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Thinking Back

Written by John Jun 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM
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After seeing the latest Fleetwood Mac incarnation in Charlotte, NC, last night, it made me think back to this concert at Nissan Pavilion in 1997, which I was fortunate enough to attend. I still consider it one of the best rock concerts I've ever seen, right up there with The Beatles, Rolling Stones (a number of times, probably too many), U2, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bruce Springsteen. Everybody in the group was pitch perfect, both Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie were delights, and Lindsey Buckingham's guitar riffs were fabulous. Just a tremendous show to a highly enthusiastic audience.
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Nissan Pavilion

Written by Bill Jun 10, 2008 at 04:54 PM
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I attended the Fleetwood Mac concert last night (9/27/97) at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Virginia, which is outside of Washington, DC. My friend and I arrived early at the Nissan Pavilion in order to avoid the traffic. As we approached the Pavilion's locked gate at about 5:30 PM, we heard the sound check begin! For an instant, I thought we were going to get inside in time to see part of the sound check, but of course we didn't. Fleetwood Mac did "The Chain", most of "Dreams" and Mick practiced part of his body-pad drum solo that's part of "Not That Funny". During "The Chain" Lindsey stopped singing and Stevie sang most of the second verse by herself. This was kind of neat because, typically, Stevie and Lindsey sing the verses in unison. I could tell at this point that Stevie sounded FABULOUS.

We had great seats, twelve rows back from the orchestra, center stage. The show began at about 8:30 PM, just after the "cricket music" finished playing. (Someone else mentioned the crickets, so I knew when I heard them that the show was about to start.) The set was exactly the same as has been reported for other shows. "Second Hand News" seems to have replaced "Eyes of the World" for good. I think this is a good alteration to the set because it fits in perfectly near the end of the show between "Rhiannon" and "Silver Springs".

"Gold Dust Woman" (song number 4) I can only describe as TOUGH. The music was played with great intensity, and Stevie's vocals were just right--vengeful and edgy. When she launched into her primal howl after "pick up the pieces and go home . . . " she received huge applause and many cheers. She really let loose here, much more so than in "The Dance" video.

All of Lindsey's guitar solos were OUTSTANDING and he received many standing ovations. He appeared very genuinely flattered, even a little embarrassed at the crowd's response. In response to other comments I've seen on The Ledge . . . (1) Lindsey did get down on the floor after Mick's solo on "Not That Funny". He crossed his legs, hoisted himself onto his knees, and walked over to Mick (with his feet crossed in front of him) while playing the guitar. I was astonished at how he contorted himself! You have to see this to believe it, I didn't think you could do something like this unless your legs were broken. (2) I think that "Not That Funny" is perfect in this set. (3) The band is still giving familiar comments when introducing some songs, however, the comments don't mirror the ones in "The Dance", and after all, it is hard to tell the same story in new and interesting ways every night! (4) The affection appears very genuine-- particularly between Lindsey and Stevie. (If there's not something going on here, there should be!) They embraced for a long while after "Landslide". Lindsey nuzzled his cheek against hers, apparently giving her a kiss and possibly whispering something. When Stevie did move away, her hand lingered on Lindsey's arm. "Landslide", by the way, was the absolute show-stopper. Stevie dedicated it to the audience "because if it weren't for you, there would never be any reason to sing this song." At the end when Lindsey's guitar playing paused, Stevie stretched the words out even more than usual in order to let the outrageous applause and howls die down between the words. (5) "Gypsy" sounded stronger than it does on "The Dance" video.

"Stand Back" was absolutely AWESOME. The crowd went nuts over it! Stevie and John "high-fived" when they passed as she marched over to center stage. She had been over to the side of the stage by Lindsey changing shawls towards the end of the preceding song ("My Little Demon") She has updated her shawl from the black with gold dots number that I think she has worn since 1983 to perform this song. It now appears to be black with gold streaks through it. This version of "Stand Back" was more like the record version than I've previously heard it performed live. The tempo was still faster than the original, though. As others have mentioned, it did seem that Stevie flubbed part of the song. So I'm starting to wonder if she's not changing it on purpose. I don't know though, Lindsey and Christine did look confused the third time she launched into the "la-la" part of the chorus!

Other moments: Lindsey nearly tripped Stevie with his guitar cord at the end of "You Make Lovin' Fun". I think she pointed this out to him because she looked down, saw the cord coming, stepped back in her white platform boots, then whispered something to him. She was standing by the drum platform and the near-trip happened when he walked back to jam with Mick. Christine was SUPER on this. Chris looked very elegant and thin in velvet outfits that I believe are identical to the ones she wore in the video. She performed "Oh Daddy" and "Songbird" so sweetly and beautifully! Chris dedicated "Songbird" to us and said they'd had a fantastic time and that she hoped we had to. (WE DID!!!) When everyone said goodnight before the encores, Stevie said that "we really want you to know that . . ." but the applause was so loud that I couldn't hear all of her words. But I think she may have said something about how special we made the evening for them. I'm not sure. Unfortunately, when the band members spoke at various times throughout the show, you couldn't always catch everything because the audience was applauding and cheering so loudly.

