Friday, March 22, 2019

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Albany, NY March 20, 2019

Review: No Buckingham, no problem for Fleetwood Mac at Times Union Center
By Jim Shahen Jr. | Times Union
Photos: Lori Van Buren - Gallery

ALBANY –Typically, when a classic rock band has reformed and is in its twilight years, the members put aside their differences and egos for one or two last big money-earning tours. They certainly don't fire the person responsible for some of their most beloved and iconic fare. But that's exactly what Fleetwood Mac did last year when it fired singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, replacing him with Crowded House frontman Neil Finn and Mike Campbell, lead guitarist from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

For those steeped in the band's tempestuous history, it seemed like another dramatic continuation of the oft-contentious relationship of Buckingham and his ex-flame, co-lead singer and tambourine player Stevie Nicks. But it also begged the question: how would Fleetwood Mac proceed without one of its essential voices?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Newark, NJ March 13, 2019

Here’s how Fleetwood Mac survived without Lindsey Buckingham at N.J. concert: Review
By Bobby Olivier |
Photos: Aristide Economopoulos

Quick, before the band switches lineups again, let’s cut right to the chase: Fleetwood Mac’s latest concert tour is significant not only because it’s loosely celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary but because it’s the first full roadshow without vocalist/guitarist/partial face of the band, Lindsey Buckingham, in 25 years.

Yes, the man who sings lead for the band’s smash hits “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop” and “Second Hand News” and has historically ripped the guitar solos for “The Chain,” “Little Lies” and many more was “fired” by the band in 2018, apparently over arguments surrounding exactly when and how to put on this “An Evening With Fleetwood Mac” tour.

Buckingham has been replaced — at least for the time being, Fleetwood Mac will always be a volatile, shape-shifting entity — with two venerable rock players in Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers) on guitar and former Crowded House and Split Enz singer Neil Finn to handle Buck’s mammoth choruses.

This new iteration landed in Newark Wednesday night before a sold-out crowd as the sprawling, 11-piece outfit — complete with an extra guitarist, keyboardist, percussionist and two background singers — worked hard to prove it could, in fact, soldier on without Buckingham and properly honor one of the greatest pop-rock catalogs ever penned.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

REVIEW AND PHOTOS Fleetwood Mac Live in NYC March 11, 2019

Fleetwood Mac began NYC - area run at Madison Square Garden
By Brooklynvegan Staff | Photos by Toby Tenenbaum - View More Pics

Fleetwood Mac‘s tour hit NYC on Monday night for their first of two shows at Madison Square Garden since 2015. It’s a slightly different lineup than it was then, since the band ousted Lindsey Buckingham and replaced him with Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. Like they’ve been doing on this tour, Monday’s MSG show opened with the trifecta of “The Chain” (with Finn taking Buckingham’s vocal part), “Little Lies” and “Dreams.”  Their set also included such Mac classics as “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy,” “Everywhere,” “Landslide,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop” and more.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac New York City Night 1 March 11, 2019

Fleetwood Mac’s MSG concert needed Lindsey Buckingham
By Chuck Arnold | NEW YORK POST | Photo Madison Square Garden

The emotional highlight of Monday night’s sold-out Fleetwood Mac concert at Madison Square Garden — their first New York show of the post-Lindsey Buckingham era — wasn’t even a Fleetwood Mac song.

It was “Free Fallin’,” the 1989 Tommy Petty solo hit that Stevie Nicks led as the first song of the encore in tribute to her late friend and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” collaborator. The cover was also a nod to Mike Campbell, the new Fleetwood Mac-ster and former guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Photos of Petty — some with Nicks — flashed on the video screen behind Fleetwood Mac as they all melted into one generation of rock royalty that came up together and became legends of the same era. At that moment, whatever drama that led Buckingham to be booted from Fleetwood in April 2018 didn’t seem to matter.

