasized the modified final line sung three times: “You know they won’t win ... you know they won’t win ... you know they won’t win.”

That sentiment perfectly mirrored the “Stronger Than Hate” banner with the Pittsburgh Penguins logo against a Star of David backdrop displayed on the jumbo screen behind Fleetwood Mac after its first song and before the encore.

Once “Don’t Dream It’s Over” ended, Nicks took the mic and talked about the healing properties of music and how the band felt an extra importance to be in Pittsburgh at this time. Nicks’ voice get choked up, as she urged fans to be “spiritual warriors.” The band followed with “Landslide,” emotionally sung by Nicks.

Fleetwood Mac chugged into the encore with “Go Your Own Way,” on which I found myself missing Buckingham’s vocals and guitar.

The encore began with a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” which gave Campbell a chance to work his magic, having played on the original. The video screen flashed back to the late-Petty, including a number of photos of him with friend and collaborator Nicks.

Christine McVie set up the night’s final selection, “All Over Again,” saying it’s an ideal song under the circumstances, because it deals with hope and looking toward the future.

Overall a good show, though I’d have liked to have heard more of Campbell, who along with Finn spearheaded the night’s most exciting song, the guitar-blazing, way-back Fleetwood Mac track “Oh Well.” (You remember the opening stanza: “Can’t help it ’bout the shape I’m in/I can’t sing, I ain’t pretty and my legs are thin/But don’t ask me what I think of you/I might not give the answer that you want me to.”)

Without Buckingham in the band, the setlist suffered from the lack of his signature song “Tusk”. Nor did we get “Silver Springs,” Nicks’ tour-de-force as a vocalist always made more special in concert because the gut-wrenching lyrics about moving on from a busted relationship were directly inspired by her ex-lover, Buckingham, standing 10 feet from her.

This tour, with its new lineup, has stoked Fleetwood Mac members’ interest in the band’s back catalog, hence the playing of “Black Magic Woman,” a 1968 Fleetwood Mac single written by former guitarist Peter Green. Accustomed to the version they’ve heard on radio, many people mistakenly assume Santana originally wrote and recorded that song. Nicks once thought so, too.

“This was before I was in Fleetwood Mac,” she explained.

The version Fleetwood Mac played Thursday in Pittsburgh emphasized drums and didn’t try to duplicate Carlos Santana’s pyrotechnic guitar sorcery. For a cool twist, Nicks sang the song in the first person with girl power attitude, as in “I’m a black magic woman.”

The band dug even deeper to play “Tell Me All The Things You Do,” a 1970 Fleetwood Mac single written by another former guitarist, Danny Kirwan. The song had a fleet boogie beat that was rather enjoyable, but Pittsburgh fans craved the familiar, and took those several minutes to make a bathroom or beer run.

Kirwan lasted just four years in Fleetwood Mac. We’ll see if that’s a number Campbell and Finn will beat.


Stevie Nicks GOES HER Own Way

Stevie Nicks GOES HER Own Way

CLOSER Weekly #54 November 5, 2018

"Let’s stop before it’s too late, and leave it all up to the fates,” Stevie Nicks sang in a duet on stage in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 14. The performance was the sixth night of Fleetwood Mac’s new tour, but the group looked slightly different than usual: Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, 69 — Stevie’s onetime boyfriend — was fired in January. Like so much in the band’s volatile history, the parting was acrimonious — Lindsey is suing for breach of contract and has blamed Stevie for his exit. So in Des Moines, after running through their hits, the band closed with the poignant “All Over Again.” Said Stevie, “It’s a song about surviving change. It’s a song about the future.” 

Stevie knows a lot about both, but she’s focused only on her future. Just as the new tour kicked off, Stevie, 70, got nominated as a solo artist for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and made a buzzed-about appearance on American Horror Story: Apocalypse. “She’s one empowered lady,” a friend tells Closer. As a star whose success spans five decades, “she knows she’s earned the respect, trust and adoration,” that’s giving her this moment, adds the insider. “As she often says, ‘I’m still kicking a--!’ ”

And while Lindsey feels bruised, Stevie is taking their fight in stride. “Our relationship has always been volatile,” she says. She’s ready to move on and “is relieved,” the friend says.

