FANS ARE NOW RATING THE SHOWS AS WELL
5 BEING THE BEST
Rated "5" by Anita aka Silent Garbo
Rated "5" by Anita aka Silent Garbo
(review of San Jose 7/8/03 & Los Angeles 7/11/03)
904 miles later and two shows in three days; here is a story.
Tiffany flew up from Riverside to be here with me for the San Jose show. We got to the parking lot around 5p.m, and set up Stevie/Mac camp. I had brought stuff for people to look at, stuff to drink, and some extra burned cds incase some unknowing fan walked by. =0) We met some great people from my old stomping ground, Stockton, California. Very avid fans that made quite a drive for this sure to be great show. Around 7p.m, the lines were in full form and we decided to get moving. Once inside, we soaked up the vending booth, and got some souvenirs. Tiffany (bless her sweet heart), got me the 'Red Rover' shirt, that we hadn't seen or heard about from prior shows. We each got a poster, and headed for our seats. Floor 2, row, 22. Pretty damned good seats. From there, we just watched the venue fill up, and again awaited this momentous occasion.
At about 8;15, the band entered and the place went nuts. The second sounds of the Chain started, I just got goose bumps. The set list was all the same. IMO, the highlights were Stevie and Lindsey's cajoling around the place during TUSK, and the many sweet moments they shared during several of the more ballad type tunes. 'Landslide', ' Goodbye Baby' & 'Say Goodbye'. Also, my mistake but the wearing of that gorgeous cream sequined coat was during 'Gypsy'. We enjoyed the show with pretty good views all night, and no annoying fans, well not really. I had some far from 'full deck of cards' people next to me, but it isn't nice to pick on stupid people.
After the show, Tiffany and I headed to the only logical Hotel the Mac might be staying at close to the Arena, and that was the Fairmont Hotel. No such luck. On the 10th, Tiffany was flying back to Riverside, and as soon as I dropped her off at the airport, I myself drove to LA. I got situated at my friends house in Huntington Beach, who always indulges me when I come to LA more often to see Stevie than I do her. Enter July 11th. I couldn't eat, or even think straight. Realizing that I was going to a Mac concert, FRONT ROW really started sinking in at about 4ish. I got to the parking lot, and met Tiffany and her mom Linda at around 5p.m.We were in a back lot and it was sorta futile to set up any sort of meet & greet thing like I had in San Jose, and besides it was murder hot in LA. We waited around a bit before seeking shade and a place to sit in front of the Staples Center Venue. First I want to say that neither SJ or LA had any sort of marquee for FM. I mean, the Staples center one flashed their name from time to time, but I didn't even see that much recognition in San Jose. No huge signs or anything, and especially that FM was there for 2 nights, you'd think there would be something. So anyway, the line started forming at around 6:30p.m, I think they let us in around 7p.m. We headed straight for restrooms, and to purchase our very own $3.50 bottles of water, that you couldn't even ! have the lid too! Yup, they HAVE to remove the lid. (WTF???) We looked around the merchant booth, and they added yet another T-Shirt. A bright Yellow shirt w/ the Dance 'FM' logo on front in black, against a sorta rainbow like oval print, and 'Fleetwood Mac on Tour 2003" in black on the back. Sorta simple, but one person bought it solely cause they are always tired of black or white concert tees.
Next we were lead to our seats. Here is where dumbfoundness sets in! We thought we'd be a bit more center stage, but we were like 4 seats to the right (Lindsey's right) of being dead center. WHO CARES! Still the most phenomenal seats ever. Already set up were Stevie and Lindseys microphones. Stevie had very ornate ribbon and rhinestone danglies hanging from her stand w/ two petite pink roses set toward the back. Crew was clamoring all over the stage making last minute touches and getting up towards the ceiling to start the light show. I'd say the show started this evening around 8:30. Until then we had met some very nice people, and overall, I'd say that most all in the front row deserved to be. We were also told that rows 1-3 were not allowed to take any pictures and that if the band caught us doing as much, they would ask security to eject us from the stadium! Moments later, the same security folk toned it down a bit saying you'd just have to 'check' your camera, and miss part of your show. THAT I could deal with!
