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Falling, Falling, Fallen

Written by Michelej1 Dec 11, 2014 at 07:28 PM
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As you head to the lower sections of the Forum, the walls are painted with rock stars, captured in performance. Passing through, you can't escape the fact that these are hallowed halls. George Harrison, the Bee Gees, Elton, Cher, Rod Stewart, Bowie ... there are about forty pictures altogether and there Stevie is among these luminaries. A black and white photo, about 20 feet high. I've posted it below. So many people entering this Fleetwood Mac concert probably don't even recognize that it's her.

I'm to the right side of the stage tonight. I don't get very many pictures, but it's a good position to enjoy the show. After all these years, when I hear the sound of those crickets it's still exciting. Most people don't catch on that that means that the show is about to start until the lights go down, then there's that flurry to find your place, an expectant hush, then screams, when Mick's tall figure emerges and things begin to take off.

The public displays of affection flying between the band members tonight almost reached orgy potential. I was like, "get a room, fireflies." John and Mick entered, then Christine and then Stevie and Lindsey, but they stopped by Christine's piano and Christine hugged and kissed both of them. Chain keep us together. It wasn't a song born of unity, but of desperation, pleading to stay together, all while accusing, pulling apart and running in the shadows. Yet, 37 years later, here they are, still together after all. Chained, yoked, albatrossed but, apparently, enjoying it.

After You Make Loving Fun Christine says, "Good evening Los Angeles."

Stevie says that this, the Forum, was the only place they ever played for many years. She mentioned that she used to say "Welcome Back" Chris at this time, but 27 shows in, she figures Christine is staying put. So, she'll just say, "Hello Chris."

Christine: "Hello Stevie"

Stevie: "And I guess we'll both say, 'Let's get this party started.'

For Second Hand News, I notice that Christine doesn't always sing with Stevie and Lindsey, she just comes in on the "I'm just second hand news" part.

It's so much fun to go from the riotous "tall grass," through the dark beat of Rhiannon, to the tinkling beginning of Everywhere, one is a raucous hay ride and the other is like a smooth dance beneath twinkling stars. Yet, the transition between sounds isn't jarring. One singer will put you in a certain mood and you're almost lulled into staying there, until the other singer comes along and your mind shifts again. The vibe is constantly refreshed.

For Everywhere Christine says, "I lived here for many years and I sorta wish I lived here again." Oh no, now she's burning her London bridges. Speaking of London, when this song debuts there, I can't wait to see the reception it gets. I wonder if Christine will mention the dancing pony commercial in her intro at all, as Stevie does with Seven Wonders.

Never one to miss a cycle, Lindsey says that it's fitting that they've come back to the Forum "at this particular moment ... to be back in this particular moment, with the beautiful Christine" when they begin a new chapter.

It's funny that even though her lips are waiting and her eyes look sad, I Know I'm Not Wrong, really doesn't seem like a song about love. Its implications feel more, societal, especially with the video playing in the background.

Although Christine still hasn't found it in her heart to move across to the other side of the stage at any point in the show, she does travel quite a bit with her Tusk accordion. She perches on the apron of stage right playing to the crowd, then is there to greet Lindsey when he charges over, his body sawing up and down mimicking the movements of the Trojan marching band on the screen behind them. Then, when Lindsey departs, Christine stands side by side with John for a bit, playing together.

At the end of Say You Love Me, both Lindsey and Christine do a kind of tennis stroke, swinging their arms back and forth triumphantly as if to say, "we nailed it." Christine concludes, "That was fun. Thank you very much."

After Seven Wonders, Stevie thanks the American Horror Story producers and says if it wasn't for them, the song wouldn't have been brought back, because now millions of people know it. That suggests that no one was familiar with it before AHS and that's not the case. It had a video and got more than a little radio airplay in its day. Yes, it has been introduced to a new generation, but many focused and casual FM fans would have welcomed the song anyway, television exposure or not.

Lindsey starts his Big Love speech, but then Stan comes over and says something to him. I expect him to take Lindsey's guitar, but he doesn't. Lindsey picks up where he left off, but I was hoping for an explanation. Lindsey says that 1987 seems like a long time ago, for him as an individual and in terms of where the band is right now. Oh, I don't know, Lindsey. I see some parallels between today and 1987.

Again he dedicates the song to "Will, to Lee Lee, to Stella and, of course, to Kristen, without whom I might still be in that other life." Tonight, Kristen was seated with Will. Poor thing gets so few tickets to the show that she can't even watch it with all of her children together. They have to alternate. It's a good thing they only have three kids. At least, one will get to attend each night of the Forum dates.

I'm not sure I heard Stevie correctly, but I think she said that Landslide is like a black cat that she and Lindsey can't get rid of. She said they love it, but it keeps following them around. That doesn't sound like a good thing! She dedicates the song to Haim. She plays their record every day and wraps it around her. The record tells her it will be ok and just blows her mind. She tells Haim "don't stop thinking about tomorrow."