Another memorable moment came when Neil Finn — the former Crowded House frontman who joined Fleetwood, along with Campbell, to replace Buckingham — did CH’s ’80s hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over” with a little help from Nicks. As he strummed on acoustic guitar, Finn had the crowd singing along “Hey now, hey now.”

But there were other moments when Buckingham was clearly missed, such as when the band confronted his departure headfirst by opening with Finn leading “The Chain.” It just didn’t feel the same with Finn fronting “Go Your Own Way,” and he needed help from Christine McVie and Nicks to bring home “Don’t Stop” in the encore.

Fleetwod Mac missed more than Buckingham’s voice and presence alongside Nicks — the band missed his energy. Campbell did his best to play the role of resident guitar god though.

The band — which will bring its “An Evening with Fleetwood Mac” tour to Prudential Center on Wednesday and back to the Garden on March 18 — tried to make up for that by dipping into their pre-Buckingham catalog: Nicks even reclaimed “Black Magic Woman,” a tune that original member Peter Green wrote for Fleetwood Mac before it became a signature hit for Santana.

Indeed, the concert was even more about Nicks — ever the mystical enchantress — who inspired the bohemian looks of some women in the audience. She had to carry the show, and she knew it.

In fact, one of the biggest roars of the night came when Nicks — who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist at Barclays Center on March 29, after already being enshrined with Fleetwood Mac — did one of her signature twirls at the end of “Gypsy.”

This gypsy remains magical.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Atlantic City, NJ March 9, 2019

Review: Revamped Fleetwood Mac in Atlantic City
Dan Deluca | | Photos Elizabeth Robertson

ATLANTIC CITY — The Fleetwood Mac concert at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday night began with “The Chain.”

That entrancing vamp from 1977’s Rumours, which started the two-hour, sold-out show, is the only song written together by all five members of the band’s classic lineup: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham.

Over the years, the song has become a signature of the enduring bond of the hit-making soft-rock act that’s been no stranger to drama, surviving multiple breakups of couples within the group and of the band itself, only to come back together to with a mantra of “never break the chain.”

This version of Fleetwood Mac, however, has one key link missing. That would be Buckingham, the guitarist, singer and arranger, who was tossed last year in a dispute that Nicks has said was simply about scheduling: The band was ready to begin rehearsals for a global tour last June, and Buckingham wanted to wait five months before getting started.

The solution was to replace, with not one but two guys, Buckingham, arguably the principal architect of the massive success the band achieved after he and Nicks joined on New Year’s Eve 1974. (It was founded in 1967 as a straightforward blues-rock band under the leadership of Peter Green.)

The substitutes in the already road-tested unit -- who have been touring since October and are scheduled to play the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on March 22 and April 5 -- are Neil Finn, the New Zealand guitarist known for leading Split Enz and Crowded House, and Mike Campbell, longtime guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Mick Fleetwood “It just wasn’t a happy situation anymore, really for everyone.”

Fleetwood Mac on booting Buckingham: ‘We weren’t happy’
By Chuck Arnold March 7, 2019 | NY Post

“It gets lonely in these hotels,” says Mick Fleetwood with a laugh when he gets on the line. So he’s more than happy to do a phone interview from Atlanta on a day off during Fleetwood Mac’s tour.

Co-founded by its namesake drummer in 1967, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band — which will bring its “An Evening With Fleetwood Mac” show to Madison Square Garden on Monday and March 18, and the Prudential Center on Wednesday — will take a rest day here and there, but after 52 years, there are absolutely no plans to retire from the road.

“This is what we do,” Fleetwood, 71, tells The Post. “That really is where we’re at … In the past, when we literally never stopped, we never even thought of smelling the roses and going on a holiday or something. It was always straight in the studio, straight on the road.”

Friday, March 08, 2019

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Washington, DC March 5, 2019

Fleetwood Mac reminds fans in D.C. that the chain can never be broken (even without Lindsey Buckingham)
By Rudi Greenberg | Washington Post | Photo Brent N. Clarke

Fleetwood Mac opened Tuesday’s show in D.C. with “The Chain,” a song about a relationship that’s imploding, and closed the main set with “Go Your Own Way,” about a relationship that’s imploded.

