Wednesday, February 13, 2019

INTERVIEW Christine McVie Attitude Magazine

"I don't see any reason why we can't do another tour and make another record."

With a 50-year legacy of friendship, fallouts and iconic folk-rock hits, the Fleetwood Mac story is as epic as they come in music.

Over the years band members Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks have married, divorced, made up, fallen out, and continued to release some of the most defining pop hits of the last century - and the drama hasn't waned now most of them are in their seventies.

Disagreements over current world tour 'An Evening with Fleetwood Mac' led to Buckingham's sacking from the group in April last year, with the guitarist and vocalist settling a lawsuit against his former bandmates in December.

Talk of that lawsuit is strictly off-limits as Attitude meets Christine McVie ahead of Fleetwood Mac's two planned dates at Wembley Stadium this June, but the British-born singer is a characteristically open book when it comes to discussing the legacy of a band that has defined her life since 1970.

Despite standing as the (relative) calm at the centre of the Fleetwood Mac storm, McVie has had plenty her own ups and downs during the course of her career, most notably retiring from the group in 1998 for 16 long years after developing a debilitating phobia of flying.

Since rejoining the group onstage at Wembley in 2014 McVie hasn't looked back however, and as the 75-year-old songstrees discusses eveything from Fleetwood Mac's unlikely inclusion in American Horror Story to why the popularity of her signature track 'Songbird' has been both a blessing and a curse, it's clear she's having the time of her life...

You've had a bit of a break from touring over the last few weeks - do you feel fully rested and recuperated?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Denver January 31, 2019

Fleetwood Mac Brings Out the Worst in Denver at Pepsi Center Show
By Kyle Harris | Westword

The bickering started in the ticket line.

A fifty-something security guard attempted to persuade a crowd blocking the sidewalk to form an orderly line outside the Pepsi Center Thursday night ahead of the Fleetwood Mac concert.

A seventy-something man belted out, “I’m not moving again!”

“Don’t get fussy with me,” the security guard clapped back. Just as the older man started to lunge, his wife grabbed his arm.

Then two teens and their mom cut in line, ignoring the glares of everyone around them by staring at their phones like zombies.

Millennials, Gen-Xers and baby boomers had all bought tickets to see a band that has given the world brilliantly crafted, durable soft-rock soundtracks for breakups, hopes and sorrows. But last night made clear that fans of the band are just as unpredictable as Fleetwood Mac itself.

Still, despite five decades of operatic drama, with members sleeping with each other, marrying, divorcing, flaming out, returning and whatnot (a confusing saga that rivals the Trump White House in its indecipherable tangle of who’s in, who’s out and who’s suing or screwing whom) — the group managed to deliver a solid performance Thursday night.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live at the Forum Los Angeles December 11, 2018

Fleetwood Mac Find Freedom in Buckingham Departure at the Forum
Photos: Rich Fury

The year may be winding down but in Los Angeles, the live music offerings have been more abundant than ever, a true gift for concertgoers that reflects the seasonal merriment and giving vibes of December. Except, of course, nobody is giving away anything for free, which means that for fans on a budget, decisions have to be made (many of you probably already maxed out your plastic for those Stones at the Rose Bowl tickets, not to mention Christmas presents). Obviously the live music industry is thriving, though. How else could Nine Inch Nails sell out six nights at the Palladium (look for my review of Saturday’s show next week) and Fleetwood Mac fill three nights at the Forum, sans Lindsey Buckingham?

I had never seen Fleetwood Mac live, so the prospect of finally doing so at the urging of my 12-year-old daughter (“Children get older/I’m getting older too”) was exciting, but I was admittedly skeptical that I’d enjoy it as much without the dominant male voice of the group. For my daughter, it was “all about Stevie,” and I’m sure a lot of people — especially females — feel that way. Nicks’ bewitching persona and gorgeous gravelly vocals have always made her the focal point and the one we want to join in with for an enchanted sing-along. But true fans know that Buckingham is as important to the band’s sound as Stevie Nicks, the McVies and its namesake percussionist. Or is he?

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in LA at The Forum December 11, 2018

5 impressions of the new version of Fleetwood Mac and its first concert at the Forum
Photos: Kelly A. Swift

Fleetwood Mac played the first of three shows at the Forum on Tuesday and yes, despite what you’ve thought or heard, it is still Fleetwood Mac even without Lindsey Buckingham, the longtime singer-guitarist was ousted earlier this year.

Is it the same band it was? No. And neither is it the same band it was before Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks joined in the mid-’70s and – with members Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood – made Fleetwood Mac one of the biggest acts in the world.

The question you ask then is whether this version is good, and with the additions of Crowded House singer-guitarist Neil Finn on Buckingham’s vocals, and Mike Campbell, long a member of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on Buckingham’s lead guitar licks, the answer is: absolutely.

