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Albany, NY



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Wonderful Memories

Written by Kathie Angelone Jun 17, 2008 at 05:13 PM
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I sometimes have felt that Fleetwood Mac has written the soundtrack to my life. I, like them, have gotten older and wiser than when I first fell in love with the band and their music. When they broke up it was one more sad event to chalk up to life's ups and downs. I have gone for long periods without listening to their music because it would remind me of better days. My daughter has been exposed to a great variety of music in my quest to further her musical education, but I never played Fleetwood Mac for her or taught her to love them. It was too close.

Then THE REUNION happened and everything changed. I knew I would never miss seeing Fleetwood Mac no matter how much nostalgia they stirred up. I also knew I would have to share it with my daughter who is now nine years old. I began to play their music again, over and over the way I used to. Surprisingly, Katie was resistant at first, but when I realized that as I was cleaning I had heard Rhiannon again and again and again I knew I had won her over. She was dancing around the living room as if she had actually seen Stevie perform and a new Fleetwood Mac fan was born.

Unlike when I first loved them I am older, more well off, and more knowledgeable about how to get good seats at concerts. I managed to get great seats in Albany and pretty good seats in Buffalo. Alas that job which made me so well off prevented my going to Buffalo but nothing could keep me from Albany.

My daughter, her friend and I arrived early, bought our T-shirts and sweatshirts (would have loved a program) and headed to our truly fantastic seats right in front of Lindsey. I won't give you a blow by blow as you've heard it all before. All were in great form and seemed to be having a great time. Stevie was smiling and relating to the audience all night. I am not falling for the Stevie/Linsey "are they/ aren't they" hype. Their antics seemed close but staged, but it didn't really matter. I hate to care about that stuff. I mean the music is what counts! They were all together again!

There was a special twist--after Mick's drum vest thing (really cool) he blabbed to the audience that it was John McVie's birthday and got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday with him! John took it as you might imagine, hiding in the shadows.

Stevie assured us in her intro to Landslide that she doesn't mean to make her dedication to the audience the same every night but that the fans are the only reason she and Lindsey have to do this "old song" anymore. How many people know that Landslide was the only song on the Buckingham/Nicks album which was brought with them and recorded on their first Fleetwood Mac album? It really is an old song!

If I can judge properly by the reviews it seems as though they were all fairly talkative at this concert. We heard from everyone but John. Lindsey did his poem and some chitchat I hadn't heard before. It may be that their all a little sad at the tour winding down. Let's hope that feeling takes them back into the studio for some new Mac music as only they can do it!

P.S. My daughter was crazy about the concert. For long stretches she was mesmerized and Rhiannon was all she'd hoped for. Her friend's parents had told her that they couldn't see her enjoying the show, but she was blown away too (and that was without much introduction to Mac music.) They both sang Mac tunes all the way home to Rochester.

So once again Fleetwood Mac shared a big moment in my life with me. You see they were there when I made a memory with my daughter and every parent knows that's not something I could buy no matter how well-off I get. Thank You Fleetwood Mac.

[sent later]-- I did want to mention one Lindsey moment. My favorite Lindsey tune is "I'm So Afraid" I was thrilled to hear he would be doing it. He blew me away - Awesome! The next song was Christine's "Temporary One". Lindsey stood still in front of the microphone and seemed to have trouble getting through at least the first verse. I think he gave everything he had to the "So Afraid" performance and needed some time to recoup. That is a performer for you. I, for one, was very impressed.

Ron Browne-- Well here I am again recovering from my second FM concert in 5 weeks.

We live in New Orleans, and have been busy following the entire tour since day 1. After finding great seats in Albany, I made a 2 day trip up north to see them just one more time. Phoenix was great, but in Albany we had floor seats section 1, about 12 rows back on the aisle (FANTASTIC). We grabbed a cab from our hotel by the airport to the Pepsi arena, which we shared with 3 other fans. It was raining, and our cab driver wasn't sure how to fine the arena. Since I had the address memorized, I helped him find it. We arrived about 630, and found a small bar adjacent to the arena. After fighting our way to the bar, we met some great folks around us, and everyone was in the FM mood. About 745 we made our way into the arena, and to the floor. When we got to the seats, I was completely blown away. Everything was so close!!! I felt like we were on the stage.

The show started about 815, and when they walked on, all I could think of was how close we were. It was better than the video. We could see every expression, and feel every emotion coming from the stage. It's amazing to see them so close, and in full view, no binoculars needed. We couldn't have been more that 50 feet from the stage.

