Sunday, June 7, 2009

Winnipeg: Fleetwood Mac go their own ways

Imagine being in a wildly successful business. With your ex. For the rest of your life. And just to sweeten the pot, imagine that you would make your money by repeatedly rehashing the ups and downs of your long-dead romance. In public.

Faced with that prospect, there would be only three paths you could choose: 1) Refuse and stay home; 2) Do it and live in a state of constant angst and depression from having to pick at those scabs day after week after month after year; 3) Get over yourselves, find a way to get along and reap the rewards.

If anyone still harboured lingering doubts that Fleetwood Mac have wholeheartedly embraced the latter option, the band erased it with their Saturday night Greatest Hits Unleashed concert for 11,000 fans at MTS Centre. Well, four of the Mac did, anyway — singer-keyboardist Christine McVie took a powder out Door No. 1 a decade ago, leaving singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, vocalist Stevie Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie to make the best of it.

And make the best of it they have. "We decided to just go out and have fun," the 59-year-old Buckingham exclaimed early on in the proceedings, explaining why the veteran ’70s band are back on the road without a new album. Despite his claims, however — and despite a few moments of undeniable fun that occurred during their 150-minute program — the bulk of their 24-song set felt less like a party than one of those holiday gatherings where both sides of a divorced couple show up and everybody is very deliberately and very publicly on their best behaviour.

That much was apparent from the moment the band played their first song (fittingly, it was Monday Morning, the opening track from their self-titled 1975 album). Buckingham and his former paramour Nicks (who, it must be said, doesn't look anywhere near 61) entered from opposite corners and took up positions several yards away from each other on the massive stage. Behind them were 61-year-old drummer Fleetwood (with whom Nicks once also had an affair, just for the record) and 63-year-old bassist McVie (the only member who, lucky for him, no longer to share a stage with his ex). Flanking the rhythm section were two auxiliary musicians handling extra guitars and keyboards, plus a trio of female backup singers.

- Read the rest of this article over at the Winnipeg Sun

ALSO, check out the live blogging that was done over at the Winnipeg Free Press.

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