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The Songbird Returns

Written by Michele Sep 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

And I love you, I love you, I love you, like never before. Like never before.

First things first. I must discuss Christine McVie's brief return to the fold, before addressing the rest of the show. I have never been so happy in my entire life. Well, I was this happy in December 1990, but that was 23 years ago.

All evening I kept waiting for a clue that she was coming out. The fact that Stevie dedicated Landslide to Peter Green and didn't mention Christine was a clue, but Brett's piano set up didn't look any different. So, I was apprehensive.

I saw some flowers offstage to the side, could they be intended as a present for Christine.

Then, finally after World Turning, crew members brought a Yamaha keyboard onto the stage and I almost flipped out. I screamed and jumped like a school girl.

The band acted like they didn't know what the keyboard was for. "What's this," Mick wondered. Lindsey said: "I must say that set up looks familiar."

Stevie went over to it and pantomimed playing it with her gloved hands. Maybe it was for her her use??

Mick rose and said "Our own songbird" was there. Christine came out from backstage looking absolutely gorgeous with a leather jacket (coordinating with LB, huh), sparkling top and tight, black embroidered jeans.

She hugged Stevie. Lindsey walked over. "Christine," he said.

They hugged. She went over to the Yamaha and, in my opinion, played the demons out of it. She sounded beautiful vocally and, I'm no musician, but her playing seemed strong, fast and fierce.

Lindsey stood back from his mic and looked into her eyes. I was in front of her and could only see her profile. I don't know if she was looking back. I hope so.

Stevie was in the center of it all. Exuberant.

After the song, bows and hugs all around.

Then, following Say Goodbye she came back out. It looked to me that she sort of peeked around the corner when she came from backstage, to see if it was all right. They took a group bow. Such elation.

After everyone else left the stage Stevie said that "our sister, my sister" was there and it was magnificent that she performed a song with them. She said that she got so emotional that she felt that she was almost going to mess up the whole thing. Then, she said she has become what she is, a girl from Arizona and gave the dream catcher speech.

I've been jumping out of my skin ever since it happened.

Such a beautiful band and a beautiful night.

As for the rest of the show:

Don’t you look back? That’s all I’ll be doing for the next 10 years: looking back on this incredible evening and wishing it hadn’t ended so soon.

Of course, there’s Friday night too, but the uncertainty and hope that led to exhilaration and triumph won’t be repeated. I knew she would be there, but feared she wouldn’t. The anxiety gave way to pleasure and once I saw them carrying that Yamaha onto the stage, she couldn’t get there fast enough. She couldn’t stay long enough.

Things started with a bang. Before Dreams, Stevie said that they’d done 47 shows and had 9 weeks off and she was very happy to bring these English people back here. She and Lindsey were very happy to bring these English people back to where it all began.

Later Mick also mentioned that they’d done 47 shows and said that they were in the middle of their tour, the half way point. So, does that mean there are 47 more shows to come or is he as bad at math as Stevie is. I expect 94 shows after tonight, Mick. Holding you to that.

Lindsey ends Sad Angel with a resounding “Oh yeah.” Stevie runs off stage to get dressed for Rhiannon and is late getting back, hurrying to her mic just before it’s time for her to sing.

When he starts talking about the Tusk album and the crowd cheers, Lindsey laughs and makes a “gimme gimme” gesture with his hands, encouraging them to applaud Tusk even louder.

For Landslide Stevie said she had an very special dedication to give to the song. She loves it when she’s in a place and can dedicate it to someone she knows – that doesn’t mean that when she’s in a place and doesn’t no anyone that the song isn’t special but ...she says that she’s starting to get emotional. She stops to talk to Lindsey. He doesn’t know what she is saying. She says that she just wants him to know that she is there. He looks quizzical and she then makes kissy noises at him and returns to her intro. Too funny.

She returns to her introduction and reveals that Peter Green is in the audience and she never got the chance to share a stage with him, but when she and Lindsey joined the band, she looked at all the old videos of Peter and saw [that’s probably not true] and saw how talented and gorgeous [don’t hit on the man] he was. It was “Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac” and she says that not a day goes by in her life when she’s not grateful to him for making it possible for her to be there.

I had mixed emotions during the introduction. Ultimately, I'm that Peter was in attendance and getting credit for starting this whole juggernaut and such heartfelt words from Stevie. However, the way she set up the introduction and the fact that she said she was choked up and there was water in her eyes, I was SURE she was introducing Christine. And I thought, "If Christine is in the audience, she won't be on the stage." So, then when she said Peter Green, my knees weakened with relief and I was more certain than ever that it (Christine's appearance) would happen.