The band left immediately after the show in three black Lincoln limos. The entourage went right by us as we made our way through the parking lot! I waved to all three cars. :)
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Could Have Danced All Night

Written by Keith Jun 10, 2008 at 04:50 PM
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On a beautiful, cool autumn Virginia evening, on a very simple and almost barren stage, this truly great rock and roll band performed for 2 incredible hours and twenty minutes to a very appreciative audience of 25,000+ fans. Writing this on a Sunday morning after an exhausting evening, please forgive my grammar..but this is what I saw and felt..

va My friend and I got to the venue very early, even before the gates opened. As we went up, and grabbed 5 best buy coupons from a box next to the ticket taker. 6 - 8 weeks for delivery it says. I don't know if I can wait that long for that bonus CD! After buying the Rumours T-shirt ($27) and the light brown ball cap with the red FM letters on front and Fleetwood Mac printed on the back($25, take money or Visa, because they have some nice stuff, but still no tour books). With my shopping spree finished, we searched for some pre-concert munchies. Took our food over to a picnic table, where they had a really good band from Richmond playing a show before the concert on a side stage. They ended up playing until 8:15, and we stayed listening, then we ran to the bathroom one more time, and headed to our seats. I got to meet Beth from the Stevie list, which was great, and wished I would have gotten the opportunity to meet others...but it was crazy and I was excited!!!! They had way too many people on the lawn. It was impressive looking back from the second row at all the people coming to see this band. I noticed a lot of Behind the Mask T-shirts, and a few OSOTM shirts on people. I also saw a young fan, she was probably 12 or 13, who had this beautiful pin of Stevie on the t-shirt she was wearing - a shirt with a picture of the band during Rumours. I had to say how great the pin and shirt were. She said she bought the shirt and pin at a store in Rockville, MD called Reruns, a vintage type thrift store, (can't even imagine who would get rid of these items to begin with). I will have to check this store out! Who knows what I might find. It was really neat seeing so many younger fans who love this band. There was also a large twenty something showing, which this thirty something guy thought was great!

I started getting anxious when I heard the "cricket" sounds coming from the speaker and saw the players being led to their places. This is a recap of the songs and how I responded to them.(Please note: I did not sit in my chair once, and neither did the incredible fans that I was fortunate to have around me. It made the show even more special.)

Lindsey seemed to be totally immersed in his guitar in the opening The Chain. His voice screaming the words, occasionally glancing at Stevie; Stevie's words wrapped tightly around this intense rock and roll song, her voice sounding like a lover scorned (as soon as I saw Stevie, she instantly pulled me in.) She was absolutely stunning. I just stared at her face, her hair, her red lips, her expressions. I couldn't believe I was this close to her. She was wearing these incredible diamond bracelets on each wrist. They were at least an inch and half wide (maybe, wider). She gave us one strong kick during this number, and the crowd loved it. Christine was also stunning. She was beautiful, smiling from the start. It was like her way of saying how much she was glad we were here. She looks more beautiful than in her pictures. John had one of his signature ball caps on, with his hair in one long braid in the back. Mick was into the music from the start. This man was energized. You know the part where the band is going into the second verse and there is like one second of silence. That was me yelling "STEVIE" right at this moment. These five strong individuals, introducing themselves again with the Chain, letting the 25,000+ crowd know that they can still play some of the best rock and roll ever created by a band. I knew this was the beginning of a "intense" but special night........When the song finished, Stevie welcomed everyone - she didn't say anything about the location. And then the band started playing Dreams...Stevie was dressed in black (had these wild looking white platform boots on), letting go of Lindsey one more time with her words and her voice in this beautiful song that was gorgeously played by Chris, Lindsey, John and Mick. Sounded pretty much how it always does. Not a lot of emotion, but consistent and heartfelt.

Christine welcomed Virginia, and introduced Everywhere. We in the orchestra were still on our feet, and this Tango track got the whole venue dancing, again (what were they doing sitting down in the first place!!.) Christine moved up front, shaking the maraca's, with Stevie doing back-up and Lindsey played gently a few steps back. Sounded just like the version on the Dance. Very up and comforting number. Christine was just glowing.

