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Fargo, ND

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Fargodome Concert

Written by James Dean Jun 11, 2008 at 12:35 PM
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We arrived at about 7:30pm and got settled into our seats. We were on the floor again but back by the soundboard, farther away from the stage than we were last night in Minneapolis. We were hoping for the chance to make our advance towards the front of our section at least. Luckily our seats were right on the edge of our row making our advances easier.

Even before the show started the crowd seemed a lot more "into it" than the previous night. I don't think people in Fargo get too many bands through town so when they do they go all out. We were thinking that the band should be in a good mood that night knowing that they got to leave the cold for the West Coast after that gig.

A little after 8:00pm the lights dimmed and the crickets began chirping once more. The crowd of 11,400 people was ecstatic as the band walked out onto the dimly lit stage. As soon as the bass drum started for The Chain everyone began clapping along with it, totally cool. The band was tight and seemed relaxed. "Welcome. Thank you for coming" were the first words of the evening from Stevie at songs end.

Dreams was exquisite as usual. Stevie seemed so comfortable singing this song. There were several guys heard yelling for Stevie with adulation after this one. She responded with a smile and "Thank you very much". Christine's first words of the evening to the crowd were "Good evening Fargo" followed by two stiff kicks of Mick's bass drum and, "Great to be here, North Dakota".

Everywhere sounded flawless. The sound system was proving to sound much better tonight and the whole place was standing up and getting' into it. The vocals were clear and up front from the beginning of each song. Christine looked elegant as usual while standing at the front of the stage. She sounded just as good, like I said, flawless.

Stevie quickly scooted to Lindsey's side of the stage after Everywhere. There she was seen being draped in her gold shawl, preparing for one of the most intense points of the whole evening, Gold Dust Woman. Her "shadow, she's a dragon" part never ceases to give me goose bumps and tonight was no exception. With a warm smile Stevie came to the front of the stage and said, "Thank you so much I appreciate it".

Stevie and Christine had both had the spotlight for a couple of tunes. Now it was Lindsey's turn. His voice and guitar playing were powerful onI'm So Afraid. Stevie had her back to the audience looking at Mick for much of the song. When her vocal parts would come she would lean her head back and sing in to the mic sideways. It was unique. Everything sounded so good. The crowd went nuts during Lindsey's solo in the end. Actually the crowd showed equal appreciation for everything that was played tonight and the band seemed to feel it. Lindsey was doing walking around waving his hands and clutching his heart routine in appreciation for the overwhelming response. Many smiles and Good Vibes!

Christine yelled "Lindsey Buckingham" before introducing the first of two new songs from The Dance, Temporary One. The band was looking at each other a lot during this one and played with an exaggerated up beat feel. Very tight.

Lindsey went on to explain how he asked Mick to work on Bleed to Love Her And how this led to "the reconvening of Fleetwood Mac" and proceeded into the song. This sounded absolutely fantastic. There was a lot of looks and singing to each other between Stevie and Lindsey on the second verse of this one. Lindsey's was again in much better shape tonight for the high parts in the end although it was evident he was still struggling a bit. The crowd had been up on its feet the entire show. Showing their appreciation for songs both old and new. The way it should be!

Gypsy sounded airy and light. Stevie's voice flowed and was very powerful in the middle "and if I was a child" part. Still no high part on the last "Love" part though. She IS hitting this note all over the rest of the song though so I know she could do it if she wanted to. Lindsey's solo shined on this as well. Stevie used the same "You're all a bunch of old Gypsies" line that she did in Minneapolis last night after this song.

Big Love was next and sounded like a studio take. Man, Lindsey is such a natural talent. His voice was near perfect and he was putting every ounce of his soul into it tonight. He built the end up to a frenzy. This was probably the best version I've heard him do. I've only heard 3 other versions from this tour though. The soundman treated him right. After an intense recital of his poem he let into an truly emotional version of Go Insane without another word. I hope they are recording these shows for posterity if nothing else.