Now I have to explain that coming from the south to the north, I was dressed a little to warm for an indoor concert. By the end of The Chain, the coats were gone, and I was really working up a sweat.

The next 2 and 1/2 hours were pure emotion from the group as well as from the audience!!!! We never sat down even once to catch our breath, as each number kept us on our feet. Temporary One was amazing, and it really shows how good this group works together. The one thing I really noticed was how in sync the group is as a whole!!! It's so amazing how great they are, and really how much better they sound than they did the 1st time I saw them in 1976.(Being that I now have 3 FM concerts under my belt, is there a club for us addicts???)

I can't explain how great and overwhelmed I was by each and every song they did that night. I do remember the wonderful hugs Stevie and Lindsey gave each other after Landslide. The pure emotion that swept from Stevie during Gold Dust Woman (a personal favorite). Silver Springs is now an "all time classic", and when the first strains of Rhiannon came off the stage, we were engulfed in pure Fleetwood Mac. It was like I was in a slow motion vortex of time and emotion. I felt the music, and could see the band, as if they were in my own house. Somehow every song and every moment became a stitch in time that will live on forever. In the back of my mind I knew the minutes were ticking away towards the end, but somehow I felt like I could stay there for a 100 years and never leave.(I'm sure I will replay moments of this night and the one in Phoenix over and over in my head for many many years to come!!) The Phoenix show was great, but there's no comparing having tickets in the front. It changes the whole perspective of the concert. So I have to say I enjoyed Albany much more!!!

By now I had been dancing, clapping and hollering for 2 hours, and like in Phoenix, my voice was going, and I was working up a sweat since I could't find a moment to sit down and take a breath. Tusk, GYOW, and Don't Stop kept everyone going strong. Also since it was Johns birthday, we all sang Happy Birthday to him. He seemed a little shy about receiving so much attention.

What more can I say. My neighbors thought I was crazy to fly from New Orleans to Albany just for front seats, especially after just seeing them last month. All I can say is it was worth the 48 hours I spent flying north, seeing the concert, and then getting about 3 hours sleep to fly home Thanksgiving morning to be with the family by 1pm. Today is Friday the 28th, less than 48 hours from the concert, and I am still in a fog, just seems impossible that it all went so quick. If they play Europe next year, I will find a way over the pond. Believe me Fleetwood Mac is worth every effort and dollar spent, to see them live. And may "The Chain never break"

I hope the members of the band have just an inkling of the wonderful memories that they gave to me, as well as the the hundreds of thousands that have seen them since this tour started in September. Thanks again to Fleetwood Mac for the past 2 and 1/2 months of the reunion. We really appreciate it!!!!!!
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Overall Rating
4.0

Pepsi Arena Concert Review

Written by John B. Jun 17, 2008 at 01:43 PM
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

boom. BooM. bOOm. BOOM!

Intro to The Chain?

No. That song's familiar downbeat is delivered with equal thumping precision.

The crescendo I've indicated in MY intro--a simple, flat beat building quickly to a chest-pounding fury--is, frankly, my heart.

It represents some kind of emotional timeline for me ever since I tuned in, with modest--not burning--curiosity, to what I presumed was a one-shot deal on MTV back in August.

MTV, of all places--a network with which I had lost contact about a dozen years ago--was showing a reunion concert of Fleetwood Mac, a band whose music I had certainly enjoyed (although I had always found the syncopation of Go Your Own Way a bit unsettling), but whose musical tapestry was of no interest to me and, consequently, whose essence had faded from my brain's active files.

Thus began a three-month odyssey in which five people and their music settled, undeniably, in the deepest recesses of my head, my heart, and my soul.

That might sound corny or hyperbolic, but it's the strange truth. I've pondered this quite a bit, and I know now that it has as much to do with my age (35) and decade-long musical dormancy as it does the music. But I also believe that many people around my age and a bit older can identify, however reluctantly, with some of what I'm going to say. The cloak of anonymity on this board frees us all to say things we wouldn't normally say in public, and I intend to do just that. It's liberating--cathartic, really--and, like I said in my very first post back in August, it's therapy among friends. We may disagree on various aspects of this group, we may all be virtually unknown to each other, but we're all here for a reason: something about this group has driven each of us to seek out others who enjoy their music.

When I last recognized the Mac as a vibrant musical force, they had just released Tusk to suspicious reviews--many people at the time didn't know what the hell to make of it--and then they just kind of dropped out of my head as I immersed myself in the music to which my various college roommates and suitemates were listening.

