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MELLON ARENA, March 1, 2009

Opening Night of the Tour! 

 




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Overall Rating
5.0

first concert of unleashed tour

Written by chris Aug 01, 2010 at 05:43 PM
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

I just got home from the concert. I thought it was incredible. Stevie sounded great. I forgot just how good Lindsay is.
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Overall Rating
5.0

Save Us, In Pittsburgh

Written by Michele Mar 06, 2009 at 05:22 PM
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful

So, it turns out salvation does not require all the prayers in the world. Beauty, beast, bass and Buckingham will do just fine.

I just got back from the Mellon arena. As I entered the arena an acoustic version of BTLH was playing. Later came Beautiful Child and Destiny Rules. Do those songs really sound that good without vocals? If I'd known that, I'd have wished the singers would shut up a long time ago!

There's no tour book on sale yet.

As the place filled up, I saw the ILAA people got first row center seats. That increases my hope for getting the same with my single ILAA ticket in a couple of weeks.

I saw Cory, but no Ray Lindsey. Lindsey had his guitar tech from the GOS tour with him.

I think the show started around 8:25. First Mick emerged. Then John came out with the band. John was wearing white shirt, white hat, white beard and (matching) white hair. Lindsey and Stevie emerged together, hand in hand, from her side of the stage. She was wearing a knee length red dress. RED. With red suede boots. The vibe was already promising.

Lindsey was wearing tight black jeans, a red shirt to compliment the lady, and a short, shiny, black leather jacket. Ha, I think Lindsey and Lori were wearing the same jacket, same size. Hers was just buttoned up and his was closed.

From the beginning about 3 rows of people were cloistered around the stage. They didn't wait until the end of the show. They gathered at the beginning and stayed there all night. And they took pictures galore. Open and notorious shooting. Around Rhiannon, security came up front and asked that people put the cameras away, but it took them that long to even bother. By then, no one paid much attention to them.

No Carlos. Steve the drum tech was there and played behind Mick. Neale, Brett, Jana, Sharon and Lori were in attendance.

MONDAY MORNING: Sounds good. I think it's a good opener, because even the people who don't know it are so excited about the start of the show, that they're cheering and dancing anyway. So, it probably works here better than anywhere else.

THE CHAIN: I really don't hear Stevie's voice in the mix at all. When Lindsey starts addressing th crowd, she spends the whole time motioning to the back up singers and telling them she can't hear. So, I can't hear her and she can't hear herself.

DREAMS: Stevie says "Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We are Fleetwood Mac (Oops! I'm at the wrong show, what an embarrassing time to find out!) and we're thrilled to be here. Let's get this party started!" As the song closes, Stevie holds the word "knoooooow" for a long time and adds these little vocal flourishes throughout, many different places during the show.

Lindsey says that most people know that they've had a complex and convoluted history and they separate and come back together, but their little dance always concludes with a "forward motion." He said this time around they had a lot of fun during rehearsals and just kicked back and enjoyed each other, since they don't have a new album to promote.

I KNOW I'M NOT WRONG: After much deliberation and inner argument, I've decided that Lindsey is the most beautiful person on the planet. Well, there's a slight chance that Gillian Anderson may be as beautiful, but really . . . that would be the only exception. He looked kind of puffy-faced in the recent Elle pictures we saw. But his face is lined and lean tonight.

GYPSY: Now, the way I was positioned, I couldn't really see the videos they used during the show. The one facing the audience was low, behind Mick and its contents weren't obvious. And then there were 4 screens overhead, looking down on the stadium. You had to crane your neck to see them. So, I didn't notice them for the most part. I first saw them during Gypsy. That famous video danced across the many screens, bringing back dazzling memories of MTV in the eighties. Black and white Stevie in Lindsey's embrace. Lindsey is silently mouthing the lyrics throughout the song, but at the end, they turn their mics to each other and sing, "I still see your bright eyes" together. It works for me. I don't know how it went from their perspective, but I hope the song stays in the setlist this time.

GO INSANE: Stevie leaves the stage and Lindsey does the song alone. It's as good as it was during the GOS tour. He uses a guitar pick through a part of the song. Yeah, why is he using it more now when he never did before. Old age! I'm sure of it. It's probably some kind of posturepedic pick designed to prop up arthritic fingers or something.

RHIANNON: Stevie returns. At one point she turns to the back up singers, gives them a thumbs up and laughs. So, I am guessing she is now pleased with the sound quality. The wide sleeves of her gown spread in a makeshift veil, Stevie covers her face for the "don't leave me" part.

SECOND HAND NEWS: Um, it's been 30 years. Why does this song suddenly need an introduction?? Lindsey says that it's one of the first couple they did for the emotional Rumours album, which brought many opposites together. Through the difficult times, this song managed to remain one of optimism and humor. Stevie is busily rolling up her Rhiannon sleeves as Lindsey talks. She binds them around her wrists in a clumsy tie. As they perform, the video backdrop has images of newspapers flashing by. What a waste! If they were going to use video, why not use old newspaper clippings and magazine covers which featured FLEETWOOD MAC. That would have been quite effective.

TUSK: I'm really surprised that it comes here in the set and is not used as part of the trifecta that they did so well for so long (Tusk, Stand Back, GYOW). But it works here. In fact, except for the Oh Well/ISA segment, I have no problems with the set list sequence at all. It worked well and kept up the enthusiasm and excitement. There were no instances where people were running to the bathroom or even taking a break to sit down. The momentum continued as a constant.