By this time, we had advanced up to about 10 or 15 rows from the stage. We were lovin' it. Stevie came out as Lindsey was changing guitars. The two spoke in front of the drums for a moment before Stevie came to the mic and said, "We would like to dedicate this song to you because you are the reason that we get to do it again, so". The sound was there for this one too. Stevie voice and Lindsey's guitar sounded magical. Lindsey was all smiles while looking up at Stevie while she sang, and likewise for Stevie as Lindsey played. Unfortunately during the "I'm getting' older too" part we got asked to move back by security. 10th row was beautiful while it lasted though. Anyway, the remainder of the song was flawless.

Now the roadies commenced to bringing out Mick's little stand up set while the rest of the members returned to the stage for the semi-acoustic version of Say You Love Me. In my opinion Lindsey's banjo part makes this song. The band performed another flawless version. Everyone was in strong voice and could be heard well.

Sweet Girl was another Stevie highpoint. This song sounds like something from Other Side of The Mirror. She sang the song with conviction as she spoke of "many of the cities I've never seen at all", possibly referring to Fargo. I kind of hope the band does take a hiatus after this tour so Stevie can do another solo project along with Lindsey.

Christine pulled out another "perfect" performance of You Make Lovin' Fun. The band sounded especially tight on this too with Lindsey working his guitar licks in and out of the verses. Lindsey actually yelled "Christine McVie" just like she yells his name after I'm So Afraid.

My Little Demon was an audience pleaser at this show. All the younger people were especially into this one with it's alternative sound. Lindsey did his normal rap about being "a different person now than he was ten years ago.

Stand Back followed which kept the momentum going. Stevie and the backup singers sounded great but the band doesn't have the heaviness of Stevie's band and it sounds a little soft. Again no guitar solo in this version. Stevie motioned for the backup singers to keep singing during the part where it normally would be. Still a crowd pleaser though.

Christine offered up another emotional version of Oh Daddy. Her voice sounded just as good if not better than the original recording. It was a nice break from the fast pace that had been set from the last few songs. Stevie exited the stage following this song.

Not That Funny was Mick's song. His big eyes and grin intact he set off with Lindsey on a rollicking musical portion of the song while Lindsey belted out the lyrics with intensity. Midway through they dropped it down and John got to do a few little bass runs. Mick and Lindsey jammed quietly and eventually faded out and walked off stage leaving Mick and the conga player pounding out the rhythms. After a few fills on the kit Mick jumped up and ran down to the front of the stage. Yelling to the audience through his headset microphone and beating on his drum pad vest. The audience was enthralled and was clapping with beat and yelling back at Mick making it a call and response type thing. What a crowd! Lindsey came out after about 5 minutes and started playing his guitar in response to Mick's drum vest "calls". This led into a frenzied ending musical portion of Not That Funny. Mick introduced the backup band members and John McVie after the song. They had two singers, two guitarists and one percussionist in addition to the five original members.

As Christine began the piano piece Stevie strolled back into the spotlight for Rhiannon. It is such a different version than that on Rumours. Christine actually took the high part that Stevie originally sang on the second verse. Don't get me wrong, Stevie is as powerful as ever it is just amazing to see how she has adapted her voice to continue to do these songs over time. She hit some great high notes on the "try hard, dreamer" parts in the end. Similar to the ones she hit in the seventies. Continuing with another old tune Second Hand News was next. Another especially upbeat tune that was full of energy and found everyone sounding fresh. Stevie hit some great high notes on the "lay me down in the tall grass" part.

Next up was Silver Springs. When Christine went to count it off the audience could be heard counting it out with her, one, two, three, four. It was wild. Stevie's vocals were near perfect; she really hit her notes here, especially in the end. Lindsey's solo was nice and subtle. Everyone's harmonies were right on. We had goosebumps on this one.

Lindsey explains again how time limits them and says "We are all very thrilled with the way this project has unfolded, and we would like to thank all of you for being a part of that. Thank you very much. Thank you". Then it's Tusk. The drums in the beginning sounded like they were straight out of Africa. Brass band samples filled in the end section nicely so it sounded just like The Dance. Lindsey's primal screams in the end were intense.

Mick kicked right into Go Your Own Way following Tusk. Lindsey and Mick did a great build up into the beginning. As was the case with the rest of the evening, Lindsey was putting his all into this one and pulled it out fabulously. The band left the stage saying goodnight to everyone after a huge Hollywood ending on this song.