Then I became a grown-up, sort of, and entered the workforce, and I remember hearing on the radio one day a few years later the charming accent of Christine McVie, introducing the band's two new guitarists. I didn't care, since Lindsey Buckingham's contributions to the group were always a mystery to me. As I mentioned in a post a couple of months ago, I never knew who he was anyway, since I always figured Lindsey was one of the girls, and Stevie was one of the boys. It only made sense.

A fountain of musical knowledge I was not. But neither was I a trickle, having played the guitar for a few years, doing the garage band bit with some friends and a cousin, and knowing my way somewhat around the musical landscape that was emerging FM radio.

Zoom ahead to August 1997. Married twelve years, with three kids and a limited collection of cassette tapes (which, I soon learned, went the way of 8-tracks), and a long-ago discarded turntable that condemned our vinyls to an irreversible death, our musical explorations took my wife and I from one collection of children's music to another. I think our last purchase of anything resembling rock was around 1987, two years before the birth of our first child, and my guitar had been collecting dust for many years.

Then one night, I was flipping through the t.v. guide, a rare occurrence in our house as we are infrequent viewers, and the word "Rumours" caught my eye. I read the program's two- or three-word description, and for some reason I cannot comprehend I became immediately and immensely interested in the making of that album. I don't think I'd ever heard the whole thing played through, believe it or not. More unbelievable, but absolutely true, is the inexplicable nature of something that had always bothered me: my aforementioned lack of insight into Lindsey Buckingham's role in the band. It had never been clarified. This little fact lay dormant on a shelf somewhere way back in my mind, along with so many other mostly useless bits of information and unanswered questions, any of which is looking for some kind of trigger to set it back in motion and breathe new life into it.

The listing of this "Making of Rumours" was just that trigger. It held out the intriguing promise of answering my questions. The couple of brief times I saw Lindsey, he seemed to be playing without a pick, which made no sense to me, and he didn't seem to be playing any leads, and he wasn't singing, so I figured he was just along for the ride, and I wasn't surprised when I'd heard he left.

A brilliant analysis, I know.

Onto the special. Almost from the opening pictures, the transformation in me began to take place. I ate that special up, replayed it, and watched it with my wife, who was half interested.

Then came The Dance. Again, I figured it was a one-shot, and I didn't expect much. I had seen so many reunions that I was deeply cynical, and I fully expected an overhyped, underperformed, completely flat concert.

A keen prediction, I know.

Yet, for the first few seconds, I felt that my cynicism was justified. (I have to take comfort in those few seconds, since we all feel the need to be right once in a while.) Upon first blush, Mick looked too enthusiastic--like he was trying to sell me on the band--while John looked bored, Lindsey looked nervous, and the crowd looked like a giant living room of sedated guests.

Then that first gorgeous harmony hit: Listen to the wind blooooow, waaaatch the suuun riiiiise. So beautiful, so fluid, so perfect.

I've thought and thought and thought about what happened to me next, because it almost defies explanation. I say "almost" because it's taken me awhile to figure it out, and I think that's what this whole message is about, but onward...

I remember looking at them as they sang that harmony. Why did this sound so good to me? What chord in my soul was struck so profoundly that these few simple notes hit me right between the eyes? I remember watching Lindsey's fingers dancing on his strings. It all made sense to me. Suddenly, I knew what the guy and his guitar were all about. He wasn't about mindless, blistering leads; he was about textures. I remember my mouth stayed open--my jaw didn't drop, but neither did it close--and I watched these five, mesmerized, for the next hour and a half.

Mesmerized.

I won't go into specifics about the video, since I've blabbered previously on that much-trodden subject, but I will say that by the time The Chain got to the bridge--John's simple but menacing bass line, followed by Lindsey's hot twanging playing off Mick's intensifying lead-in on drums--my mind was absolutely racing. This moment is arguably among the most exhilarating in any Mac song anyway, and I was stunned at how well they pulled it off. Watching Stevie getting into it, I started thinking that maybe this reunion meant something to them. And by the time Christine got to her pitch-perfect rendering of Songbird, the resurrection, in my mind, was complete. I became, instantly, possessed by the band. I recalled the character in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the guy who builds that structure in his living room, who can't get the vision out of his mind.

At the next available instance, I was searching the Web for information. Then I found this excellent site, and gathered information. And read. And read some more. Every article I could get my eyes on.

I started listening to Rumours and the white album, inhaling both of them, getting my kids and wife involved.