One way to interpret those setlist choices: as an expert-level troll of ex-bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, the singer and guitarist who was fired last year and replaced by Crowded House singer Neil Finn and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.

It could also just be business as usual: The last time Fleetwood Mac played D.C. in 2015, when Buckingham was still in the band, the set began and ended with the same two songs.

Either way, it was hard not to feel Buckingham’s absence at times on Tuesday, even if his name was never uttered by anyone onstage at Capital One Arena.

Fleetwood Mac is currently on the second leg of its first tour of the century without Buckingham, who previously left in 1987 before returning a decade later. (The tour returns to the area at Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena on March 23.) Of course, this is a band that has weathered numerous lineup and stylistic changes over the decades, with drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie the only constants throughout the majority of the group’s 50-plus year run.

With Buckingham out of the picture, singer Stevie Nicks took an even more prominent role than usual, singing lead on most songs and drawing the largest ovations from the audience, especially on such hits as “Dreams” and “Rhiannon.”

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Fleetwood Mac hasn't stopped thinking about tomorrow

With two new members, the band brings its 50th anniversary tour to Madison Square Garden for two shows.

By Glenn Gamboa | Newsday
Photograph by Randee St Nicholas

Mick Fleetwood remembers sitting backstage with Elton John, hearing about his plans for retiring from touring.

“He said, ‘No one believes me — not even my band,’ but as soon as my children are old enough to go to a proper school, I’m going to hang it up and be that parent that’s available for them,’ ” recalls Fleetwood Mac’s drummer and co-founder. “He’s keeping to his promise.”

It’s a question that a lot of Fleetwood’s contemporaries wrestle with. “For a while, the question was always: ‘Is this the Stones' last tour?’ But here they are going out again in grand style,” he says. “We have our own version of that in this band.”

And Fleetwood, 71, says there was a point last year when the members of Fleetwood Mac were battling about a tour that coincided with its 50th anniversary and wondering if it was time to hang it up as well.

“It was a huge deal that the band should change its dynamic this far down the road,” Fleetwood says. “We thought long and hard — though not too, too long because we knew we had to make our minds up. But we did some serious thinking about whether this was going to be end of the band really. We decided, the four of us, that was not going to be the case.”

Instead, Fleetwood, singer Stevie Nicks, singer-keyboardist Christine McVie and bassist John McVie decided to fire longtime guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who joined the band in 1974 with Nicks, and replace him with Crowded House frontman Neil Finn and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.

Even that surprising announcement last April didn’t end the band’s worries. “Then the joyride and the not-knowing ride of ‘this has to be the right decision’ begins,” Fleetwood says. “And it only becomes the right decision with the right chemistry and the right players.”

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

INTERVIEW Stevie Nicks Rollingstone Magazine

Stevie Nicks on Tom Petty, Drag Queens, ‘Game of Thrones’ and Missing Prince
Wisdom from the first woman to make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice

Photograph by Randee St Nicholas

Stevie Nicks has the only kind of BDE that matters: Bella Donna Energy. The Fleetwood Mac gold dust woman is adding yet another sequin to her top hat by going into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist, years after she got enshrined with the Mac. She’s the first woman inducted twice — as she puts it, “at the ripe and totally young age of 70.” She’s also hitting the road with Fleetwood Mac for the 2019 leg of their world tour, in their surprising new incarnation after a sudden split with Lindsey Buckingham.

As eloquent and witty as ever, Stevie went deep with Rolling Stone for an epic late-night chat about her 50 years as a rock goddess, discussing love, loss, female music heroes, her poetry about Game of Thrones, how “Stand Back” makes her miss Prince, drag queens, sexist hecklers, loving Tom Petty, why she wears platform boots and the joys of having two female rock stars in the same band. And also why the story of her life would be titled, There’s Enough Shawls to Go Around. Rock on, queen.