For Sara I notice how she pats her hip to accentuate the “heartbeat” that never dies. When she sings into his mic, Then, when she turns around to hug Lindsey, it looks like she mouths the lyrics again into his ear: “all I ever wanted was to know that you were dreaming.”

She says that people are taking bets on when the last time was that she sung that song onstage. She said first she said 1979, but she was wrong. Then she said 1981, but that was wrong too. Now she has the definitive answer. She assures us that 1980 was the last time they performed that song on stage. You know, in the beginning, I thought the year was inconsequential, but now I agree with those who say that because it CAN be verified and is not something that they have to guess it, I just think this is ridiculous.

Also, what did she check, who did she ask, to make sure that now there is no doubt that the last time it was performed was 1980? It sounds like it’s new info. Did Christine tell her that when they were reminiscing? Well, Christine is 70 so... don’t make her your fact checker.

Lindsey introduces Big Love and when he says “Tango in the Night” that album gets a loud round of applause too. It was big in the UK and I assume the band knows this. Even the phrase “looking out for love” makes the crowd cheer heartily. Lindsey says he was not looking for love. He was pushing back and defending against it.

There is no tapestry dropped down from the ceiling for the song. But the video screen gives us a nice black and white backdrop for his performance.

When she begins to introduce Without You, Stevie says that it is the comedy bit of the night. She says she will try to shorten it. Mick says, “Noooo. Noooo.” Stevie says, “Why, Thank you Mick.” Then she tells the audience, “he doesn’t mean it.”

She says she’s not going to shorten the song. She just wants to keep it within the confines where it will allow them to do three extra songs in the time it takes her to tell that one.

I notice that John just sits down during this intro. I hadn’t seen him do that before.

She says that WY is the nicest, most loving, no-egoed out song that she’s written about anyone and she wrote it about Lindsey, which means it’s somewhat about her too. [I like the way she phrased that. In the past she said it wasn’t just about Lindsey, it was about both of them. This time she seems to imply that every song about Lindsey is about her too].

She says when she found the song, she said to him that she thinks he must have helped her with it, because she doesn’t think she can play the guitar that well. He just raises his brow. She says it was lost and then she found it and played it for Lindsey and he said, “where has it been?”

She looks at Lindsey as she continues and says, “Why are you sweating?” He says, “I’m getting nervous.” She says, “I know you are,” laughing.

Stevie quotes what Mick said to her and she says that she is giving her Shakespearean performance.

When she turns the story over to Lindsey, he (fake) blusters and finally says that when Mick called him he said that he wouldn’t come without his girlfriend because he loved her that much. She bows to him. Then he adds, “And look where that got me.” Stevie howls, “No you DIDN’T just say that?!”

Lindsey scurries to Mick’s side and Stevie says he is hiding behind Mick. She advises Mick to just hit Lindsey with the sticks. She thanks Lindsey for bringing her with him into FM, because he didn’t have to. She thanks Mick and “Johnny Mac.” After her story is over she says to the audience, “thank you for your patience.”

For Gold Dust Woman at the end when she says, “You can’t fix this. You wish you could fix this, but you can’t fix this.” She cries “Noooo!” And repeats “you can’t save me. You can’t do it. You just can’t do it” She begins to hitch up her skirt, pulling it up her leg [Hey lady, this isn’t “Crash”] and she ends the song with “nooooo.” That’s a little twist from the last time I’d heard it.

So, Mick went through his band intros and since the next song was Don’t Stop, it was do or die. Now or never. Crew members scurried onto the stage with the Yamaha and a bench. Mick looked befuddled. ‘What’s that for? Hmmm. What’s going on?’ Lindsey mischievously says, “I must say that the set up looks very familiar,” but I guess he can’t quite place it.

Stevie goes over and pretends that SHE might play it. Christine emerges. She looks business like, rather than playful. I bet she’s nervous. I don’t remember all Mick said to introduce her, but he called her “our very own Songbird.”

Hearing her count down to the start of her own Don’t Stop was incredible. 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4.

I hate Brett’s playful moment when he plays the keyboards with his elbows. It just seems silly to me. There was no tomfoolery tonight. Christine pounded those keys like a yeoman and was somehow forceful and effortless at the same time. I know she could have set out there through half of their set without missing a beat. Her piano solo made Lindsey’s guitar chiming in afterwards sound all the more powerful. I’m from Detroit, where cars are made and we celebrate their pistons churning up and down like a well-oiled machine.

That’s what Fleetwood Mac is. History, beauty, chemistry. Power. You don’t know what it is, until you lose it.

After Silver Springs and Say Goodbye, Christine comes back for the final bow. Five fireflies. Tonight and Friday, one last time.
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