For now, Stevie is adopting “the band’s ability to put the music first,” the friend explains. “She’s very rock ’n’ roll hippie in her thinking. Whatever comes up in her path… she goes with the flow.” In other words, she’s leaving what comes next up to the fates.

— Lisa Chambers

Thursday, November 01, 2018



Due to overwhelming fan demand, Fleetwood Mac has added 6 dates to their North American tour:

Jan 31 - Denver, CO,
Mar 1 - Chicago, IL,
Mar 18 - New York, NY,
Mar 22 - Philadelphia, PA,
Apr 2 - Boston, MA and
Apr 4 - Toronto, ON.
Sale Dates and Times:
Public Onsale : Mon, 12 Nov 2018 at 10:00 AM local time
American Express Presale : Mon, 5 Nov 2018 at 10AM
Live Nation Mobile App Presale : Fri, 9 Nov 2018 at 10AM
Live Nation / Venue Presale : Fri, 9 Nov 2018 at 10AM
A limited number of LaneOne VIP Packages will also be available, including amazing seats with premium benefits such as transportation, preferred entrance and more. LaneOne here: http://smarturl.it/FMLaneOne

Ticket links www.fleetwoodmac.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

REVIEWS Fleetwood Mac Live in Detroit October 30, 2018

Fleetwood Mac spreads some fresh gold dust at Little Caesars
By Stacey Sherman
The Oakland Press

Photos by Ken Settle

DETROIT -- Whether or not you believe the rumors about Stevie Nicks being a witch, she and the rest of Fleetwood Mac cast a spell on the crowded house Tuesday night, Oct. 30, at Little Caesar’s Arena during the group’s 50th Anniversary Tour Tuesday, Oct. 30.

This time it was with a new incarnation of the band, currently embroiled in a public dispute with dismissed member Lindsey Buckingham -- veterans Nicks, Christine McVie, ex-husband John McVie and Mick Fleetwood joined by Mike Campbell from Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers and Split Enz/Crowded House alumnus Neil Finn.

Despite a slightly older audience that remained seated for most of the show, the band came on strong, front loading its 22-song, two-hour and 15-minute set with hits such as “The Chain,” “Dreams,” “Say You Love Me” and “Second Hand News.” Two backing vocalists, a second keyboardist, a third guitarist and a percussionist put the grand total on stage at 11. With simple fabric draping and a giant video screen as its backdrop, the band relied mostly on different lighting transitions (giant lightbulbs, draped chandeliers) and video montages for effect. The Brady Bunch-esque split screen that showed each band member during the opening was also a nice touch.

 Anyone who was curious if Finn was a good choice to join the band got their answer early . His vocal work and guitar playing quickly put to rest any question about his ability, and some of his higher range even sounded uncannily like Buckingham – especially later in the night during “Monday Morning.” He blended with both Nicks and Christine McVie for some excellent vocal dynamics and touched the fans with a version of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” that had cell phone lights blinking and people singing along throughout the arena.

Often understated and sometimes overlooked, the double-barreled secret weapon of Christine McVie’s keyboard finesse and beautiful vocals were even more prominent in Buckingham’s absence. She took the lead on “Little Lies” and “You Make Loving Fun” and came front and (almost) center for “Everywhere,” showing off not only her talent, but the posture and energy of a woman half her age (75). Unlike the quiet McVie who returned to the stage somewhat reluctantly in 2014, this songbird was in her element;, even trading licks and riffing with guitarist Campbell during an excellent rendition of “Black Magic Woman,” one of several songs played from the group’s earliest days as a late 60s blues-rock outfit.