As soon as I heard the opening licks of the next song, I knew it was Gold Dust Woman. Wrapped in her orange shawl, Stevie tore this song up, screaming even stronger than in the video. The audience was totally in awe as Stevie demanded and got their attention. (Listen to me now!!!) I'm So Afraid, a deep and dark song about fear and loneliness, was one of the many highlights for me at the concert. Lindsey gave his all in this song, totally mesmerizing this fan. I was so immersed in his incredible guitar playing that he could of played the ending of this song for the next two hours and I would have been satisfied....I didn't want this one to end. Powerful. I haven't really connected with Temporary One, but Christine's deliverance of this energetic tune and Stevie and Lindsey vocals during the chorus were right on target and I caught myself tapping my foot, and I noticed the audience seemed to be enjoying this one, too, Actually, the first songs were so good, that this was the first time I really even paid attention to the audience. They seemed to be responding favorably. Lindsey basically introduced Bleed to Love Her without the organic speech, just saying they were working on this next number which led to the reunion. This is an incredible song, but Lindsey's guitar was overshadowed by the bass and drums.

He seemed to have played it a little stronger on the MTV version, but the sound mixers weren't really highlighting his playing. I thought his guitar picking should have been the dominant instrument in this song, but it seemed to be competing with the drums and bass. It was slower than the Dance CD version. My heart pumped up as soon as I heard the opening chords of one of my favorites, Gypsy, and went wild when Stevie stepped up to the microphone. Her voice managed the first verse better than the video version, and as soon as the second verse came around, her voice got even stronger and defiantly delivered the rest of the song. This is the best live version of Gypsy I have heard. Lindsey's guitar playing here added an almost folky/country sound to this song. It was perfect for a cool Virginia evening. Big Love was next and it was Lindsey's stage and he commanded it. Lindsey did not miss a lick. I swear, the man's facial expression were wild. You didn't know if he was in excruciating pain or what. Whatever, he really gave his all in this number,and was really starting to get into the show. The audience around me (I may have started it) began doing the love grunts with him. A standing ovation and he sincerely said thank you to the very appreciative audience. Then right before he started in with one of his solo efforts, Go Insane, I yelled "LINDSEY". I think he heard because he looked up. (Of course, I am drinking my second cup of herbal tea with honey and lemon this morning, because I can barely talk!!) I thought it was even better than Big Love, maybe because it was riding on the crest of the previous song. It's weird why he does two solo acoustic numbers back to back, but it amazingly works. Big Love is way too short, and you want more acoustic Lindsey when its finished. And he delivers with Go Insane. Amazing how Lindsey takes these two uptempo numbers, and strip them down to their skeleton and make them work even better. Stevie's voice matched Lindsey's guitar note for note on Landslide. This was definitely a Buckingham/Nicks number this evening. They both seem to really need each other to make this song so beautiful live. I have never heard her sing it as powerful as when Lindsey is the one playing the guitar. He obviously must have been on her mind when she wrote this one.

They were very attentive with each other, especially at the end. Stevie felt this one. (I took a bic lighter just for a song like this). Stevie went to Lindsey, and he embraced her, kissed her on the cheek, and he held her for at least five seconds. I think she even tried to pull away, thinking the hug was over, but he held her!!!! All right, Lindsey!! You go boy! Say You Love Me got the audience back on their feet, except for the standing ovations on the last 3 songs (and me and my new found Mac friends who had been standing from the start). They stage was set-up just like the video, and worked really well from the sixth row. Stevie stepped back from her mike a lot, not for sure why. Mick seemed to really being enjoying himself, especially on this song. John was to the the right of the stage, then Chris, then Stevie, Mick and Lindsey.

I was excited about hearing Stevie's new song, Sweet Girl, and it was better than my expectations. She sang this song about her life as a rock and roll star with confidence and conviction. I was starting to detect a little country flavor delevoping in her songs, and liked how this song floated throughout the pavilion. Lindsey's guitar playing was once again a strong asset musically to this number. A guy behind me disturbed me at the end of the song and asked me If I was going to stand and sing every song that they do (at first I wondered why in the hell was he looking at me with this band on the stage, then I took it as a compliment). You Make Loving Fun got the audience moving again. Christine played her heart out on this song, and Lindsey's guitar matched her keyboard playing note for note. I love the friendly competition between the members of this band, because the result is strong performances. I screamed "CHRISTINE" after the song, and I swear she came over to where I was near the stage and waved to all of us there. I don't think she could see us, because she was shielding her eyes from all the lights. But, she waved and smiled!! My Little Demon must be seen live to be appreciated. Not only does Lindsey give a powerful performance here, but Stevie was very active- dancing, shaking her head up and down, playing with John. The concert was really on fire at this time, the audience was into it!!! Then, we heard the opening chords to Stand Back, and with a small light show beginning (believe me, these guys were up there to play their music, there were very little visuals) the crowd went wild. Next to Rhiannon, this was Stevie at her best. She knew this was her song, and she owned it. She was wearing a dress or a cape (not sure) that had a lot of red and she looked stunning in it! She really seemed to love the audience's powerful reaction to her song. She knew she was not pleasing her own die-hard fans (like me), but the whole audience as well.