In a set that packed 22 songs and one massive old-school drum solo into two hours and 45 minutes, the fans got almost all the hits they wanted and a few rarer numbers that probably wouldn’t have shown up if Buckingham was still in the band, while both Finn and Campbell got spotlight moments for their work in their longtime bands.

Here are five impressions that stick in the memory the morning after.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Los Angeles December 11, 2018

Thinking through Fleetwood Mac's tour without Lindsey Buckingham
By MIKAEL WOOD | LA Times Photo: Luis Sinco

The idea of turnover is baked into Fleetwood Mac, the long-running British American band that arrived in its latest (and possibly strangest) iteration at the Forum on Tuesday for the first show in a three-night stand.

Formed as a crusty blues-revival outfit in London in the late 1960s, the group burned through a series of singers and guitarists before resettling years later in Los Angeles, where Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks helped transform Fleetwood Mac into a polished hit-making machine.

So in a sense it comes as no surprise — as secondhand news, if you will — that the band is on the road this year after it fired Buckingham (allegedly because he didn’t want to tour) and replaced him with a pair of skilled but distantly connected pros: Neil Finn of Crowded House and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers.

For this famously mercenary group, no one — not even the architect of 1977’s gazillion-selling “Rumours” — is safe from elimination.

Yet Buckingham in recent years had taken to describing Fleetwood Mac as a kind of monument to durability. Having quit the band himself in the ’80s (only to return a decade later), he seemed to be putting across the idea that the members’ ability to “rise above the dysfunction,” as he put it to me in a 2017 interview, gave their music a “heroic” quality that distinguished the group from other classic-rock acts still doing business.

Monday, February 11, 2019

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in San Diego December 9, 2018

Fleetwood Mac soars and dips at first San Diego concert with two new band members
By George Varga San Diego Union Tribune

Ouch!  The newly revamped lineup of Fleetwood Mac that performed Saturday at San Diego State University’s Viejas Arena didn’t begin its concert by burning in effigy recently ousted guitarist and singer-songwriter, Lindsey Buckingham, at least not literally. Nor did the 51-year-old band — now touring with two new members in his place — display any Photo-shopped pictures of Buckingham being poked in the eye on any of the three video screens that bedecked the stage.

But figuratively and musically?


The new/old band, which fired Buckingham in January, kicked off its hits-fueled, two-hour Saturday concert here with an especially impassioned version of “The Chain.” Not coincidentally, Fleetwood Mac performed the same song to open its 2014 Viejas Arena show, when Buckingham was still front and center. (It was the second song played at the band’s 2013 Viejas Arena concert.)

A standout number from “Rumours,” Fleetwood Mac’s classic 1977 album, “The Chain” was co-written by Buckingham and the group’s four remaining veterans, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie (who co-founded the band), and three longtime members who joined in the 1970s — singer-keyboardist Christine McVie and singer Stevie Nicks, Buckingham’s former girlfriend.

A love-gone-wrong song, “The Chain” is also tribute to tenacity and overcoming obstacles. Those attributes have defined Fleetwood Mac through its numerous lineup changes, including Christine McVie’s 16-year absence between 1998 and 2014.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Fresno December 6, 2018

Fleetwood Mac was in town with a new lineup. How did it stack up to the classics?

Fleetwood Mac isn’t what it used to be; quite literally.

In April, the band fired its longtime guitarist and singer and announced it would be touring with a new lineup. So, Lindsey Buckingham was out (and not for the first time), to be replaced with Tom Petty’s ax-man Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House.

Buckingham might take solace in knowing it took two men to replace him.

While hardcore fans might balk at the idea of a Fleetwood Mac without Buckingham, the crowd that packed into Save Mart Center Thursday night didn’t seem to mind as the band ran through two-plus hours of its biggest hits, plus a few choice surprises just for the tour.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Denver December 3, 2018

Kori Hazel 303 Magazine
photo by Bridget Burnett

Few bands have had as storied a past and embodied as many different sounds and textures as Fleetwood Mac. Over the course of their 50-year legacy, they’ve lost members, regained them, pivoted directions — rinse and repeat. Stopping by the Pepsi Center Monday night, the conditions were almost no different than they’ve ever been, except at this juncture in their career, they stepped into the fray without core member Lindsey Buckingham. Stevie Nicks and Buckingham were the catalysts that launched Fleetwood Mac onto the charts and led the band to create some of their most cherished songs, so the absence was particularly jarring. In his place, Mike Campbell — the former guitarist of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers — and Crowded House’s Neil Finn took the reins. In Buckingham’s void, two people were required.

Much like the music Fleetwood Mac makes, the feeling was complicated. It hovered somewhere between the deep dive into the nostalgia of their incredible discography, and the unwavering desire to relive it. Nevertheless, the night offered such nostalgia, surprises and despite the circumstances, wide-reaching delight.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Las Vegas November 30, 2018

Fleetwood Mac delights Vegas audience at T-Mobile Arena
By Brock Radke - Las Vegas Sun

After Fleetwood Mac opened its T-Mobile Arena concert on Friday with the reliable, rollicking “The Chain” — a 1977 track from best-selling album “Rumours” that was used in the soundtrack for last year’s superhero epic “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” — singer Stevie Nicks reminded an already worked-up packed house that this was show 25 in the band’s “An Evening with Fleetwood Mac” tour. Then she suggested we all get this party started as the band rolled into 1987 hit “Little Lies.”