Enter the MAC! No sooner had the music began, people started inching toward the stage. Now I had no intention of sitting thru the show, but HAD I wanted to, it would have been nice to have my seat. Next thing we know, several people are in front of us, and damnit if you wanna see the show, you better get off your ass, and claim your space! I parked myself a little more to the left so as to be DIRECTLY in front of Lindseys mic stand. Like there were 2 speakers with space between them, and this became Anitaland. Tiffany & Linda seized the opportunity just as diligently, and though I am completely kidding, the world became quite small for the 3 of us; as though we had a private show. LOL. I'd say by 'Peacekeeper' Lindsey thought to really 'see' who was in front of him, and the first 'look' came! OMG.! What a look too! Just this sort of stare, then fades into a smile. A smile like you'd get from recognition. A smile that quite frankly made me all weepy, and weak in the knees. Holy cow! So off it goes, just throughout the show. I'm the kind of person that stares a lot at a show. I like to watch technique and spontaneity. Like at one point, I was singing along to 'Rhiannon',(which btw, had some slight vocal variation, and words can not emphasize seeing her perform it up close live) when I looked back at Lindsey, and he too was singing. Then he just Sorta looked at me, like 'your having a lot of fun huh?' He was mouthing the words too, then would go back to the mic to sing his harmonies. Moments like that throughout the night in abundance!
I was amongst the 'bitching' crowd of what a terrible transition 'Gypsy' is after 'Come', but after seeing him WORK it like he does, the poor man needs a rest and surely this is why the set was chosen as such. I mean after 'Come' his chest was heaving like he ran a marathon, and 'Gypsy' allows him a bit of a cool down moment. Still, like others made mention of, he sorta shuns spotlight during this song, even during that great guitar part, as it is one of Stevie's moments to shine. And shine she did. I mean to see her so close, and see how provoking she is during certain parts of songs is really breathtaking. She may be a bit older and not hit the notes we'd love to see her hit, but she shines, and her heart is in each song 150%!
I'm Sorta skipping around, but backtracking just a bit, when SYW was introduced, it finally was introduced as the new single. Second Hand News just can't be played enough in concert. They sound great together, and all those baw, baw, baw parts are so much fun to sing to and watch them sing to each other.
So onto 'Say Goodbye.' In the few days it's taken me to write this, I have seen a lot of anti-SG posts being made. I happen to love this song, and don't feed off the whole aww-shucks LB/SN vibe, but damnit, if I did, I'd be sucking it up! In general it's just a beautiful song, and I think their harmonies are superb together. Also, it's a song where Mindy & Sharon backlit it just perfectly. Not too strong. Stevie started in with her typical 'Beautiful Child' intro, but when she really burst into song, I was speechless. It made the song new to me again. I had seen her two nights ago doing it, but again, it just had a whole new approach seeing her wrench her heart out lyrically. It's reestablished itself as a favorite song. One that I have always admired, but is now in the OMG. category. Lol! 'Gold Dust Woman' is always a goose bumps and crowd pleaser and you can be sure that is didn't disappoint. At this time, I have to say that Stevie had come out in a shorter heeled version of her signature boots. She seemed to sorta limp offstage around 'Come' and performed in her platform tennies until the last encores of 'Don't Stop' & 'Goodbye Baby'. Lindseys ISO performance (not a fav song of mine) earned a new found respect (see BC revival above), then Stevie took to the stage again for 'Silver Springs'.