Then, an uncharacteristic purchase: We bought The Dance video. We never buy videos. And then, the unlikeliest twist: We took the plunge, and bought tickets to see them in Albany. Naive to the process (our first concert since 1984), I bought over the phone via TicketMaster, and wound up in, as I called it at the time, Binocularsville.

But I didn't care, because I was on some kind of bizarre mission. Logistics? I didn't know who was going to babysit, whether I could get the time off, whether to stay over in Albany--nothing. I had to see these people, and I didn't care what I had to do to get there.

Seven days before the concert, I received a fortuitous e-mail from a fellow Ledgie (a kind woman, actually) to whom I am eternally grateful. She relayed some posts from The Ledge that told of various people having last-minute luck with TicketMaster. I went to the Website but found nothing.

Until the next day, just as I was leaving work for the weekend. Just for the hell of it, I took a last shot, and was frozen with shock as two seats, seven rows from the stage, became available. Since I've never bought anything through the Web, and since I couldn't believe my eyes, it took me a couple of minutes to make up my mind, and since TicketMaster gives you five minutes to make a decision, I was sweating, knowing that I'd have to sell or eat my other two tickets.

Fortunately, it hit me that I was an idiot for even considering *not* buying them, so I bought them, and then called a laughing TicketMaster agent who was amused that I was so bewildered and dumbstruck by my good fortune. He referred to them as killer seats. They weren't quite that, but they were close to it.

We got to the arena at 7:45, and even though I figured the concert wouldn't start until 8:30, I still wanted to get inside. We made a less-than-half-hearted attempt to sell the tickets; the scalpers are a scary, competitive bunch, and I didn't feel like risking getting caught just to get a few bucks back. We even tried giving the tickets away, but, understandably, people looked at me like I had two heads and ran away from me. I remember visiting New York City almost 20 years ago with a classmate, and when I approached a couple and asked them in which direction the World Trade Center was, the woman looked frightened and she and her husband got away from me quickly, as did four or five others when I asked them.

We humans have really done a number on ourselves.

Anyway, we ate the tickets, walked inside, and sat right in front of Christine's area, seven magical rows back. I tried making conversation with some stiffs behind me and in front of me, but they reacted like I was going to perpetrate some violent act on them if they looked my way. I confess that their reticence gave me just those feelings.

I really don't understand why some people bother attending these things, since they look angry or upset that they're there. What's up with that?

Anyway, I told the kind woman next to me, who looked to be about 45, that I didn't know how I'd react, and I apologized in advance if I elbowed her. She was quite understanding and supportive. She looked like she'd been dragged there, and so did her husband. Which leads to the obvious question: Well, then, if they both look like that, which one of them did the actual dragging?

There was some psychotic-looking guy, front row center, and his biker-chick-type companion who were front row center. (I didn't see any cigarettes rolled up in her shirtsleeves, she wasn't spitting tobacco or using profanities, and there were no visible Harley tatoos, but you know the type. If you've never seen this couple, go to your next county or state fair and take a good look at the people hawking the $2 dart throw.) She was going around trying to enthuse everyone in our section. I wanted to put out my hand and shake hers, since I was simpatico with her attitude, but I was afraid she'd crush the bones, so I'd declined. I'm 6'2" and 215 pounds, but this woman scared me.

Then the lights went down, and the crickets sounded. I felt an adrenaline rush like never before. Never. My wife cautioned me about bad behavior--I don't think she wanted me to embarrass us--but I told her I was guaranteeing nothing.

And then, oh God. Oh Christ. Then, I saw Them. In the shadows. Not running--approaching. At the time, I was not wondering why I--a person of moderate intelligence who does not worship idols of any kind, who couldn't care less about famous people--felt the way I did. But I felt it.

Sounds emanated from my throat that I did not think possible. I put my hands over my head, clapped like a freaking lunatic, and screamed my bloody head off.

Mick started the downbeat, which continued for a sweetly torturous extended period of time.

Then, I watched in total rapture as Lindsey walked, with total majesty, in complete confidence and control, toward his microphone and stood there, almost as if he was posing. His tilted-back head and posture communicated loud and clear that he was in command, and he knew it. The reaction to his performances along the way had obviously influenced this, because he was the essence of Cool. He could've stood there another 20 minutes and done nothing, and it wouldn't have mattered. He was Cool. I mean, Cool.

I knew none of them could hear me, but I screamed Lindsey's name repeatedly. It was almost involuntary at that point. There was that weird ethereal magnetic pull you feel from the group, and vice versa, and I was somewhere in the stratosphere.

