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.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Suskatoon Review: Fleetwood Mac show crowd pleaser

It may be the most successful breakup story of all time. Not only did the damaged relationships of Fleetwood Mac yield one of the most popular albums of all time, but the band is still on stage together, mostly, and playing songs you'd have to be completely clueless not to know.

It was music from the aforementioned album, 1978's Rumours, that got the most attention Friday at Fleetwood Mac's Credit Union Centre show. And former couple Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, whose fallout inspired many of the band's pain-infused songs, stole the spotlight.

Nicks and Buckingham were joined by bassist John McVie and the lovable oddball, and band namesake, Mick Fleetwood, whose signature Rumours ponytail is still flowing, albeit much greyer.

Fleetwood Mac has had regular personnel changes since forming in 1967, but the incarnation most are familiar with was fully represented Friday night, save for Christine McVie, who is no longer touring with the band. Several of her best-known songs -- Little Lies, Over My Head and You Make Loving Fun -- were noticeably absent from the set. But the show still showcased most of the American/British band's finest.

The show opened with the song Monday Morning. Buckingham and Nicks took the stage hand in hand, one of several gestures -- which later included a prolonged hug -- to prove just how over the past they are. The first song segued into the darker The Chain, followed by Dreams, before which Nicks exclaimed, "We figure we might as well just get the party started." Great song? Yes. Party music? No.

The band made no attempt to gloss over past personal problems -- why would they, considering how profitable they were? -- with Buckingham saying, "Fleetwood Mac has had a fairly complicated, convoluted emotional history. At the end of the day, it has actually worked in our favour."

Nicks -- at 61, still dressed in her signature drapey, gypsy-like garb and singing into a scarf-covered microphone stand -- doesn't try to hit the higher notes anymore, but has retained that inexplicably sexy, smoky quality that makes her voice so special.

The foursome -- backed by three singers and two extra musicians -- definitely left the enthusiastic audience satisfied. The band barrelled to 21/2 hours of hits, including Gypsy, Go Insane, Second Hand News, Sara, Say That You Love Me, Go Your Own Way and Gold Dust Woman. A highlight for Nicks was her performance of Rhiannon, a song that sounds better the older she gets. The encore included the crowd favourite Don't Stop.

- By Stephanie Classen, The StarPhoenix

Salt Lake Review: Buckingham steals the show during Fleetwood Mac concert

Not to disparage the rest of Fleetwood Mac, but the June 3 show at EnergySolutions Arena turned into The Lindsay Buckingham Show.

The nimble-fingered guitarist-singer for the British-American rock band put on a fevered showcase during the band's 2 ½-hour show, never leaving the stage during the quartet's generous 23-song offering, picking up the slack for the still-missed Christine McVie, who isn't touring with the band.

Mick Fleetwood, the ageless drummer and founder of the band with bassist John McVie at his right-hand side, applauded Buckingham during the show, calling him the "mentor in the studio, maestro on stage, and man with the magic fingers."

Buckingham was so possessed that he overshadowed singer Stevie Nicks' return to Salt Lake City. The Nicks family lived in Salt Lake City between 1961 and 1964, and Nicks spent her eighth, ninth and part of 10th grade in town. During her introduction to "Gypsy," Nicks told the crowd how devastated she was to move from Utah, and later dedicated "Landslide" to her friends who still live here.

Nicks, 61, looked and sounded ageless. She dressed in several different costumes that included long, billowy dresses, a top hat, and a tambourine and microphone adorned in charms and laces, and still played the part of the band's muse and fairy-rock goddess. Fleetwood and McVie looked nearly identical with matching vests and berets that covered their balding heads: Fleetwood is also 61, and McVie is 63.

Buckingham, 59, couldn't help stealing the spotlight from his older bandmates, who were backed by five musicians and back-up singers. It's not that he was envious, jealous or scheming. He just fed off the crowd all evening, and the large video screens hanging from the ceiling of the arena often focused on his pickless right hand strumming and picking furiously near the scratch plate. Clad in a leather jacket and jeans, he danced joyously on the heels of his black boots all night, often standing at the slightly outstretched lip of the stage like a guitar hero.

