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The Songbird's Swan Song

Written by Michele Sep 29, 2013 at 12:39 PM
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Yesterday's Gone.

Tonight's show wasn't as good as Wednesday's, but it was still breathtaking.

It crushed me that Christine did not return for the final bow, but I guess I realize that no matter what the circumstances and what the year 1997 or 2013, I'll never be prepared to see her for the last time and the discovery that I probably have will always be a surprising and unwelcome one.

Stevie dedicated Landslide to Christine who was a mentor, best friend and big sister to her. Christine played so many roles in her life and inspired and taught her. She doesn't think Christine knows how much she's done for her and wants the song to go out to her on this third night in London.

Oh, World Turning was interminable. The seconds tick tocked away with inexorable slowness. Finally they brought out that keyboard and they feigned wonderment again, but not as pronounced as before. Mick and said he beheld black and white keys in a familiar place, but without further ado he introduced a precious lady who had meant so much to the band's history. England's own, their songbird, Christine McVie.

She came out smiling. To the front briefly, holding hands with Stevie, but hugs soon equally and liberally bestowed. Stevie did not monopolize Christine's stage time and keep her from interacting with other band members the way she did on Wednesday. Love was spread around, instead. Christine took her place. I have to say I really didn't pay much attention to how Don't Stop sounded. I looked at Christine. I looked at Lindsey on his side, singing into her face, smiling. Stevie's tambo, shaking merrily.

When it was over, John collected Christine, more hugs, a group bow. Then it was over.

After Say Goodbye, when John came out, I thought Christine would be with him like before, but it was not to be. They didn't mention her again, but they gave us memories fans won't ever forget.

Christine seemed to be dressed in the same clothes from Wednesday, because as a member of the FM army, that's the rule. Whether veteran or active soldier, you don't change your stage clothes during the tour.

As for the rest of the evening:

Well, I don't know if the Macsters had been fighting about the same things we Ledgies have been fighting over the last 2 days, but things seemed to start off a little chilly onstage.

I wouldn't say Stevie and Lindsey avoided eye contact. But when one looked in the other's direction, the other was looking away. So, I didn't see them lock gazes until Sad Angel, when they turned to sing to one another.

I think there was a sound problem. I didn't notice it, but when it was time for John's Chain solo, he made a slashing sound across his instrument as if to say there was zero sound. There was a pause and then he started playing the solo and it sounded ok to me, but after the song was over he started pacing and I saw him mouth the word "F***."

Stevie's intro to Dreams was rather sedate and simple. She said the tour had been a great experience and got to the party starting in short order.

Around this time, the speaker next to me started blasting music. I hadn't missed it when it wasn't there, but when it began it was pounding. I don't know if this means the sound problems on stage were over, but I didn't see John gesture to the techs any more.

During Lindsey's Sad Angel speech John and Stevie usually talk or smile, but tonight they faced each other, but both studiously stared only into the space in front of them, Stevie sipping her tea. No interaction, but by the time we swung into GDW later in the night they were bowing to each other and tipping their hats and smiling again. During World Turning I saw their eyes gleaming at each other and I imagined it was because they were anticipating Christine's momentary appearance.

Wow, Rhiannon! Stevie really changed some of the words around on this song, catching me by surprise as I tried to keep up singing along. She was throwing in extra or repeat phrases and ended with still cries, still cries out for her, don't leave me.

At the end of Sisters of the Moon, I see Stevie's lips turn in a smile and I know she's about to say the year. Oh yes. This is a battle of wills between her and us. She says that the experts tell her that they haven't done that song since 1980.

During Sara, when Stevie sings "undoing the laces" she's smiling and almost seems to be listening to the audience sing like she does during Landslide. She seems to get pleasure out of hearing the arena say "aaaaah" in between the "Saras". When she crosses to Lindsey's mic, he lets his nose briefly touch the velvet of her shoulder.

She turns and embraces him and her face is first sad, but then there's a smile, maybe a mournful one. They rock together. She taps his leather jacket rhythmically with one finger, before pulling back and floating away.

For the Big Love intro Lindsey says he's certainly told this story before. Oh really?? Is he keeping track of every story that he repeats now? That's a Herculean task.

For Landslide Stevie says she wants to dedicate the song to Christine, on their third night in London. Christine has played so many different roles to her, mentor, best friend, big sister. She inspired Stevie and helped mold her. She doesn't think Chris knows how much Christine helped her to be what she is here today. She says that Christine is out there somewhere tonight [Well, she better be backstage preparing to come on soon, rather than just "out there somewhere"].

For the Without You story Stevie says she wrote this poem and didn't put it to music. She probably put it in her pocket and then on the bedroom nightstand. When she and Lindsey came to Los Angeles, they had 12 songs and this poem. They made it into a demo and their demos were really, really great she says. She insists that she's not being conceited, they just really were that good. She says how she told the story about Mick telling her that she and Lindsey sang in counterpoint to the music and created this pyramid and that's one of the things -- or maybe Mick even said THE thing that drew him to them.

She concedes that Mick always did have a good ear and good judgment. So, she told this story about what Mick said attracted to him and then three weeks in Lindsey said, that's not what attracted Mick. Mick was attracted to me. Mick was attracted to Lindsey and not some cleaning woman. The audience boos at Lindsey. Stevie clarifies that Lindsey didn't say the part about her being a cleaning woman. That's what she said to herself when she thought she was screwed. Anyway, this caused her to say "hmmm" and she corrected her story.

She tells Mick that he owes her for this. She says he owes her a lot of money. He should buy her a new coat. A Ralph Lauren coat.

She talks about finding the song on Youtube and she didn't know whether to be happy or not happy it was there. She makes an "ack" sound at the back of her throat when she describes Youtube.

She doesn't ask Lindsey to jump into the story, nor does he do so spontaneously. Instead, she just thanks Lindsey, Mick and "Johnny" and she also thanks Christine, because Christine could have said, no, not another girl in the band.

At the end of Gypsy she goes over to Mick's small drum kit and they are playful with one another, grinning, pointing, touching fingers.

Finally, we get to the end of the World Turning introductions. Both Wednesday and tonight a security guard comes and stands at the stage. He says he has to watch it closely for the encores. Clearly he is there for Christine's entrance and I'm glad she's being protected, but how come the guy just materializes for her. Wasn't he afraid of the other Macsters being kidnapped too? Of course, if you know them, I suppose you know that if kidnapped, their captors would bring them back in about a day, because they're that maddening!

Christine's out and it's over so fast. Tour program, 15 pounds. Concert ticket, 120 pounds. Hearing Christine sing the iconic tune she created with her bandmates one last time: priceless.

At the end when Stevie comes out for her Dreamcatcher speech. She describes what a dream catcher is, how it looks, how it catches dreams, at least it does for her. Then, she realized that the FANS were the dream catchers; she says that we've been giving the dreams back for 35 years and it doesn't matter if there are 5 members of the band, four members, three members, two members or just her, we always give back. [Well, hold on a minute. There have never been three members of the band yet. Is someone leaving? Do I get to vote who goes?].

Mick closes the show. What an odyssey and I can't believe it's over. Well, just for me. For you lucky ones in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the ride continues.
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