He hit those first few sparse notes, and I thought I'd start crying. It was that intense for me. My friends and co-workers would be shocked, but I gave myself up to that band, and I loved it.

I won't give a blow-by-blow account of the concert. You've all read that stuff over and over. I'll mention that our tickets should have been labeled "Acoustical Hell Zone," since the sound was incredibly bad. The mixers should be ashamed; the guitar was way, way, way, way too loud, and the bass distorted everything. When Stevie did her scream in Gold Dust Woman, we COULD NOT HEAR IT. Amazing. The quieter numbers were much better.

But honestly, I didn't care. I was there to drink in the five. Lindsey was a blazing comet throughout; more than anyone, he played like he had something on the line, and that's probably because he does: his upcoming solo album and tour.

I have to pause to say a word about this man. After watching him intently over the last three or four months, I can honestly say something that I probably wouldn't say in the company of others: he has affected me in a way that NO other musician has ever affected me. He's crept inside my bones, right to the marrow, and managed to mine the deepest well of my emotions.

And I have proof, as difficult as it is for a 35-year-old man to admit.

The first time I watched The Dance, I was struck by the tones in his voice. He doesn't have a great voice, but that doesn't matter. When he got to Bleed to Love Her, I was hooked solidly, never to go back. He puts so much of his soul into this song. When he sings the lines "Somebody's got to see this through/All the world is laughing at you," I always feel tears welling up. It happens every time--I'm like Pavlov's dog. I guess I'm Lindsey's dog. And the very end, where he wails with his eyes closed and his mouth wide open, is one of the most moving musical experiences I can think of. His vocal here sounds so plaintive, so sincere--it's filled with such raw emotion, like he's about to cry, like his soul really is bleeding.

Every time I hear this, it reminds me how deeply, deeply enmeshed Lindsey is and always has been in his music. When he sings "Lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice," his voice has that same quality. It's, for me, simply beautiful, and I am thankful for his devotion to his craft.

Anyway, back to the concert. When Lindsey was front and center, delivering a scorching lead on (I think) Go Your Own Way, Stevie was standing off to the side, in front of Christine, giving him that same sweet, pensive look she gives him on the video during his "Demon" speech. I started thinking about the two of them, in that living room at a party in someone's house where they met 30 years ago as he played his guitar, and I wondered how she felt looking at this man that she'd met when he was a boy, this man that she lived with, supported and probably nurtured to a certain extent, and now here he was, adoring fans at his feet as they fed off him, and vice versa. The mental juxtaposition of those two images was quite moving.

There was something else, something that, again, speaks more to what this whole thing has meant to me than what the actual event was, and it was this: When Stevie sang Gypsy, she delivered the "And you see your gypsy" line with extra poignancy, as she does on the video and did in other concerts. And I was laughing to myself, because the second time she sang it, she practically reached out and hit the audience on the head because they didn't seem to realize the first time that she was referring to herself. And, I must confess, it made all of these emotions swim, yet again, to the surface. She seemed like my big sister, and I was overcome with a feeling of wanting to rush the stage and put my arms around her, just to beg her to stay this time. I felt so drawn to her at that point; she has a way of engaging her audience anyway, but I wanted her to know that I didn't want her to go away. Especially because it might be forever.

And now the whole thing is over. I feel no optimism about the future of this group. I'm no great prognosticator, and on that basis alone, I hope I'm wrong. It wouldn't be the first time, and this time I'd be happy about it.

But one has to be realistic. Christine looked like she was having an okay time, but nothing she has said or done gives me any indication that she wants to go beyond this. I don't think she has a need for this, and at 54, she's probably had her fill. I'm sure she has enough money, and I'm sure she doesn't need the stress.

Mick, I'm certain, would like to keep going, and I think he will go forward in some way, with some group. John, I'm sure, will be along for the ride. Those two shouldn't be separated; they're too good together, and they're not singers or songwriters, so unless they begin to dislike one another, they're probably permanently joined at the hip.

Stevie has said that she prefers to be in the band, but she's signed a five-record deal, and she's used to running her own show. I don't think she'll be willing to cede much control to anyone anytime soon. It might depend on Lindsey, or it might not.

Lindsey has, I think, always been the most reluctant of the group. He reminds me of people I know who have an interest in one thing, but stick with a proven commodity to pay the bills until they have enough to go out on their own. From the massive amounts of reading I've done--and it doesn't require the skills of a brain surgeon to figure this out--I think he's always wanted to do his own thing. He feels compromised by the group situation, and that's why he's always taken as much control as possible on their albums. And yet, being in the group allows him to do much of what he wants. Just not all.

