Mar 20, 2009

Concert Review: Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour - Madison Square Garden


Lets start out by saying, I am a huge Stevie Nicks fan, and she is probably my favorite female singer of all time, so this review will be bias. But no matter what, if you’re a rock & roll fan you had to love Fleetwood Macs performance at the Garden last night.
1 st off, the negatives: As great as Fleetwood Mac is, the absence of Christine McVie who has retired was noticed and she was missed. How can you retire from rock & Roll and miss a tour like this? This just gave Stevie more spotlight and that part of it is fine with me.
The other negative was for most of the songs, the band just played them as they were without going off into a jam. Although the later part of the show did feature some of this, with such a good band you wanted them to jam on into frenzy. Besides the main group there was an additional guitarist & keyboard/piano player and three female back up vocalist. For Stevie Nicks fans we know them as her personal long time back ups on her solo tours; Her sister in law Lori Perry Nicks, Jana Anderson and the wonderful Sharon Celani who has been with Stevie since 1981.

Let’s start out with Stevie. As usual she just stole the show. She is looking as good as ever and her voice although a little deeper is as captivating as it ever can be. This woman can mesmerize an audience, and I admit when she sings she brings tears to my eyes on more than just one song. The classics Rhiannon, Gold Dust Woman,& Dreams are songs that just mean the world to Stevie diehard fans like myself. The fadeout to Rhianon was completely mystical with its "dreams unwind love's a state of mind" fade outs. I was floored with Sara, Landslide & Silver Springs as well. Mac covered one Stevie solo song- Stand Back, to much of the delight of the crowd, as this was one of the highlights of the night.
Stevie was dressed in her usual mystic attire as she danced like a sorcerer playing her tambourine with the fringes draping from it. She wore a black dress, knee high, showing off her thin calves, with flowing shawls and platform heels. She changed into a red velvet dress with red boots at one point, then back into a classic black outfit with a golden shawl. She pulled out the old black top hat, like the old days, for Macs classic Go Your Own Way, ending the main set before the encores. As the show got into its second song, the classic The Chain, we got to see how great the Nicks/ Buckingham harmonizing was and still is. There is always a touch of emotion when these two come on stage together holding hands and as they face each other singing during the concert.
Mick Fleetwood looks as though he comes out of an old English medieval novel. Standing tall in height over six feet, With his gray beard & hair slicked back into a pony tail. He pounds the drums and is definitely the maestro of this band. Proof is just watching John McVie on bass, as he stands on Fleetwood’s right hand side following his lead to form the massive Mac rhythm section. McVie never faces the crowd as he prefers to lie back under his white cap and just play an incredible bass. Mick Fleetwood grimaces with evil wide eyes all night behind his drum kit and stole the show during the 1st encore with a fantastic drum solo in World Turning.
Lindsey Buckingham is an under rated guitarist who is just outrageous live in concert. He carries the band and plays a wild lead guitar as he screams and shrieks along the way. He does all the male lead vocals of the Mac songs and when he duets with Stevie its still magic. Did I mention those two great harmonizing? This just all leads up to one great concert.
Since they are not promoting a new album, they are just “having fun” on this tour as Stevie Nicks said, so it was filled with vintage classics. The band chose to open surprisingly with Monday Morning from the 1975 Fleetwood Mac album; they did an unprecedented six tunes from this album. Wow!! They also covered six songs from the smash Rumors album as well. For you deep Mac fans out there they covered four songs from 1979s Tusk album, including Stevie’s great Storms which was never done live until this tour.

Fleetwood Mac "Unleashed Tour" Set List: 3/19/09: Madison Square Garden
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 That You Love Me
Gold Dust Woman
Oh Well
I’m So Afraid
Stand Back
Go Your Own Way

Encore
World Turning
Don’t Stop
Second encore
Silver Springs

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi!

I very much agree with your review of the Mac's Unleashed Performance. I just saw their last Australian performance of this tour in Bribane last night and it was incredible. I expected a lot and got so much more. Yes, Stevie brought tears to my eyes a few times, too. Especially the Storm performance. Lindsay was indredible - funny, sexy, energetic, and played hard, fast, and brilliantly. Mick was the biggest surprise for me. The man is HUGE but he skipped around on stage at some points like he's in Jethro Tull or something. He made me laugh.

I thought they jammed - the set went for about 3 hours as it was so they packed a lot in and I love that they talked to the audience. Not like a lot a the bull you get from some perforers like "I love Australia" and that sort of junk. They talked about their songs, and a bit about their history. They really seemed to have fun and it was beautiful how comfortable they all looked with each other, especially when Stevie and Lindsay hugged and kissed.

One question - when you saw them, did you notice Stevie changing the words to Rhiannon?

-Julz-