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Five Fireflies

Written by Michele Oct 07, 2014 at 09:10 PM
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When the loving starts and the lights go down ...

I came to Minneapolis and tossed my hat in the air, like Mary Tyler Moore. After that, I suddenly found myself with lots of free time on my hands, so I went to see Fleetwood Mac.

You guys will be listening to the Youtube clips. They never capture the sound of a real concert, but their existence makes it unnecessary to describe the songs, which I could not adequately do anyway. So, I won't concentrate on that.

I like looking at the stand besides Christine's keyboard. It holds maracas, a bottle of water and two cups with lemon on the rim.

The show started before 8:30. John and Mick were out first. John was wearing a red silk vest that looks like it was cut from one of Lindsey's old kimonos. He was very thin, but not in an unhealthy way. I think it's good for him to be this size. He was his same old self and stood the entire night.
Lindsey emerged from his side of the stage. Stevie and Christine came out from the other side. They clasped hands and Stevie nods and smiles at Christine, as she takes her place behind the keyboards.

THE CHAIN. It sounded good. I can't say that it sounded better than it has without Christine there. Her voice didn't stand out on it, the way it did in the old days.

As YMLF starts, the audience erupts in rousing applause and Christine smiles. Christine and Stevie sing together (which they did on OMH too, so all you Straight Back fans who wanted to hear them alone together, you get your wish). Lindsey concentrates on his guitar. The song sounds delicious. It's not even one of my favorites, but I've missed hearing it so much these last 17 years.

Stevie addresses the crowd. Welcome Minneapolis. She says that it's the first of 40 shows that they're going to do -- 40 so far, she indicates. She says this is opening night and opening night is always crazy, even when you're not welcoming someone that you love back into the fold. Anything can happens, She says there's never going to be another show like this first night. So, hold onto your horses and let's get this party started.

DREAMS. Stevie is wearing her short black boots and her rarely seen, shapely calves are on display. Christine and Lindsey play and nod at each other throughout. Lindsey smiles broadly at her, grins of encouragement and delight.

SHN. Then Stevie leaves the stage briefly and returns with her RHIANNON shawl, as the familiar bass kicks in. Her mic pac is not on the side of her dress. It's on the back, now. So, she can't constantly fiddle with the audio any longer.

There is nothing, however, impeding Lindsey from continuing to beat his crotch with his guitar as he stands by Mick's drumkit, so he goes at it like a yeoman.

When she's only singing back up and not lead, I see Christine chew gum and then remove it. Maybe it's Nicorette.

For the next song, stage hands hurriedly set up a third mic on the stage. Chris comes onto the floor and says Good Evening. She wants to thank John, Mick, Stevie and Lindsey for making her dream come true and letting her come back. [Yeah, you better thank them! They could've just said no. They could've said, well you just can't] It's a chance you don't get often in life, she says. Her speaking voice is raspy, but I didn't notice that in her singing voice. Lindsey and Stevie beam at her, as she speaks. Christine says, "That's enough. Mick?" Mick begins the song: EVERYWHERE.

It sounds lovely. It's not a snoozefest, as some had said, at all. I can't wait until they hear it in England. They will be moonwalking like the pony.
It's here that the canned vocals become most notable to me. Stevie and Lindsey are singing "ahhh" but the recorded voices are saying "oooh."

Lindsey's been quiet so far.

Either those women have cowed him or his leggings are tighter than ever and they're cutting off his speech-making ability. At any rate, he finally breaks free and speaks to the audience for the first time. "We are indeed very pleased to be back with you tonight." He says that this band continues to evolve through good times and bad [hmmm, I wonder if they've had some bad times recently] and they are in their latest, beautiful, profound and poetic chapter "now that this lady is back with us." He said this chapter will go on for awhile and will yield new fruit. "I know I'm not wrong." Clever intro. We get a beautiful, spirited rendition of IKINR.

The back screen shows a black and white image of Lindsey's head. He's got facial stubble in the film clip. He's mouthing the "dah dah dah dah dah" on the screen. His expression is robotic, mechanical. His eyes a little glassy. As the real life Lindsey bounds about the stage, full of energy, this recorded Lindsey sings too, in a manner that is eerie and fun.