In a band whose previous guitarist was known for showing off and making sure all eyes were on him during every solo, Campbell was exactly the opposite. His laid back, casual appearance made it easy to forget what an incredible talent he is. His mastery of the intricate guitar parts was so understated that it seemed at times effortless. Far from being over-indulgent, Campbell seamlessly fit into the band while adding his own flair and signature style to songs such as “Say You Love Me” and a ripping, bluesy version of “Oh Well” on which he also sang lead. He even brought along a Marxophone to add a little something extra to “Gypsy.”

A bit of self-indulgence came during “World Turning” when Mick Fleetwood launched into a drum solo which lasted over 10 minutes. It could have been a display of Fleetwood’s technical and creative skill, but with the exception of the short time he played off of the other percussionist and when he stepped to the front of the stage with his talking hand drum, the solo was a repetitive call and response with the audience that dragged out the middle of the show. It was a welcome relief when the rest of the band returned to sing the final chorus.

One would have expected to see a few more scarves and top hats in the crowd so close to Halloween, but the Nicks contingent made a strong showing, as did the lady herself. Dressed in her signature flowing black skirts, chunky boots and shawls, Nicks commanded center stage to proclaim, “Welcome, Detroit! This is show number 13 of our tour – right before Halloween! We are really happy to share it with you.” She delivered on fan favorites “Rhiannon,” “Landslide” and an extended version of “Gold Dust Woman” that allowed time for twirling and vamping across the stage before Nicks “disappeared” in a shimmer of gold dust. Her voice was pure Stevie – that familiar throaty, raspy tone her fans know and love.

And while early in the night she seemed a bit strained during a couple of tunes, her harmonies and duets were all spot-on. She particularly shined during an emotional encore rendition of “Free Fallin’” while images of the late Tom Petty (with Nicks, Campbell and other members of The Heartbreakers) flashed on the video screen.

It was a night for looking back and moving forward, with deep cuts such as “Isn’t It Midnight” and “Tell Me All The Things You Do” mixed in with the singalong hits. McVie and Nicks closed the night out with a poignant duet of “All Over Again,” a song McVie introduced as “about change, about the future and the hope that we can celebrate all of it.” The band’s legacy is secure, and no matter which way it goes it’s clear Fleetwood Mac doesn’t plan to stop any time soon.

Fleetwood Mac in Detroit: How they were without Lindsey Buckingham
By Edward Pevos

Photo by Phil Clarkin courtesy of Fleetwood Mac

Some Fleetwood Mac fans are worried the band may not be the same without Lindsey Buckingham. After seeing them in Detroit on, October 30, 2018, I'm here to tell you that those fans don't need to be worried, but at the same time, this show was missing that certain something, or, someone.

Fleetwood Mac: Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood along with newcomers Neil Finn (Crowded House) and Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers took the stage at Little Caesars Arena at 8:15 p.m. and performed 22 songs over 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Yes, it was a little weird not seeing Buckingham shredding his guitar all night and hearing his signature vocals. Finn's vocals were solid and sounded a lot like Buckingham's. His guitar playing along with Campbell's were both better than good. But, still, something was missing.

Bottom line, the chemistry and charisma of Buckingham just wasn't matched. Did it matter, though? The music was still fantastic and the band was terrific with Mick on drums, John on bass and Christine on keys along with two backup singers, another keyboardist and a second percussionist.

And then there's Stevie Nicks. She still has that hypnotic voice which mesmerizes you with every word. She stole the show with her vocals on songs like "Rhiannon," "Dreams," "Gypsy," "Landslide" and "Gold Dust Woman."

Yes, McVie performed a few of her big hits with "Little Lies," "You Make Loving Fun," "Say You Love Me" and "Everywhere." And while it's terrific hearing her smooth vocals on those great songs, there was nothing like hearing Nicks live. You just wanted to hear more of her.

One of the coolest moments of the concert featured Finn performing a stripped down version of his Crowded House hit "Don't Dream It's Over." He sounded great and watching Nicks perform it with him as a duet beginning in the middle of the song made it even greater.