Congratulations on the Hall of Fame. How is it different going in the second time?
It’s 22 to zero. It’s 22 guys that have gone in twice to zero women — Eric Clapton is probably in there 22 times already! So maybe this will open the doors for women to fight to make their own music.

You’re one of the few rock stars with both a band and a solo career.
My solo career is much more girlie. It’s still a hard rock band — but it’s much more girlie-girl than Fleetwood Mac is. I never wanted a solo career — I always wanted to be just in a band. But I just had so many songs! Because when you’re in a band with three prolific writers, you get two or three songs per album — maybe four. But I was writing all the time, so they just went into my Gothic trunk of lost songs.

Christine would walk by me — my totally sarcastic best friend. She’d say [imitation of Christine McVie’s English accent] “Soooo. Writing another song, are we?” To this day, I write all the time. I have a poem that I’ve written about Game of Thrones, and I have a really beautiful poem that I’m writing about Anthony Bourdain.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Returns to Chicago March 1, 2019

Fleetwood Mac Return To Chicago - "It May Get A Little Witchy" Says Stevie Nicks On Night 13 Of Tour
by Jim Ryan | Forbes

Having recently settled a lawsuit brought against them in October of last year by former guitar player Lindsey Buckingham, who was fired from the group at the beginning of 2018, Fleetwood Mac is back on the road for the second leg of their “An Evening With Fleetwood Mac” tour, which runs across the U.S. through April before heading abroad with dates into September.

Buckingham was replaced by Crowded House founding vocalist/guitarist Neil Finn and former Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell amidst much acrimony.

All of which is just the latest chapter in a book that’s been defined by conflict over the course of much of the group’s 52 years.

But what’s defined the most recent twist is just how much fun Fleetwood Mac seems to be having on stage in its latest formation. It was easily apparent on the first leg of the group’s tour last year and it was obvious again on stage Friday night in Chicago.

“This is night 13,” observed Stevie Nicks on stage at United Center in the tour’s second week. “Things might get a little witchy," she added in characteristically mischievous fashion.

Monday, March 04, 2019

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Atlanta March 3, 2019

CONCERT REVIEW: Minus Lindsey Buckingham, Fleetwood Mac returns to Atlanta with energetic replacements
By Rodney Ho

Given how tumultuous life was for the five core members of Fleetwood Mac when it was a hit-making machine from 1975 to 1987, it was a miracle to see them all together again in 2014.

When they arrived at what was then Philips Arena late that year, the band was rejuvenated, everyone just thrilled to have captured the magic again. After Christine McVie sang “Songbird,” the band members spent several minutes on stage talking to the exiting audience about how amazing it was to have McVie back after 16 years. 

But those positive vibes didn’t endure. 

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Nashville, TN February 27, 2019

Around the Water Cooler: Dreams and the gypsy that remains
By Andrea Agardy - Tullahomanews
Photos Zach Birdsong

Some little girls dream about being princesses when they grow up. Others want to be astronauts or Wonder Woman or CEOs of enormous tech companies. As for me? I wanted to be Stevie Nicks.

When I was about 8 years old, I was flipping channels one day after school when I stumbled across the video for “Stand Back,” Nicks’ 1983 solo hit. In less than five minutes, my ambition to be a tap dancing brain surgeon (that’s a story for another day) evaporated. The only thing I wanted to do was wrap myself in lace and fringe and spin, spin, spin while a fan dramatically blew my hair like I was living in a shampoo commercial.

And that’s exactly what I did. Well, as nearly as I could manage as a kid in New Jersey. A blanket became my shawl, I snuck one of my mom’s round cake pans out of the kitchen to use as a makeshift tambourine and headed to my bedroom, where I put the radio on and twirled until I was dizzy.

Stevie was captivating. And glamourous. And bold. And ethereal. And that voice, oh my goodness, that voice! Smoky, a little husky and maybe even a touch nasal, but unmistakable and absolutely one of a kind.