After the song, I see the accordion being strapped onto Christine and I'm excited simply by the gesture. Christine is back on the floor. TUSK She, John and Lindsey don't huddle in a trio like they've done in the past, but instead Christine and Lindsey face off coming towards each other excitedly, as they play. The USC marching band stomps across the screen behind them, trumpets raised.

SOTM is next and I enjoy it much more than the last tour. Stevie is intense at the end. Shouting, so we make our choices, when there is no choice. We listen to their voices and we ignore our own voice. She lets loose and then brings it back with "sistahhhhh." The word "sister" is quieter than her fiery verses were and I think it highlights the emotion. I'm not saying that this is the rocker it used to be, but it's still a song that brings the heat. Very pleased with it.

Christine counts off, 1, 2, 3, 4 and we get SYLM. It's the old version, not the Dance version. It's simply beautiful. I tend to focus on the three singers, but really it's the five of them. There's this electric feeling during the song. They not only sound good, but they KNOW they do. There's a shared recognition as they sing and play and glance at their bandmates.They sound good together and each one realizing and reveling in that fact individually, makes them even more united falling, falling, falling. I find it so powerful. It's the rapture I've sought.

SEVEN WONDERS sounds great. Stevie is smiling and peppy. You guys, she is definitely saying Aaron or Era. There's that vowel sound. She is not saying Sara or Terra. There's no consonant in front. Stevie ends the song happily. Says, "Thank you, American Horror Story."

Everyone leaves the stage and Lindsey is all alone. He introduces the first song from TITN, which was an album that came out "quite awhile ago, now." He reflects back on what his life was then and it wasn't so great. But now that's all changed, especially NOW with this new chapter in the band's life. With the beauty and evolution that's taking place now that Christine has rejoined the song is more than ever a meditation on the power and importance of change. [Ok Linds, does that mean your wife and three children aren't beautiful anymore?]

Stevie returns and she and Lindsey do LANDSLIDE. She dedicates the song to us, to our being there, for the first night of their tour. She changes one lyric from "I don't know" to "We don't know." She and Lindsey smile as she pauses on the snow covered hill. She points her finger at him. He cocks his head. They end the song and hold hands, before he pulls away to get his NGBA guitar.

Stevie strikes a pose and stands frozen with her arms outstretched to the side, as Lindsey sings the chorus. He does a hot breath closing, "never going down again, oooooh yeah," sounding rather like an obscene phone caller.

Christine returns and says tha she wrote the next song when she and John shared a funky little place in Malibu, "Remember that John" John gestures vaguely with his hands as if to suggest he might not remember, but I know better. Christine says she wrote the song when Stevie and Lindsey first joined the group [and ruined their lives] and it was the first single off of their album. OVER MY HEAD sounds wonderful. Christine and Stevie lock eyes. Lindsey gazes on, playing away from his mic.

I don't know why they have a problem starting the next song. There doesn't seem to be an audio problem. Stevie is looking at Mick and he's not doing much of anything. Did they forget what the next song is? I don't know what the hold up is. Mick taps his sticks together, bidding the audience to clap in rhythm. Finally, they perform GYPSY. The screen on back shows a brunette film noir lady and a man in a hat. It's raining, recreating Stevie and Lindsey from the video. They are stationary figures, but yet they move farther and farther apart from each other on the screen. In the end, they are close again. Hopefully, it's a metaphor for SnL. This woman was also in images that played behind Rhiannon. What is her deal? I suppose she's a stand in for Stevie, but why is her hair dark?

After the song, Stevie is laughing and talking into the mic. She says she forgot to say that this song is dedicated to her one and only husband, Kim. Yes, he's here, she says and Gypsy is for him. Was the beginning of the song stalled, because they were waiting for Stevie to give her intro and she forgot? I don't know.

Next they do LITTLE LIES. I guess the audience likes it. I like it, but it's not a high point for me. Again, the voice maneuvering is obvious. They give Stevie's voice an echo reverberation. Lindsey sounds nice on the chorus coming in with a deep "tell me lies."