Campbell took lead on one song, the Peter Green Fleetwood Mac song "Oh Well." It was short and sweet. However, the encore in which he and the band paid tribute to the late Tom Petty really brought down the house. Nicks belted out every high note with passion as photos were shown on the screen behind them of Nicks and Petty over the years along with Campbell and Petty. Truly an outstanding tribute from numerous living legends to another legend.

Summary: If you've seen Fleetwood Mac with the full lineup, this show will still be a very enjoyable night for you because of the outstanding band and vocals of Nicks. Finn and Campbell are great musicians and hold their own, but this show just didn't have that certain something Buckingham brings to the table. Those who have seen Buckingham with Fleetwood Mac know what I'm talking about. So, enjoy this show for it's great music, great musicians and Nicks amazing voice. Just know you are going to miss a little of that Buckingham magic.

Stevie Nicks: "Welcome. This is show No. 13. Closing in on Halloween. We are having a great time. We are really happy to share this as we are getting used to this and we are happy you are here to share it with us. Welcome Music City. Thank you."

Stevie Nicks: "This is a song ("Black Magic Woman") that was done by a really really big rock n' roll band. Even I thought they wrote it. They did not write it. Really John, Mick and Peter Green did. We decided to take it out of the trunk of old fantastic things and instead of looking at it through a man's eyes, look at it in this year of the woman, through the eyes of a woman."

Mike Campbell: "It's so great to see everybody here tonight. This is an old song, goes way back, it was written by Peter Green. It's called "Oh Well."

Mick Fleetwood: (introducing "Don't Dream It's Over") "There was a song many years ago that I heard. At that point, I had no knowledge of who had written it, who was singing it. I sort of heard the beginnings of the band that this gentleman was in and created. I had no idea all these many years later that song which had resonated with me in a moment in life when I truly needed to hear this song, having come full circle in the magical ether we all live in. It's my pleasure to not only introduce this lovely song, but the gentleman who wrote it. Mr. Neil Finn."

Stevie Nicks: We do this song just about every time I've been on stage since 1973 when this song was written. Tonight, I have to say, I looked for my friend Kick Rock, who's not here. I was devastated. He's somewhere off in Nashville. So, I would like to dedicate this song to Susan, who is a magical trip maker. It's called "Landslide."

Christine McVie: (introducing "All Over Again) "Stevie and I would like to do a duet. This is an older song which I had kind of forgotten about. My friend Stevie re-found it. It's about change. It's about surviving change. It's about the future. I hope this song celebrates all of that."

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Milwaukee October 28, 2018

Fleetwood Mac blends old with new at Fiserv Forum show
Lauren Keene
Milwaukee Record

Photo by Gary Dineen

Despite various marriages, divorces, breakups, and makeups, the members of Fleetwood Mac have continually performed alongside one another for nearly half a century. Aside from a repertoire of legendary tunes, the band is perhaps most famous for its longevity. That longevity was briefly interrupted on April 9, 2018 when a RollingStone.com headline made waves across various the internet. “Fleetwood Mac Fires Lindsey Buckingham,” declared an article on the music mag’s website. Commenters on Facebook joked about how Buckingham’s departure would have been big news in 1979, not in 2018.

While those snarky commenters weren’t completely wrong, Buckingham’s unexpected termination still managed to shock fans. The prolific band—who managed to stay together for countless decades—was, at long last, losing a crucial piece of its never-ending puzzle. Would the group continue to prosper without Buckingham’s signature howl and refined guitar work? Only time would tell.

Not long after Buckingham’s dismissal, the band announced yet another tour. “An Evening With Fleetwood Mac” began this month, making its 12th stop in Milwaukee Sunday night at the freshly minted Fiserv Forum. Buckingham was replaced with not one, but two seasoned performers who were each given the task of trying to fill the big shoes that Buckingham left behind. Neil Finn (of Crowded House) took over Buckingham’s vocal duties, while Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) wielded a lead guitar.

The brand-new lineup started off the set with “The Chain,” a haunting track off of Rumours, perfect for Hallo-weekend. Right off the bat, audiences were given a little taste of both Finn and Campbell’s newfound contributions to the group. Finn admittedly seemed a little uneasy during the early parts of the set, but who wouldn’t be? Buckingham managed to set an extremely high standard, both for himself and for Fleetwood Mac; it speaks volumes that two musicians were hired to replace him.