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Phoenix, AZ November 28, 2018

Fleetwood Mac go their own way with new lineup in Phoenix concert, paying tribute to Tom Petty
Ed Masley, Arizona Republic
Photos: Cheryl Evans

Fleetwood Mac have always found a way to tour regardless of which members could agree to tolerate each other's company on stage enough to pull it off.

There was even a tour in the '90s where the only two members connecting the lineup onstage to the albums that are destined to remain their most successful efforts – "Fleetwood Mac" and "Rumours" – were drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, the founding members whose names combined to give you Fleetwood Mac.

It's no surprise, then, to find them out touring without Lindsey Buckingham on what should've been titled the Buckingham Nix Tour (he'd have hated that).

Swapping out links in the chain that supposedly keeps together is what they do.

We've just been spoiled since the "Rumours" lineup reconvened in 1997 (with Christine McVie returning from a 16-year sabbatical for the On With the Show Tour in 2014).

So how was it?

Saturday, December 08, 2018

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Delivers Solid Performance in Oakland, CA

by Ted Asregadoo

Fleetwood Mac delivers a solid performance at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA

If there’s one word that describes the members of Fleetwood Mac through the years, it’s this: drama. The band’s rise to superstardom has been chronicled many times, but the continued tension between band members (most notably Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham) has been a source of ongoing conflict since they joined the group in the mid-’70s. However, any sense of lingering acrimony between the players after Buckingham’s dismissal from the group in January (and subsequent lawsuit by Buckingham citing breach of contract) was absent on Sunday night in Oakland. Not that one would expect pros such Fleetwood Mac to air their dirty laundry in front of a paying audience, but it was pretty obvious a major component of the group was missing. To fill the gap, the current Buckingham-less Mac found replacements for Lindsey who both hit all the right notes and brought a heavier sound to songs that are more Adult Contemporary in flair. Mike Campbell and Neil Finn are from musical backgrounds that are quite different from one another. Campbell’s career is mostly known for being the lead guitarist and songwriter of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Finn’s success is more new wave, with stints fronting Split Enz and Crowded House. Finn ably sang Lindsey’s songs and played mostly rhythm guitar, while Campbell filled the guitarist role Buckingham used to play in the group. Their addition to the group, while kind of a puzzler on paper, worked well in practice. Finn could sing in Buckingham’s key, and Campbell provided a more raw lead guitar sound to Fleetwood Mac classics. Would I have like to hear Buckingham singing “Monday Morning,” “Go Your Own Way,” and “Second Hand News?” Well, duh. Yeah. Of course I would! But Finn sang the songs with such gusto that the choice to put him in front of classic heavy hitters was the right one. In short, not only could he handle the job, he excelled at it. Sure, there are going to be purists who long for Buckingham’s return to the fold, but Fleetwood Mac has weathered changes in their line-up — with Buckingham, Nicks, Christine McVie leaving at various times. This tour, however, there are no pretensions the group can produce new music that can match the heyday of their 1975-1987 output — so they stuck to the hits on Sunday night, with a few deep cuts thrown in for good measure.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Oakland, CA November 25, 2018

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac get bluesy with new members in Oakland
by Rick Starbuck

OAKLAND — During its heyday in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Fleetwood Mac was nearly as famous for drama as for music. Despite big egos, love triangles and a penchant for indulgence, the band managed to crank out hit after hit and establish itself as true rock-pop royalty.

Following a widely publicized split with vocalist-guitarist (and key songwriter) Lindsey Buckingham, the band returned to the Bay Area, playing shows in San Jose, Sacramento and Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Sunday. For a band with such big personalities, the remaining members and two big additions showed that they are, as ever, more than the sum of their parts.

Taking the stage to the familiar opening kick drum thump, the band ripped through “The Chain,” a fan favorite that showcased the signature three-part vocal harmonies that define the Fleetwood Mac sound. Newcomer Neil Finn (Crowded House) held down the Lindsey Buckingham parts, including the iconic “Running in the shadows” line, to good effect.

A flurry of hits came next, each featuring a different lead vocalist: “Little Lies,” with Christine McVie up front, was followed by “Dreams” (Stevie Nicks) and “Second Hand News,” off Rumors, with Finn singing lead. Finn matched the soaring intensity of the original vocals without turning to mimicry. His performances throughout the night were solid and almost craftsman-like. It was clear he’s aware of the role he is now playing in a much larger musical machine. “Say You Love Me,” the Christine McVie-penned tune from the band’s 1975’s eponymous record, rounded out the string of chart toppers.