During 'Tusk', she hightails it away from Lindseys hilarious antics, but again couldn't escape him. He's just having so much fun, and though Stevie is smiling, she bangs the tambourine and tries her dandiest to keep a 'business as usual' approach. Same can be said for John who bless his heart looked as though he hurts in some way all throughout the night. Interesting moments were between John & Stevie. When she came out in her pink shawl for 'Goodbye Baby', she really was smiling at John, and they exchanged some serious looks. Now I am not about to read into this, or say that I think she 'had something' w/ John, but in days past, and up till tonight, they really sorta flirt. IMO certainly not sexual, but like they have SEVERAL inside jokes. And when she smiled at him, he beamed! Parts of GDW and 'Stand Backs this same banter was exchanged w/ Mick. Again IMO, I think they were all having a great time, but the LOOKS! During 'Go Your Own Ways, Lindsey came down to the crowd for the cool-ass 'play my stringss part. Unfortunately, our great stance could not afford us this moment, cause for him to have come around his own mic stand would have gotten him caught up in the wires and such. Tiffany reached over though and had a moment. So damn cool! So our big moment is here.
Before Fleetwood Mac leaves the stage for the break between show and encore, Lindsey comes down to shake hands. I think we were all able to, but I know I got one hell of a handshake. (Can judge a lot about people from a handshake....) We started to hand him things in the hopes of him signing like we had heard about. He goes to take Tiffany's picture, and sees that the band is leaving the stage without him, and says 'I can't right now, I'll be right back.' Tiffany and I exchange a look, like 'pinch us we are so dreaming!' They come back out for a blazing rendition of 'Don't Stop.' During this time, I am trying to get just one more of those looks from Lindsey, preferably on film. I had no such luck in capturing it, but received a few more. I wanted to be on the QT w/ the pic taking, though I wasn't using a flash JUST in case they were being weird about pics. I find this hard to believe as Lindsey has really been hamming it up for people lately, but still, I tried to click away politely.
After DS, they set up for the farewell song of 'Goodbye Baby'. This song as lovely as it is, was a prime example of crappy arena sound. I don't know if it was Mick's weird drums or what but front row, or last tear of the venue, it sounded awful musically. Vocally it was as beautiful and raw as the recorded version. After final bows, Lindsey goes to accept a book that a fan gave to him, and blows that person a kiss. (Note to self, stupid, stupid, stupid for not coming to an arrangement of gifts for the band!) He then starts to look for something, and I am thinking maybe it was us, cause he veers back to the right, and goes to look for what we had tried to have him sign earlier. He first takes my pic (an original Buckingham Nicks album cover outtake) he signs it LB. I don't know if that's a full signature or a quicky version. For such a rare and expensive pic, I am sorta sorry I chose to have it signed if itss not a full autograph...but it's not like I am selling this pic EVER and I can't possibly be disappointed. He then reaches out for what Tiffany brought to sign, yet another original BN outtake. (We had bought 3 of them from a vendor in LA. I have 2, Tiffany has 1.) Lindsey signs Tiffany's and says to us, 'Where do you guys get all this stuff??' (My new tagline. I about laughed so hard, thinking to myself he probably hasn't seen these himself in quite some years. We just smiled, to baffled to explain nor answer. Meanwhile Linda is getting a pic to Lindsey that Tiffany herself had taken of LB at the Dress Rehearsal, and got THAT signed. (No bitterness here =0p) He then went back to the magnificent trio, and took a final bow, as Mick went to the mic and gave his spiel about being taking care, and that the Mac was back.
Just as Lindsey was about to leave, he took what looked to be a journal from a fan for Stevie. He took it to her, pointed in the direction from which it came, and Stevie held it lovingly, but sorta diverted her eyes from that direction, which I found odd. Still, some lucky fan got their gift to her, and I know how wonderful that feels. The lights came up, and lemme tell you, I have never seen a place clear out so quickly, or for that matter, see venue workers work to make sure it clears out. We tried to dally around the stage, and in that short time, saw several people get setlists...UGH! We didn't think they still had paper ones taped around, so we screwed that up, but a stagehand did give Tiffany one of the petite pink roses from Stevie's mic stand, so all was not lost. We tried to group around all those fortunate enough to have passes, but it was so obvious that we were ushered right out.