Towards the end of the song, when Stevie and Lindsey reach for each other's hand, the audience starts to roar, almost before they even touch. Lindsey has to laugh. They finally clasp hands and sustain the grasp for quite a bit. As she stares at him, Lindsey raises her hand to his lips in a kiss. Afterwards Stevie says, "Never stop girls. Girl power all the way." As Lindsey walks away from her, he reaches his hand behind his back, fingers curled and Stevie reaches out again, her own fingers crooked.

When Mick comes down for Over My Head, I'm not sure whether I missed something. I don't think he fell, but Stevie seems to point at him and then when Christine returns to her mic she says, "Hello, Mr. Fleetwood. You ok?" So, I'm not sure if he lost his balance or what.

She talks about 1975 when they met a remarkable young couple, namely Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. OMH is the first song off of their first album. She messes up the lyrics a bit, saying "hold me tight" too soon and then having to repeat it again in the next verse.

Stevie has to cough before the Gypsy intro. She says she took a big gulp of tea and did what singers never want to do onstage, she swallowed it down her windpipe. She adds, "We're doing so much sharing tonight."

She's a better woman than me. I would have been coughing for about 20 minutes after that. She talks about meeting Lindsey and says she was 75 years old, then laughs at her mistake. "Yes, if I was 75 years old then, imagine how old I am now. I'm a vampire." So, now she not only talks about opening for Joplin and Hendricks, but Santana, Chicago. She names the arenas they played and how many people were in attendance. She sings a snatch of "color my world." She says that they were even stuck in Lodi with Credence Clear Water.

Then, there's the Corvair, 5 speed convertible, candy apple red, that her father bought for himself but ended up giving to her. Stevie is still pretty happy about that car today, I can only imagine how she showed off and boasted about it back in the sixties.

She went to the Velvet Underground and was awed to stand on its handpainted floor, where Grace Slick and Janis Joplin bought their attire. Even though she had money from Fritz, she couldn't afford to buy anything in that store, but she had a "seizure premonition." She knew that some day she would be able to buy whatever she wanted and would never have to look at a sales tag again. As the crowd begins to applaud her inspiring words, Stevie concludes that it goes to show that if you have a dream, follow it. She says that they were just a couple of "dumb kids from San Francisco and we ended up big rock stars." Yeah, but arguably still pretty dumb ...

Although the screen playing behind the band during Gypsy is meant to be reminiscent of their original video, the guy in it looks more like Don Draper of Mad Men than anyone else.

For Gold Dust Woman, it seems like Lindsey sings a line that's not usually his. They sing "and go home" together, but just before her scream, he says "go home" alone and then she responds "and go AHHHHHHHH". It's like they're almost trading lines.

At the end of the song, when she says, "you can't do it. You just can't do it ..." there's an echo quality to her voice and it rings across the Forum as if we're all in a cave. There's a sense of distortion in her appearance too, with her hair tumbling over her face and her shawl hanging, she's more blur than form, almost like a ghost, until the end when she strikes the famous silhouette and takes the shape of Stevie again.

I think the lighting is used well throughout the show, but particularly with GDW and then I'm So Afraid, red bars descend from the ceiling when the song begins in earnest, casting an amber glow around everything. It's atmospheric at first and then, ultimately, the slow beat, the red darkness, the ambiance, is stripped away and it's just a man, a man whaling on his guitar, creating unadorned frenzy.

It's often been said that Lindsey is engaging in pure guitarbation here and there's Christine witnessing it all, from a front row seat.

While I can barely find the energy to take the 2 flights of stairs out of the building, Lindsey manages to run right from ISA into GYOW, without missing a breath. I love how he "visits" each of the band members at the end of the song, just as he did in days of yore. He's over at Christine's piano, his head against her shoulder, they're hugging without arms. Then, he stops to push himself against John. Then, he goes to Stevie. They don't actually touch, but she extends her arm with a flourish. I know that he'll have his head nuzzled in the crook of her neck before the tour ends.

When they return for the encore, Stevie and Lindsey walk out together, but Lindsey stops behind Christine. Perhaps fearing she's about to be goosed, she turns around swiftly and hugs and kisses each of them.

The sound seems to be turned up for Mick's drum solo. It's almost as if he is physically striking me with the drum sticks. "Are you with me? Don't be shy," he pounds the words out in staccato syllables.

Then, the band takes the stage again, Stevie and Lindsey marching towards each other, "World turning ..."

For the band introduction, when Mick gets to Christine, he says that this woman makes them complete, but then there's a long pause and he doesn't announce her name. Christine hilariously points to herself and says, "Me?" Mick says, "yes you. Our Songbird has returned. Christine McVie."

After Silver Springs, Stevie acknowledges the applause. "Thank you. It means a lot to me."

Returning after Songbird, Stevie is holding John's hand, as they join the others. For her final speech she says, "One thing I get after all these years is to have a moment alone with you." Is that something she's been negotiating for? I remember a few of her Greenpeace announcements at the end of FM shows 25 years ago and I imagine that those could have discouraged the rest of the band from leaving her alone with the audience for quite some time.

She points out that Christine left 16 years ago and her dog is 16, so Christine has been away an entire lifetime. Well, an entire dog's lifetime Stevie. She says she told Christine that once you come back, you can never leave again.

I'll hold Christine to that, all of them to that. You can never break the chain.
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