He has always resented the lack of credit given him for the group's sound and product, and I think this tour was his way of not only heightening his visibility but also showing the world his role in the group, and strutting his stuff.

I read a post on The Ledge the other day that said Stevie's not given enough credit for her songs, while Lindsey's now given too much--an opinion supported by a few people, one of whom said that that was his role as producer, and that nobody ever said George Martin was responsible for the Beatles sound or writing or something to that effect. The person, upset apparently that Stevie is getting buried in Lindseymania, stated forcefully that her songs were created by, and belong to, her, and that's that. Previously, people have taken issue with Lindsey's contributions by saying that Christine and Stevie have done just fine without him in their solo efforts.

I read all this with a few thoughts in mind, begging for release.

It is an irrefutable phenomenon in our society--in our world, really--that we feel protective of famous people and professional sports teams. We take sides and defend them fiercely. When I was a kid, I defended my favorite baseball and football teams to death. I used to have ferocious Lennon vs. McCartney arguments with my cousin (I was the Lennon supporter). And so on.

I don't think we ever really stop to question why we bother to get so worked up. But I think it probably has something to do with loving something or someone, and not wanting anyone else to interfere or show disrespect for our feelings. It's quite human, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

I think that these Stevie/Lindsey opinions stem from that real human emotion. But I also feel they're a bit misguided; I would encourage these people to give the following some thought: When you step back from The Ledge, a certainly UNrepresentative slice of America, and do some reading about music and this group in particular, you'll see that Lindsey Buckingham never received anywhere near the credit he deserved, and even now, the only people who realize the depth and breadth of his contributions to the band are rock critics, people in the business, and most of the people on this board. And, of course, the band.

Yes, on this board, it seems as if he's gotten tons of credit, maybe too much, but that's just a few rabid fans that visit this site. To most of the rest of the world, Stevie Nicks is the most visible member. I'm sure the tour has done something to improve his profile and credibility, but you really have to read to know what he's contributed to the records.

To whomever stated that those songs belong to Stevie, I cannot rebut that entirely--nor would I want to, since I don't want to argue. But consider this: She stated on one occasion that she read the name Rhiannon in a story, and ten minutes later she had written the song. It is a fact that Lindsey wrote the signature guitar intro--the most recognizable element of the song. It is a fact that she has said on many occasions that he "put the magic stuff" in her great songs; the ones in which he put forth no effort were, by her own admission, not great. He was, by the group's acknowledged consensus, the chief architect (Mick's words) of their sound. Now, how much credit should she get for the song? Obviously, the words are hers, and probably some of the melody, but just like in "Dreams," where--again, it's documented and acknowledged by the group--he turned two chords and some nice poetry into a brilliant song, it's not a black-and-white issue. The song is certainly not his, but definitely not all hers, either.

And I would disagree strongly with the George Martin hypothesis, because I used to be a Beatle fanatic, I've read volumes and volumes about them, and I've seen endless documentaries. The unstated truth, denied by Martin because he's a gentleman and would not want to tarnish the image of The Beatles, is that he had a HUGE uncredited hand in their music. I won't go into details, but trust me on this one.

And I cannot disagree that Christine and Stevie have done just fine without Lindsey, but that misses the point: Regardless of their solo successes and quality, his large footprints are all over their *Mac* music.

But again, this is not something to argue about. I don't feel protective of him, as much as I now adore the guy. I'm just adding a little perspective to the discussion.

I could go on, but I'm tired and you're restless. I think I'll close this novella with a thought that might have a little more resonance for people my age than the younger fans, maybe not. It's this: As I've said, I've tried to figure out why this whole reunion and tour have meant so much to me. I think in my first-ever post, I said that it felt like you could go home again. And I think that's the essence of why I've pounced on this whole thing.

When you see five people reunite and do so well and look so good again after so long, when you see a 55-year-old man drum his heart out for two-and-a-half hours with the enthusiasm of a ten-year-old, when you see a 48-year-old man having the time of his life enjoying a renaissance of his material and newfound recognition of his abilities, bopping around the stage like a kid, when you see a singer re-establish a bond with her audience and her one-time soulmate (yeah, I have opinions on the Stevie/Lindsey thing, but that's another time), you feel like a kid again. Like everything's going to be all right because things are, once again, the way they used to be. It doesn't matter that you're 35; there's a very real subconcious feeling that you've gone home again.