Afterwards we ventured to a hotel that we hoped might be the Mac's choice for LA, but again no such luck. It was a crap shoot really. There were 2 of each Hotel that they have mentioned on this tour in the LA area, plus many Hotels that each member has spoken of staying at. In LA, there are many choices. At about 2am, I dropped off my film at a 24 hour Walgreens, and had them back at 5:30 in the morning. Pictures speak 1000 words, and I was most happy at the results. I left LA on the 12th for the long drive home. Staying in LA and trying for the second night at Staples was tempting, but a new job just didn't permit it, so alas, I'll try for Oakland. In the last hour or so of my trip home, I opted to play TUSK. The last song, as I'm just seeing the San Francisco city lights summed it all up: 'Oh it'll be alright...... We'll never forget tonight. Anita L. Kayed 7/14/03
Rated "4.5" by Steve O'Donnell
Overall the concert was great. Lindsey was incredible.
The highlights of the show included: Come, Beautiful Child, Never Going Back Again, Tusk. The only downers of the show were Gypsy and Stand Back, which I cannot understand for the life of me why they chose to play that song. I really wish they would have done Sisters of the Moon or Angel or even Frozen Love. Lindsey is without a doubt the heart and soul of the band at this point....his energy and guitar playing is as strong as it was when I first saw them on the Tusk tour back in S.F. in 1979.
Stevie however does not show the passion and fire that she used to, but they still put on the best concert I have seen in the past three years. I wish they would have played more off of their current album, such as Thrown Down or Smile at You or even Running Through the Garden. ..but the band is rocking at their ages like I hope to be when I am their age.
Rated "4" by Lisa
I was disapointed that Christine wasn't there. I thought they were all going to be there, She makes the band complete. I was surprised to hear "Beautiful Child, that is one of my favorites.
Rated "4" by Carl
Nothing like being in the front row to start the night off right. I was able to stand in front of LB all night, leaning on the monitors and watch his playing up close. The man is amazing. Aside from his work, the show is ...well...OLD. Same stuff, same songs, same lack of energy by Stevie [except on Stand Back]. It was bizarre to see Lindsey yelling "Stand Back...Stand Back" at us down front and then smiling ...almost laughing. I found myself wanting to hear more of the new CD instead of the entire Rumours CD again. But I'll always get to remember playing his guitar in "Go your own way".
In general, the set is the same as listed, and it does come across as tired. Stevie's voice was good, better than most anytime I've seen her since the early 80s. I can't confirm the sound problems others reported - we heard it right from the stage monitors and it sounded GREAT!. It was, however, almost painfully loud.
All in all, a good night, but you clearly got a sense that they were reliving their youth instead of living in the present with a great CD as they do have. Except LB - he's driving the show just as all other reviews have stated since the beginning of the tour. Hope he gets to continue when the rest of the band gives it a rest.
Rated "5" by Shelley
The show was absolutely fantastic! This was my first time seeing them and I was totally blown away! Lindsay Buckingham was AMAZING on guitar and Stevie Nicks looked and sounded beautiful! Mick Fleetwood's long drum solo was nothing more than completely awesome! When they played "Tusk" (one of my favorite songs), it sounded so awesome! This show was worth every penny spent on the tickets. This show was everything I had hoped for and much, much more.
It was truly one of the best concerts I have ever been to.
Rated "5" by Anita aka SilentGarbo
I can't help but give the show a great FIVE!
Buuuuuuut, I have to agree w/ just about everyone that the sound mixer should be shot. I mean, I love a show, cause it's FM! Can't go bad right at the start, but the sound was pretty awful. Maybe another sign that they ought to go back to venues, as opposed to the glorified ARENA's. OK, so vocally, and musically, the band was at peak form. Set list remains the same, and the only alterations would be a varying vocal close on Stevie's "Beautiful Child," and in-between song banter on pre FM life in San Jose. Stevie also made a more direct stage costume change, a white sequiny floor length coat for (if I recall) "Beautiful Child." Highlights include as always Buckingham's fiery performance of "Come," "Landslide," and yes, damn it Micks solo.
