Fleetwood Mac

To the Review….

Excitement of a concert experience can come from a variety of ways. You can engross yourself in the people-watching, with your pre-show critiquing of concert-going attire and wondering if someone is a rebel or an ass for wearing a “No F%^#s Given” t-shirt (with the %^# being the actual “uck”). You also might notice a younger woman, in a sea of elders, sitting by herself, in a chair on the floor section, and wonder, “Why is she here by herself?” Don’t forget the groping couple, seemingly to never separate for two-plus hours, and you also might find yourself sometimes distracted by the drunk guy who can’t seem to understand the security folks simply trying to explain to him that his seats are on the other side of the floor, eventually resulting in his flipping-off said security folks, and the subsequent ending to his night as they lead him away.

Gosh, and don’t forget the concert, itself, as Fleetwood Mac filled the United Center in Chicago with hits everyone knew, some songs that had many wondering, “Is this a Fleetwood Mac song?”, and a touching tribute to Tom Petty.

Yup, just another evening at a concert!

Opening with “The Chain,” the boys and girls of Fleetwood Mac, sans Lindsey Buckingham but nicely enhanced with Neil Finn of Crowded House on vocals and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers tearing up the guitar, would bring over two hours of music lasting until Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks would duet on “All Over Again” to close the night.

The standard hits would continue the start of the night as “Little Lies,” “Dreams,” “Second Hand News,” and “Say You Love Me,” filled The United Center. The crowd sang along, but when Stevie Nicks did her best to explain that “Black Magic Woman,” whom most know as a Santana hit, was actually a Fleetwood Mac song written by Peter Green, the show shifted from a “greatest hits” show to one that also spotlighted the 50+ year history of the band, back to the years most probably didn’t know existed. Well, at least I didn’t as I was, well, in year one of my life when the band started back in 1967.

Now, don’t think that if you see Fleetwood Mac on this tour you will find yourself scratching your head, wondering “What song is this?”, during most of the show, but you might find yourself, or at least I did, going “Really, this is a Fleetwood Mac song?” Case in point: “Oh Well,”a song that has been covered by many but was recorded by the original Fleetwood Mac lineup back in 1969, had Mike Campbell shredded the guitar licks, and both he and Mick Fleetwood just seemed to be having a blast during it. I learned something new!

I will say this, though, that the first half of the show was a little tough to listen to and watch. Maybe it was still “early tour – getting their footing,” but Mike Campbell seemed to be the only one having a good time. Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks just appeared to be going through the motions, Neil Finn was stiff, and sure, Mick Fleetwood was doing his best to keep things raucous, but “Dreams” sounded rough, and “Rhiannon” had me note “Stevie ain’t got it anymore. :-(“ Yes, I actually drew a frowny emoji.

Then, however, came “World Turning,” with the band disappearing during Mick Fleetwood’s fantastic drum solo, followed by their re-emergence to finish the song, and something was different.

Maybe the rest of the band needed a break, maybe they went in the back and sipped some tea, but shit, suddenly everyone came back out and seemed to decide to have some fun.

Old song, “Hypnotized,” rolled into “Oh Well” which I mentioned earlier, to a complete sing-a-long of the Crowded House classic “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” and then came “Landslide” and Stevie’s voice coming back to the wonderful, dreaminess she is known for.

“Monday Morning” was a blast, “You Make Loving Fun” had Christine back in form, and “Gold Dust Woman” had me now note, “Stevie’s voice seems to be getting better as the night goes on.”

“Go Your Own Way” wrapped the normal set, the crowd wanted more, and the opening guitar strumming of “Free Fallin’”, complete with a picture slideshow of Tom Petty moments and Stevie Nicks handling the vocals, brought a sweet, sentimental moment to a rock and roll great.

As “Don’t Stop” wrapped up the rockin’, and “All Over Again” wrapped up the show, Mick Fleetwood stuck around a bit to thank the crowd and give advice much needed for these times, “Take care of yourselves, and be kind to one another.”

My being a Fleetwood Mac concert virgin, I have no comparison if the show would have been better with Lindsey Buckingham. What I do know is that I had a great time. It was fun watching Mike Campbell not give up his hat to the girl in the front row who kept doing her best to convince him otherwise, and sure, it did take a while for the band to kick things into gear and voices to loosen up, but once the show hit its stride, it was great to see a band I have wanted to see, but kept missing on tour, for years.

I was teetering on a One Thumb Up rating, especially with some of the shakiness early on, but throughout the show the younger woman who appeared to come by herself, that I wrote about in the first paragraph of this review, danced, sang, and fanned herself with her hand-fan, excited for every minute of music that was older than she was. Fleetwood Mac gave her a show she will remember, and for a band that has spanned ages, that is really all that matters.

Two Thumbs up for Fleetwood Mac!

That’s it for this one! L8R