When my father died three terrible years ago, I was a long-married homeowner with a profession, kids, responsibities that I was carrying out, and so on. And yet, as the inevitable and yet unbelievably painful moment arrived, as I held his hand while he literally took the last breath of his life, just the two of us in his dreary hospital room, and I felt the warmth of his soft hands that I was squeezing, and as I smelled his hair and his face, I was not 35 anymore. I was a kid, wishing his daddy would please wake up. Please.

And so I think the parallel holds for this Fleetwood Mac experience. Many of us are kids again--teens, I guess--and the belief that people kiss and make up and reunite and have a good time together tells us that everything's all right again, if only for a little while.

I'll pass through this sentimental phase, undoubtedly. They are, after all, just a band. But for this one all-too-brief point in time, I am happy that this band awakened these feelings in me. I'm grateful for The Dance video, which captured that moment so well, and captured the soap opera that was Stevie and Lindsey so well--for I believe what we see on the video is, indeed, genuine, regardless of how it played out as the tour unfolded--and I'm glad for the tour. If lightning strikes twice and it happens again, I'm there. Definitely. And I'll do everything I can to see more than one concert. I'll be the first in line for tickets to Lindsey's solo tour, and his new album will be in my hands as soon as I can get it.

But for now, I thank them and their promoters for the ride. Unlike the critics who derided the whole enterprise as some cynical attempt to bilk baby boomers out of their money by mining their sense of nostalgia, I was only too happy to take part. I was not taken advantage of; I was fulfilled. Enormously.

If only for a little while.

Now, I think I'll go have a good cry.
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Overall Rating
4.0

Albany, NY Review

Written by ACE Jun 10, 2008 at 04:12 PM
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

We arrived at the park about 7:00, after being in traffic for about a half an hour getting off the exit. I was so nervous about not being in my seat when the show began. We walked in the main gate and went straight to the rest rooms.We then went to the merchandise booth. I couldn't believe my eyes. They had so many T-shirts and sweat shirts to choose from. The line was real long. I waited my turn and picked out three T-shirts, one with the "Rumours" design, one with the "Dance" cover and a black one with the publicity shot that has Stevie's hair is being blown and she is leaning in towards Lindsey.They are too cool. No programs, but I was assured they would be ready later in the tour.

We then went all they way up front to our fourth row seats. They were amazing! I had never been that close to the stage at any Stevie or Mac show. We were told by the security that there was no opening band and that Fleetwood Mac would take the stage at around 8:00. Well it was the longest 15 minutes of my life, then they made an announcement at 8:05 that due to traffic there would be a delay but the band would be out in about 15 minutes. Aargh!

Well at about 8:20 the lights dimmed and you could see the band members come out and take their spots on the stage. The drums began the familiar beats to "The Chain" and Stevie stood with her back to the crowd in the middle of the stage. She had on a long brownish velvet coat that touched the stage. Her hair was perfectly straight with bangs in the front. She finally turned to face the crowd as she sang "Listen to the wind blow..." Her makeup was done to give her a milky complexion and her lips were bright red. She had on a low cut bustier, with spaghetti straps and a shirt made up of layer upon layer of black chiffon

Lindsey was all in black with a jacket and an untucked shirt. Christine had on tight black slacks that were sort of baggy near the floor. She wore a beautiful velvet blazer that had leaves in the design. Mick dressed in velvet also with bright red slippers, and John wore jeans with a vest and oversized shirt and had a bandana tied around his head

They went right into "Dreams", which was done to perfection, then into the bouncy "Everywhere," and then Stevie said "It's great to be here in New York City", then she appeared very embarrassed as she realized she was in Boston, she then apologized to the crowd and turned to look at Lindsey as to say "Ooops!"

She then put on her golden shawl and did a fantastic version of "Gold Dust Woman", then it was Lindsey's turn as he performed an electric "I'm So Afraid". After that the band did two new songs, "Temporary One" and "Bleed to Love Her". Christine looked a little shy and Lindsey used the same verbiage that he did on the album. Maybe he was nervous.

Then Stevie delighted the crowd with "Gypsy". She appeared to be very happy. Then everyone left the stage except for Lindsey who did an amazing version of "Big Love" followed by his new version of "Go Insane" which really sounded wonderful.

Then the crowd got back on their feet for "Landslide". It was absolutely beautiful! They then lined up like in the MTV video and did "Say You Love Me", as Christine kiddingly told the audience that this had now become "John and Mick's song."