GDW. Lindsey and Stevie still spark and spur each other, with Lindsey stamping his heel, "did she make you break down, shatter your illusions of love. Is it over now ..." part. Stevie always tells another little story with the ending. In the past, she sounded like a lost soul. She said, "you can't save me now" but she sounded like she wanted to be saved, needed the salvation. This time, more than anything else she is telling the person that they no longer have control over her. It's almost like the message in POTU. She says, "you can't take me now. You can't break me now. You can't take me. You wish you could take me, but you can't do it. You just can't do it." This time the message seems to be that she's out of this person's grasp. She has escaped.

ISA is explosive. I thought Christine would sing on it, but she doesn't. Stevie still does. Christine mouths the words, but not in her mic. Stevie leaves and Lindsey moves over to the other side (MY side) of the stage. The speaker goes up several volumes as he crosses over. Christine hasn't seem him do ISA from this vantage point in a long time. Does she know how exhilarating it is? How the crowd erupts, goes from sitting to standing and shouting? He stops at her piano briefly, before going into his extended solo and bringing down the house.

GYOW. Lindsey doesn't hug or bump John or kiss Stevie during the song, like he has in the past, but he does stop at Christine's piano a bit. Then, in the end, he and Stevie circle round the drum kit like in their past tours, before he jumps and brings the song to its end.

So, then Christine and Stevie come together, laughing and holding hands. I think they are remarking on the fact that Lindsey has just walked off the stage. He forgot they were supposed to pretend it was the end of the show. He comes back and Stevie says words to him and is laughing. He goes to the mic and says "you're the greatest. Thank you for coming. Good night" and then he walks off stage again. Christine and Stevie are laughing as if to say, "what is wrong with him?"

When returning for one encore, Mick and John come out first and greet each other. Christine emerges and she canoodles with John for a bit, then Stevie and Lindsey come out last, together. Lindsey has his arms around Stevie's shoulder and they walk to their mics embracing.

WORLD TURNING. I thought Christine would be on the floor for this one, but she's not. She's behind her keyboards and also playing maracas and tambo. They leave. Mick has a drum solo, but it is not as long as it has been in the past. I'm on the other side of the stage and I can't see if Lindsey is sitting down over there or not. I think he left the stage. He comes back first and Christine and Stevie take awhile to return. He looks like he is wondering where they are. They finish the song.

Lindsey introduces the one and only "and there is only one" Mick Fleetwood. Mick introduces Lori, Sharon, Neale and Brett. I'm glad Brett still has multiple roles to play, even with Christine back.

He says that Stevie is their eternal romantic poet. Yes, that's what she is, he assures her, "live with it." He says Lindsey is a great mentor for the band and has a vision for their future. Are you saying he's a visionary, Mick? Because I've had enough of that ....

He says that the others have mentioned Christine's return before, but their Songbird is back and she has made them complete. They all blow kisses at each other.

He introduces John as always on his right. The backbone of FM and his partner in crime. No allusion to any illness or anything.

They do DON'T STOP [hey, why is Christine singing different words than Stevie used to sing??] and SILVER SPRINGS. They leave the stage.

I am thrilled when the stage crew pushes the baby grand piano onto the floor. Christine comes out and I'm surprised when Lindsey comes and takes a stool on the other side of the piano. Is John going to play with them, too? No, he doesn't.

They close the show after that. Mick doesn't collect Christine from the piano as in the past. Instead, they assemble to take their group bows. The piano blocks my view of them. Darn it! The others leave the stage and Stevie says, "it's just me. It's just me, now."

She says for their last tour, they did 66 shows and she said we were the dreamcatchers. She said that was true then, but now she thinks they are all dream catchers, because their dream girl is back. She said she would have bet every dollar that she had that Christine would never return, but now she has and Stevie is glad for us that it happened, glad for the band and glad for Minneapolis, the music city [I don't know about that]. She says goodnight.

Mick comes out and says he will keep it short and sweet. It's been an amazing night and he's glad we've shared its loveliness with FM. He says take care of ourselves, be kind to one another and now, "for sure THE MAC IS BACK."
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