Of course, Buckingham is a very important member of Fleetwood Mac…but frankly, he’s not exactly who people come to see. The ethereal goddess (and rumored witch) Stevie Nicks has long been the group’s showstopper, and that is definitely one aspect of the band that has remained unchanged. Her haunting voice sounds almost identical to the band’s early recordings; strong, slightly raspy and powerful as ever. It’s unlikely Nicks has ever succumbed to the temptation of auto-tuning her music. She sure as hell doesn’t need to.

Fleetwood Mac’s other leading lady, Christine McVie, has consistently remained one of the band’s most understated members. She immediately claimed her throne during “Little Lies,” a track on which the British chanteuse sings lead. During “Everywhere,” McVie stepped away from her keyboard and commanded center stage as Nicks stepped to the side. McVie left Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and only recently returned in 2014. Last night, it was clear the rest of the group was thankful to have the opportunity to perform alongside McVie once again.

One of the show’s few low points was an extremely gratuitous drum solo from Mick Fleetwood after a raucous rendition of “World Turning.” Yes, Fleetwood deserves his moment in the sun, and he is an extremely talented drummer. Regardless, his solo went on for far too long and was very obviously a self-indulgent addition to the otherwise engaging set. He yelled random hype words into a microphone as he drummed vigorously, eventually moving from the back of the stage to the front with a bongo drum slung around his shoulders.

After finishing up his act, Fleetwood took a moment to introduce the group to the massive audience. Aside from the main members of Mac, the lineup consisted of two backup singers, one backup percussionist, one backup guitarist, and one backup keyboardist. A grand total of 11 musicians made the Fiserv Forum stage their home for the night, taking the group’s arena-rock sound to the next level. “We are excited to have them join this crazy band called Fleetwood Mac,” Fleetwood said with a laugh.

Naturally, the most enchanting performances of the evening were those with Nicks on lead vocals. “Gypsy” and “Rhiannon,” two of the group’s most beloved tracks, were each highlights of the two-hour set. Another highlight was Nicks’ and Finn’s teamwork on a stripped-down, acoustic version of “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” It’s seriously unlikely that anyone listening to Crowded House in the mid-’80s would have ever guessed Finn would one day be a Fleetwood Mac stand in, but hey, stranger things have happened.

After performing a generous 19-song set, Fleetwood Mac finally stepped away from the stage. The band began its encore with a heartfelt performance of Tom Petty’s signature “Free Fallin’.” The crowd went berserk immediately after hearing the iconic intro. The sweet tribute was accompanied by a slideshow of Petty, who apparently took hundreds of photos with Stevie Nicks over the course of his career. Considering Nicks’ and Petty’s impressive track record, it may have been even more impressive to hear “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” or another collaboration between the two artists. But when Nicks howled, “I wanna write his name in the sky,” there was not a dry eye in the, uh, forum.

“Don’t Stop,” another legendary ditty off Rumors, was very appropriately saved for the encore. “Yesterday’s gone…oh, don’t you look back,” the band harmonized with a twinge of bittersweetness. Buckingham’s name was not uttered once throughout the entire set, but perhaps it didn’t need to be. Considering most of Fleetwood Mac’s members are in their 70s, it’s hard to imagine a next “era” for the legendary group. But if their 2018 track record is indicative of anything, it’s unlikely they’ll be retiring any time soon.

And thank God for that.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

PHOTOS Lindsey Buckingham Live in Clearwater, FL October 26, 2018

Photos of Lindsey Buckingham playing Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall

Fans might not be able to see Lindsey Buckingham on Fleetwood Mac's upcoming tour (which hits Tampa's Amalie Arena in February), but they did get a chance to see the revered rock and roll guitarist and songwriter play a solo set at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall. Caesar was there and has these photos to share.

Photos by Caesar Carbajal Click through to Creative Loafing for more.