Apr 9, 2013

Concert Reveiw: Fleetwood Mac @ Madison Square Garden, New York City 4/8/13



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It was another great night of classic Rock at Madison Square Garden as Fleetwood Mac wowed 'em in New York City in another reunion tour. As Stevie Nicks said, when your a child singing, your mother tells you one day maybe you'll play Madison Square Garden & here we are!

It is no secret that I am a diehard Stevie Nicks fan & that she is my favorite female rock singer. You can look back at many of my reviews archived on this site. In the past 16 years I have seen every concert tour Stevie has performed, solo or with Fleetwood Mac. This is an incredible woman / singer/ entertainer who has only gotten better in these years. 

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She is constantly working on her vocals to improve and it is noticeable to longtime fans. She carries notes longer & more powerful than ever, almost effortlessly.  She is in complete control on stage, looking comfortable & confidant, standing there like a rock goddess. She seems to be in great shape both physically & mentally, looking as beautiful as ever.

When she did her signature twirl dance wrapped up in her scarves & the crowd went crazy. Dressed in all black, she seemed to be wearing a higher skirt on this tour than in the past. Instead of high boots she donned a shorter high heeled style boot with what looked like black stretch pants.

In my opinion, as well as with those in my party & others seated around us at Madison Square Garden, Stevie Nicks has become the face of Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood Mac are an incredible band behind Stevie but there's no doubt she is at the forefront of his ensemble.

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Lindsay Buckingham is a fantastically talented guitarist, leading the band with his excellent guitar work. During the course of the night he put on some great wailing guitar leads, with a nice display of some incredible guitar picking added in. At times on his lead vocals he takes some of his songs in new directions, with moans or screams that seem to become a chanted mantra. To me this sometimes was bit over the top & after a Stevie Nicks song, it was a bit of a let down. Buckingham does have his share of female fans that worship him, and I'm sure disagree.

Not that it's a battle, but he has certainly become second bill to Stevie Nicks. That said, when Stevie & Lindsay sang together, they made some beautiful melodies. Their classic style of dueling vocals on songs like Silver Springs, Don't Stop & The Chain were exceptional, as these two work very well bouncing off each other. It's definitely classic rock at its best & worth the price of an expensive admission from where I was sitting. 

My fav Buckingham songs on the night were Second Hand News, It's Not That Funny, World Turning & I'm So Afraid that was outstanding. 

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There is no doubt that the backbone of Fleetwood Mac is Mick Fleetwood & John McVie. If you remember the old Creem magazines, there was an annual readers poll that had a category for Rock MVP. Mick Fleetwood gets my vote for that.

His grimacing, almost sinister facial expressions when he bangs away on his massive drum set, make him look like an evil scientist out of an old English film. He is an outstanding drummer, and fun to watch in action when he is at work pounding away. He got his drum solo on the first encore, toward the end of World Turning. Mick did a kool shout along with the crowd displaying how great a drummer & fun kinda guy he is.

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To his right nestled in the corner next to the drum set & a pile of speakers, is the quiet bass player John McVie. McVie goes about his business like he's playing in a garage, totally out of the lime light, almost expressionless while playing his bass.

No doubt, a great bassist, & he keeps the whole thing going back there, as Mr. Fleetwood pointed out during the band introductions.

Of course missing from the mix, is the other blonde woman; Christine McVie, also a great singer/songwriter. McVie has retired & chooses not to return to tour. Of course many of her classics are dropped from the set list & missed due to her absence.

Christine McVie
The only positive there, is that it gives Stevie Nicks more stage time for her songs. Besides the McVie songs the band does not play, her presence is missed on songs where she either shared a lead vocal, or sang a strong backing vocal; most notable on Don't Stop.


There was an incredible version of Sisters of the Moon from the Tusk album. A song that has not been played live since the early eighties. Stevie's performance here was absolutely fantastic & one of the highlights of the show for me. Then the classics Dreams, Landslide, Silver Springs & Stand Back (the only Stevie Nicks solo song played) are all always nothing but amazing. Of course my favorites Rhiannon & the mystical, psychedelic Gold Dust Woman still sends chills down my spine, when Stevie performs them. Music does not get better than that in a live performance!

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Also, it was great to see some of her Stevie's Mac tunes done that she does not always play live, when touring as a solo act, like the above mentioned Sisters of the Moon, Gypsy & an outstanding version of Sara that also was a major highlight for me.

The band debuted a new song; Sad Angel, which sounded classic Mac style, & according to Buckingham; will be released in a downloadable EP later this week. They also pulled out another rare oldie, that Stevie said she forgot all about but rediscovered on youtube; called Without You.

I particularly enjoyed the four song set, from the Tusk album (Not That Funny-Tusk-Sisters Of Moon-Sara). Buckinghams; It's Not That Funny was one of my favs of his on the night, a great funny little number I always loved.

The band was backed by the lovely voices of Sharon Celani & Lori Nicks, longtime backups for Stevie on her solo tours as well as the past few Mac tours. The band was also assisted by a guitarist & keyboard player behind the scenes.

There was a tremendous high def video screen behind the band, but most of the time they chose to display graphics instead of the band on stage. It wasn't until the end of the show that the band was seen on that big screen. This didn't affect me too much, since we had great seats on the left front side of the stage and with my binoculars, I was right there. But other people had to look high up to the sides of the arena where there were two much smaller video screens.

All in all it was a great show & I am looking forward to seeing another show later in the tour with a meet & greet with Mick Fleetwood!

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Set List
Second Hand News
The Chain
Dreams
Sad Angel
Rhiannon
Not That Funny
Tusk
Sisters of the Moon
Sara
Big Love
Landslide
Never Going Back Again
Without You
Gypsy
Eyes of the World
Gold Dust Woman
I'm So Afraid
Stand Back
Go Your Own Way

Encore:
World Turning
Don't Stop

Encore 2:
Silver Springs
Say Goodbye

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