Returning to the stage the band was all smiles and seemed to be having the time of their lives, which I'm sure they are. The crowd was non-stop crazy. Chris began the countdown for Don't Stop and they offered up a standard upbeat performance. The brass band samples were present here as in Tusk making the song sound like it does on The Dance. Christine played a cool, bluesy piano solo and they jammed the end. Christine said, "Once again Fargo, Thank you" as they left the stage a second time.

Christine appeared very soon after at her baby grand piano and said, "Want to hear one more song? I understand a lot of people here tonight have driven a long way, I'd like to sing this song tonight with our love and thanks, it's for you" as she started into Songbird. The audience was nice and quiet while Chris would sing her lines but the erupt as soon as she'd get done. Mick came out in his top hat to give Chris a hug at the very end. As they both walked off the stagehands brought out Mick's stand up set to more applause from the alert crowd.

Farmer's Daughter was heavenly as usual. People were actually clapping along with the beat just as they had in the beginning of The Chain. What a cool way to end the show. The band offered up their final comments as follows. Stevie, "Thank you so much Fargo" and Mick, "Thanks from Fleetwood Mac for making this such a fantastic evening for us. From us to you, be happy, God Bless, and smile. We love you".

Fargo was by far the better of the two shows we saw. In Minneapolis they were humans who made a few mistakes and in Fargo they were stars who could do no wrong. No matter what this band will remain timeless. We are honored to have had the chance to have seen them at all, let alone two nights in a row.
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Listen to the wind blow

Written by Brian Schumacher Jun 11, 2008 at 12:32 PM
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The lights went down and the crowd went up. If you were lucky enough to have floor seats you were standing all night long, screaming, hollering, hooting, clapping, dancing, oohing and aahing. From other reviews I have read this one must have been the biggest party of the tour to date! Only later in the evening did I finally see a handful of folks in the front row sit down. It must have been from sheer exhaustion. How could you possibly keep going THAT strong for 2 1/2 hours? Mick asked "are you with me?" during his unique vest drum solo and the crowd roared it's approval louder than a thundering herd of bison. But, really, it's hard to keep up. Rest well before you see this concert.

Talk about energy and passion, how about Lindsey Buckingham! The tune that keeps playing over in my mind nearly 18 hours after the concert ended is Lindsey's "Big Love". Quick, go grab "The Dance", skip to track 8 and crank it! Close your eyes and TRY to grasp that all of these glorious sounds are coming from one instrument, one man, one heart, one soul! Incredible! That's passion. And energy? The man did not take a breather until he laid down almost out of sight on the right side of the stage while Mick was in the spotlight with his solo.

Of course John was quiet but that's OK. I'm a quiet guy too. I understand that. He speaks loudly and convincingly on the bass though. Imagine FM without him. No way. You need all the pieces to make a whole.

It's hard to pick just one of my favorite Stevie songs from this concert but "Gold Dust Woman" sure took me to the next level. Her unmistakable barbarous voice and those twirls in the golden shawl enhanced by some great lighting effects almost sent me over the ledge. I could easily change my vote to "Landslide" or "Silver Springs" or, wait ... whatever she's singing at the moment. What a talent. What a woman.

FM brought EVERYONE (even on the sides in the elevated seating) to their feet with "Go Your Own Way" and "Don't Stop" and then only Christine could hush this crowd with her beautiful "Songbird" which she dedicated to "all the people that travelled so far to be here tonight... this is For You". I'm sure she meant me.

In a couple of the other reviews I have read there is mention that the show started 30-40 minutes late. I want to thank FM for starting this concert about 35 minutes late. I truly believe this was a courtesy FM extended to all of their guests. Why? Because of the massive traffic problems that happen at these concerts they couldn't possibly get everyone in the door and seated by 7:30. It was just the classy thing to do. And would you expect anything less than class from Fleetwood Mac? I highly recommend that you do yourself a favor and get there early.

I gotta believe there is someone reading this that hasn't decided whether the concert is worth the price of the $65 ticket. My advice is buy the best seat available and do it quickly. Fleetwood Mac is a special collection of ultra-talented musicians. Don't miss it. Listen to the wind blow, watch the sunrise.
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