SARA: I was surprised this one was still in and it was still quite beautiful. Her hair is down and she is not wearing a red shawl. They sing the "met my match" part together. Stevie croons that the wind became SO crazy. At the end she slowly spins her way to Lindsey and sings into his mic, but they don't put their heads together, as they did for the SYW tour. He plays in back of her and she sings. That's a photo I'd like to have. Mark that down for the tourbook. At the end, she walks off the stage (exiting on his side) and the music continues without her. Quite lovely.

BIG LOVE: Before beginning Lindsey asks the audience at the stage if it's cool down there. "Are they keeping it nice and cool for you?" Lindsey, it's WINTER time. Don't worry that the audience may get overheated.

LANDSLIDE: At the end of the song when Stevie pauses before saying the landslide will bring you down, she and Lindsey don't synch and she laughs as she orchestrates with one hand. After the song ends, she says to the audience, "You almost made us miss our cue, but it's totally forgivable. Thank you." Huh? There's one singer and one guitarist on stage. How can they "miss" the cue. The two of them are entirely responsible for creating it. Of course, the audience is singing along with her, but still . . . don't blame it on us. Blame it on your wild heart. She and Lindsey do not hold hands during the song, as they have in days of yore, but he does blow her a kiss.

STORMS: Mick comes down with his little "cocktail" kit. He is wearing his red shoes, black stockings, short knickers, vest, and red tie at the neck. Stevie says that longtime FM fans will know this song (anticipating it, people in the crowd start cheering immediately). And those of us that don't know it, will know it after tonight. It comes from the record they did called Tusk. They've always loved the song, but it's one of the rare songs that you can't make sound good live, the way it does on the record. But this time they just decided to try really hard and get it right. Stevie says the song's actual title is "Storms" but that she likes to call it, "Always Been a Storm." I think the song comes out beautifully.

She trills that all the prayers in the world couldn't save them 3 times and then Lindsey approaches the mic at the end and he sings that line with her to close the song. Ok, I'm easy. Cheap. Gullible. But when they turn to each other and their eyes meet as they say that not all the prayers in the world could save them, my eyes water. It's a reflex reaction. If that kind of manipulation is wrong, I don't want them to be right.

SAY YOU LOVE ME: Stevie takes the first verse. Lindsey takes the second and they sing the third together. Lindsey really gets to me the way he sings the "it will be the end of me" part. I don't remember what lyrics Stevie sang for her first verse, but they weren't the right ones. Still, I thought the song was quite wonderful. Not as good as The Dance, of course, but still strong. When they get to the "falling, falling, falling" part at the end, they all point downward in unison. Well, Lindsey, Mick and Stevie. I couldn't see John.

GOLD DUST WOMAN: Stevie plays with the word "shadow" at the close, saying it different ways, but she doesn't do the "you can't see me now" part. I guess she saves that for Waddy. It's very good.

OH WELL: Not my thing. I don't know what to say about the guitar playing. Sounded good to me, but guitarists will have a different take. Lindsey gave the verses a comic interpretation. The only thing I figured was that if the vigorous drum and guitar parts in this song ended up being enough to replace ISA and WORLD TURNING, then it's inclusion would be ok with me. But that didn't happen.

ISA: I see Stevie coming from backstage as the song starts, but it takes her a long time to get up front. Is she saying to herself, "Lindsey's doing that stupid, long tippy toe walk of his, so I can take all the time in the world!" She slips off after her vocals are complete. They seem to have some technical difficulties with the song initially. After a few seconds, they stop and start it over again.

STAND BACK: Exciting as always. But it gets new punch with a false ending. The music stops and then Stevie says, "OK. One, two, three, four" and ends with "oh yeah, Oh yeaaaah." I like it.

GYOW: Stevie goes back stage after Stand Back and then the music for GYOW starts playing. As we wait for her to emerge, I begin to think that she will come in her top hat and she DOES! It's black velvet. She is wearing a tuxedo jacket, but a short one, not the long one. Obviously, another snapshot to get for the tourbook.

WORLD TURNING: Well, Mick doesn't do his drum vest thing. But Brett does do the digital thing using Lindsey's synthesized voice. To me, the only reason to keep this song in is for Mick's solo. So, it sounds good, but I think it's expendable. Actually, I like the way the stage clears and it's Mick alone (with Lindsey sitting down on the side) and then Brett comes back out. Lindsey stands up and comes to attention, guitar at the ready. Neale and John suddenly materialize and Stevie slides back out. I like the way they all slip back in and you go from solo drummer to full band in stages. It's like a surreptitious invasion.

Mick does the introductions. Says Steve is helping out ably behind him. Says John is his long time partner in crime.

DON'T STOP: I'm in Pittsburgh now and I have to be at my desk in Los Angeles in 12 hours. Not just back home, but AT MY DESK. I couldn't don't stop thinking about tomorrow if I wanted to! I'm too old for this.

SILVER SPRINGS: Stevie emerges in a gold and black bodice, wearing her long, don't-touch-me leather gloves. The song is beautiful and Stevie takes it up a notch, for the "never get away, never get away, never get away" part. Eyes blazing, but she's staring straight ahead, not at Lindsey.

At the end, she and Lindsey stand in the middle of the stage, arms around each other. The money shot. Lindsey kisses her hair. Stevie motions for Mick and John to come repeatedly with her right hand. They bow. Lindsey takes flowers from a little girl in the audience and delivers them to Stevie. She bends down and talks to people in the crowd. Lindsey straightens and goes to his mic. He thanks the crowd and says, "we'll see you next time." They leave the stage.

People don't head for the exit right away. They think there just might be another encore. But no, the lights come up. The crowd disperses.

We were frail. Save us.

Michele
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