Seven songs were from "Rumours," the band's classic 1977 album produced during the break-up of the McVies' marriage and Nicks and Buckingham's relationship. While the band was able to blow kisses to one another on stage, Buckingham summoned rage and anger during the emotional "The Chain," with him seething during the lyrics, "Damn your love, damn your lies." And he changed up the fingerpicking classic "Never Going Back Again," also from "Rumours," into a slower song that barely masked the resignation and the pain.

The sound of the arena was strong, with the sole exception of McVie's bass, which sounded like muddled thunder during "The Chain," sounded better on "Rhiannon," and then became awful again during "Gold Dust Woman." Another quibble is that the concert's arrangement of songs lacked a consistent theme; for example, the show's opener, "Monday Morning," is a song about early mixed feelings about a relationship, but then the band followed that with the devastating break-up song, "The Chain." It was too sudden a change, and too early.

The band played songs from its entire, vast catalog --including Buckingham's stinging take on "Oh Well," a bluesy rave-up that predated his entrance into the band.

The nearly sold-out arena -- although the entire upper bowl was curtained off -- was offered some good news by Buckingham early on.

He said, "There's no new album to promote -- yet."

- By David Burger, The Salt Lake Tribune

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dates for the UK have been announced!

Please turn your attention over to the tour dates section to your right.

Some Fall dates for the Unleashed tour have been announced for the UK and Ireland and tickets will be on sale soon! As soon as they go on sale, I'll announce it here!

Stevie on (or NOT on) Twitter

According to the NicksFix - Stevie isn't using Twitter. So....all that hype from the Fox News show a couple months ago is apparently just that - hype. If you are following RealStevieNicks on Twitter currently - looks like it doesn't matter anymore. :-)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham on not sweating the small stuff


Lindsey Buckingham has a bit of a reputation. For years, the Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist has been as well known for his ability to knock out sublime pop tunes as his propensity to mix it up with bandmates Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. But the Buckingham we spoke to on the eve of Fleetwood Mac’s latest reunion tour — once again without Christine McVie, who left the group at the beginning of the decade — is far different than the character you’ll find in rock history books. At 59, the father of three has admittedly mellowed, telling us that the little things no longer bother him in a big way.

How do you make it through two hours on-stage every night?

It goes pretty quick. Somebody made the comment the other day that you don't get paid for going on-stage; you get paid for the downtime before and after. A lot of the time what seems more challenging is maybe the few hours leading up to the show. In terms of energy level, it comes from somewhere. I know it's all very age inappropriate what I'm doing.

Does it bother you that Stevie gets the biggest cheers of the night for her twirls?

It's very balanced out for me. I don't feel like I have to compete with a set of preconceptions in terms of focal point. All I can say is she has her moments where she gets big applause and there are many points in the show where I feel I'm getting the energy. I certainly would not begrudge Stevie her moments.

Are there any of the old songs you refuse to sing, either because they bring up too many memories or you’re just sick of them?

Not really. We sat down and we came up with a set list, which was a pretty obvious group of songs. It's what we do. It's our job. We have a good job. A lot of people would want our job. The older you get the more you feel blessed that you have not only survived the business this long but stayed on top of it. My challenge is working out the logistics of making my solo albums every once in a while.

This seems like a pretty good gig. What did you get out of making your last solo album?

It relieved a sense of frustration I had for a number of years of wanting to do something solo and having it intervened upon on every occasion. Which is fine. If you're a band member you've got to think about what the group wants to do first. But after Say You Will, I was in a place of clarity where I said, "Don't bother me for three years. Let me get this done.” I think I learned a lot.

Do you ever bring your kids out on the road?

Some of the time. Last time we went out they were all pretty portable but now they're all in school so it's a little bit tough. I think they do like it. They've grown up with it. They're actually a little more aware of the stuff I was doing solo since my oldest is 10. They don't remember that much from the last Fleetwood Mac tour.

Are you feeling more mature with age?

I have to try. You hit a point where a lot of things that you thought would push your buttons don't really push your buttons any more. That's why this tour is going so smoothly. Nothing has really been bothering me. Something must have changed. Things that used to bother me don't bother me anymore.