Saturday, March 21, 2009

Four-Fifths of Fleetwood Mac and then some...

I first saw Fleetwood Mac in concert at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center in 1995. They were playing some kind of 80s revival concert with Pat Benatar and REO Speedwagon, and Liz Green offered to get tickets and drive us from Syracuse on a breezy summer night. I had just been asked by my first boyfriend Seth if I wanted to make it official. I ran to Liz's waiting car and gave her the news, and she clasped her hands together and said, "Oh, Sandi!"

We arrived a little late into Pat Benatar's performance, which is really too bad because I was a huge fan as a kid, but as a college student it didn't seem to matter too much. We had lawn seats, which is the thing to do in those places, but you can't really see anything, and the music dissipates into the open air night, tickling your ears as it floats on by...

During that tour, Fleetwood Mac was barely recognizable. They were touring without Stevie Nicks or Lindsey Buckingham, left with a couple no-name replacements, a wacked-out Mick Fleetwood, a mute John McVie, and a hushed Christine McVie. I can't even remember the concert, it was so unremarkable. I remember better the young girls that were running up on stage to attack REO lead singer Kevin Cronin and thinking, "There's no way that's real. They must be plants."

I've been lucky enough to see Stevie Nicks in concert several times in New York, touring with Tom Petty, Don Henley, Chris Isaak...And also lucky for me, she usually throws in some of her Fleetwood Mac hits like "Gold Dust Woman" and "Rhiannon," so I've managed a taste of the real thing live.

This week Edith and I took ourselves out to MSG for a mostly-reunited Fleetwood Mac, this time only missing Christine McVie. Somehow I missed their big reunion tour, "The Dance," when they were all back together. I'm always missing something.

But we got a lot out of this concert:
  • Stevie's solo career backup singers!
  • A synth-tastic rendition of "Stand Back"!
  • Lindsey's solo hit "Go Insane"!
  • Stevie singing Christine's lead vocals on "Say You Love Me"!
  • The story behind the song "Gypsy"!
  • An encore of "Silver Springs"! (a B-side off Rumors)

Fleetwood Mac has a really big, full sound, and even though I could have done without Buckingham's histrionics and Mick's googly-eyed drum solos, it was a rockin' good time.

What more could I have asked for? Well, besides a Buckingham/Nicks song...

Thursday, March 19 - Madison Square Garden

For tickets to the rest of Fleetwood Mac's "Unleashed Hits" 2009 Tour, click here.