Oh Daddy came next and this was a treat for me as I never heard this song live. Christine was right on the money. Not only was her piano playing exceptional, but her voice demanded attention and it definitely got mine. Stevie also did some nice back-up vocals here. But, Lindsey's guitar playing was the back bone of this song. I'm not for sure why, but he kept the song alive! Not That Funny opens up strong and energetic, and then makes way for Mick and his drum solo. You know that moment of silence before Mick really gets going? That's me yelling and waving, "HEY MICK!!" This man was wearing pinkish red moccasin type shoes, a red bandana, the Dance cover outfit, and the dangling balls. Beating his chest and lower abdomen areas, he had the audience begging for more. Lindsey was laying on the floor, and walked on his knees over to meet Mick at center stage where they performed a powerful drum and guitar duet and finished the song on a high note with rest of the crew who came back on stage. I wanted more!!!!!! And I got it. Rhiannon. Stevie!! Stevie!! Stevie!! This was another highlight for me, Stevie's commanding performance of this incredible song. Her voice communicated to me the passion she has for her music, especially this song. The beautiful piano opening (thank you, Christine) where Stevie is slowly warming up the audience for the approaching power and intensity of this song. She hit hear stride and her voice challenging successfully every note as she became Rhiannon. I was dancing with some strange girl who suddenly appeared in front of me on this one, and we were both totally focused on Ms. Nicks and her passion for this song. Second Hand News kept the momentum going!!! Everyone around me was chanting with Lindsey "bam bam bam - well, you know the part! Lindsey was responding back to the audience, and everyone was totally into this show. Then, the lights got soft, and the lights on the stage turned into soothing blue. I knew with Christine at her piano, that it was time for Silver Springs.

Stevie was great here, but next to Dreams, I thought it was one of her weaker numbers this evening. But, let me emphasis it was still excellent! The video version seemed stronger, but Stevie's voice could have been tired because she REALLY GAVE during Rhiannon. Also, the music at times seemed to overpower her voice (from where I was). I must comment on the power of Christine's piano playing on this song. It totally directs this song musically, challenging the other instruments and Stevie's voice to keep building. Stevie's ending "never get away, never get away" is stronger than the video version, however, and Lindsey and her are staring each other down here. You had to see it - the connection (whether good or bad) between these two strong individuals. I knew this was Stevie's last song for the evening, and I realized that even though she is incredible solo and her solo work is excellent, all the times I have seen her live (solo or FM) she seems to be at her best when surrounded by these four musicians. (that friendly competition concept, maybe). Next, came the opening drum beat of Tusk and I was ready and not disappointed. I thought Tusk was much better here than on MTV. I know that the USC band playing was cool, but this song works even without all the horns and other overpowering instruments. Lindsey on guitar, John on Bass, Christine's accordian, Mick's drum, and Stevie's presence makes this song more raw and appealing to me. Mick took charge and led this number with his powerful drumming. The venue was rocking and wanting more and got it with Go Your Own Way. The band just seemed to come together here and give their all. Lindsey was on the floor and on his knees playing this song, even twirling around once. I had climaxed. They said goodbye, and some other things I couldn't make out, and we all waited, applauded, hollered for more.

We got Don't Stop, which had everyone rocking, especially during Christine's piano solo - it was awesome. They said their goodbyes again, and then, Christine came out by herself and played Songbird to a quieting audience. Her voice soared angelically throughout the pavilion, igniting a bic lighter display though out the lawn. One of my favorite moments happened just as she was finishing the song. Mick snuck up behind her with his black hat in his hands (I thought he was going to put it on her head). But, he simply put his arms around her, hugged her for a few seconds, and she turned and kissed him next to his mouth. You could see what great friends they are, and how much they love this band and playing together. The last encore was Farmers Daughter, and it was a pleasant way to end the show. They were standing in their SYLM position, and just shared the song. As it ended, Stevie went to the microphone as said "You made this special for us. Just had to throw that in." and Mick said, "goodbye,Virginia. Thank you", and something I couldn't quite make out. I knew that was it, but the lights didn't come up, so I waited still clapping and shouting for more (along with others). After 5 minutes, when I was praying to the Fleetwood Mac Gods that they might come back for just one more song, any song! I didn't care! I wanted more! But, the lights finally came on and I knew this amazing performance was over. I was exhausted, tired, elated, and completely satisfied, but I could have danced all night.
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