>From there the band went into a flawless "Sweet Girl" by far the highlight of the show for me! It was right after this song that Lindsey started to introduce "My Little Demon",by saying this next song is about demons, when Christine piped in and said "No Lindsey, it's not about demons at all..." Without missing a beat the band went right into "You Make Loving Fun", as Lindsey had that "Oops, I goofed expression on his face. "My Little Demon" was next and it certainly rocked.

Then the light show began, as spotlights danced on the ceiling and the tempo sped up as Stevie threw on a black shawl with gold thin stripes and belted out the verses to "Stand Back." "Oh Daddy" was next, not one of my favorite songs but, definitely a treat since it has been rarely performed in concert. It was done real well. After that came "Not That Funny", I really think Stevie hates this song, she left the stage immediately as did Christine and then came Mick's infamous drum solo which was actually shorter than I remember. The best part was seeing Lindsey laying on the stage watching Mick soaking up his turn in the spotlight.

Rhiannon was next, I must have been in another world cause I can't remember a thing about this. Oh well! "Second Hand News" was the best, for a song just added to the show it went smooth and really rocked. Everyone including the band seemed to really get into this one. "Silver Springs" had the audience caught in the spell of Stevie's magic. The lights were blue and green (not flashing though), and Stevie's vocals soared as this performance was comparable to the MTV television special.

Tusk was next. I always loved this song but never thought it was done well in concert and still don't. I think it really needs the horns. I wish they would arrange to have a high school marching band to come and perform. I think it would add so much to the show, and give some kids a real thrill as well.

"Go Your Own Way" had the audience singing along loudly. Stevie wore a long tuxedo coat and her and Lindsey traded looks with each other as their vocals wrapped around each others. "Don't Stop" had everyone on their feet singing along as well. It has really become the band signature song.

Christine then came out alone and did a crisp and crystal clear vocal on "Songbird". We all knew we were nearing the end now. Finally the band lined up again like they did for "Say You Love Me" and performed "Farmer's Daughter." I thought that was a fitting end to a wonderful night full of musical surprises. The band then lined up and took their bows, Lindsey was hanging all over Stevie at this point, they really looked like they genuinely enjoyed each other. Stevie took one bouquet of flowers from a very lucky fan before disappearing backstage.Until next time...
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Overall Rating
4.0

THE MAC IS BACK!

Written by Gypsy23 Jun 10, 2008 at 04:09 PM
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

This is Gypsy23, your intrepid roving FM reporter. I attended the Hartford opening on Wednesday, 9/17/97 and wanted to inform you and other FM fans about the experience. I would personally estimate the crowd to have been around 20,000. Although they were scheduled to open at 8PM EST, Fleetwood Mac didn't actually go on until 8:30. The audience definitely got what they were waiting for (for 15 years!!!). They were AWESOME. They were definitely at their peak, and it was so good to see them back together in person. I traveled by bus and train for 4 1/2 hours both ways to see them (this was truly an historic moment, I felt, and I simply had to be there), and I didn't get back home 'til 8 AM this morning, but it was so very very 'worth the trip'!

I think most FM fans thought they had gone to heaven. The vibes between people in the audience was great, with people hugging, dancing, and with the crowd chanting along to most of the songs, the band blazed away in typical FM fashion. They played 22 songs, until 11:15PM. Here is a song list (not in order, sorry-I was too busy dancing around in sheer rapture most of the time.) [The song list is provided above in order]

The band thanked repeatedly us for being there to welcome them back, and Stevie dedicated 'LANDSLIDE' to the crowd. She changed from a black velvet dress with gold shawl halfway through the concert to a red velvet brocade dress and a multicolored fringe shawl. Whenever she twirled around on stage, the crowd went WILD. She sounded wonderful.

Lindsey played ferocious guitar to the delight of the crowd, show casing his talents on BIG LOVE, EOTW, NOT THAT FUNNY, & I'M SO AFRAID. He was into it and it was evident. He had a ball, as did: Mick- When he did his electronic techno-vest thing, the crowd went into a truly tribal frenzy in the dance area. Christine did a beautiful SONGBIRD, and jammin' EVERYWHERE and TEMP. ONE. John, Lin, and Mick got into some hot jamming sessions on a couple of the tunes. All the band members were in peak form, they had a great time together, and.............

THERE WAS DEFINITELY MAGIC IN THE AIR LAST NIGHT IN HARTFORD. THE MAC IS BACK!
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