A funny moment was during Tusk, when Stevie moved WAY the hell to the side of the stage as to avoid LB's antics....no such luck. He got her at one point, and sort of did a "ring-around-the-roses" thing. Very cute...and Lindsey was having entirely too much fun. I miss Chris, but the band still sounded sharp and MAC! There is no mistaking their sound, style and signatures! If I didn't love 'em so dang much, I might have been more dismayed with the sound, and the unnecessary onslaught of extra musicians, but alas, I know the songs, and I can rise above all that and get one hell of a bang for my $125! can't wait for LA!
Rated "3.5" by Crick55
It was the first time I've seen Fleetwood Mac, and despite my excitement of seeing them live, I was very disappointed by the sound quality. There was no reason it had to be so loud and distorted. It really masked the true quality of their music, which is what I came to see. I guess it was a result of the sound crew and the the acoustics of the arena, and not the musicians themselves, but still it was disappointing. It could have also been a result of having so many extra musicians with them--the extra drummer, guitar players, etc. When I go to see a band, I want to hear the music of *that* band, not that band plus a bunch of other musicians adding to a distorted and chaotic sound. What's wrong with just Mick on drums, John on bass, and Lindsey on guitar? I can see having maybe another guitar and a keyboard player, and some background vocals, but to have a whole other drum set and so many guitars and all that *stuff* was just too much. I couldn't HEAR Fleetwood Mac!
On the good side, I was excited to hear the songs they played. Lindsey did some awesome stuff on guitar, Mick was entertaining on the drums, and it was awesome to see Stevie (it would have been all the better if Christine was there also!). In general, I'm glad I went, and I have no regrets at all. I just feel a little cheated that I couldn't really hear them with all the distortion.
Rated "3" by Shridhar
There was lot of energy on the stage, but the magical FW Mac melody was missing. The audio levels were too high and the mixing wasn't good. Lyrics couldn't be heard and music could not be clearly heard. Some solos with only guitar by Lindsey Buckingham were great. The music of Fleetwood Mac is in their melody, their slow, lazy, gypsy like numbers. I expected more of that. It was good still but noisy.
Rated "4" by Marie
I left very impressed with the amazing energy and absolute talent shown throughout the concert. Everyone on stage consistently seemed to give their all.This group deserves a 5. The negative was the sound quality. The volume was overwhelmingly and unnecessarily loud to the point that many songs sounded so distorted. The show started off this way and I thought for sure the sound techs would "adjust things" but they never did. Our seats were in the upper sections and the music was blaring and almost deafening. I would have liked to really listen to Fleetwood Mac's great music without the heavy pounding sound.
Rated "3" by Raoul
My third Fleetwood Mac concert after having been to the "Dance" reunion show at Shoreline in Mountain view, and the "Tango in the Night" tour. Overall it was a good show. I like the emphasis on the rhythm section, with three drummers at times, always a strength of Fleetwood Mac. The Stevie/Lindsey moments felt "staged", as did references made to the fact that they lived in San Jose for some time.
The song selection overall was great; they played the better material from the "Say you Will" album. The absence of Christine McVie was both good and bad: good because we heard some songs they had not played on previous tours, bad as felt it became too much of a Stevie/Lindsey show. Lindsey is a fabulous guitar player with a unique playing style, which I very much like, however, his solos sounded all the same after a while, less would probably have been more. Stevie's voice was great, especially when you could actually hear it on some of the quieter songs.
The main reason for my "3" rating is the sound: it was far too loud, and a lot of the sophistication of the songs was drowned in a wall of noise. In comparison, the concert at Shoreline during the "Dance" tour had stellar sound was so much better.
Rated "5" by Joseph
A great show! It is true, Stevie is sounding really great! The San Jose crowd was enthusiastic and it looked like a sold out show.
The only complaint is the sound was a little muddy in parts, maybe it had to do with the volume, as usual, they are extremely loud. The set was the same as it has been but Stevie seemed a bit energized to be playing for their "hometown" crowd. She didnt drop her high notes much, as I have seen her do in the past, and her renditions of "Gypsy", "Silver Springs" and "Beautiful Child" were really done well. She did a great job on " Say Goodbye" backing up Lindsey, they sounded great together tonight. Now I am looking forward to their Oakland show on the 23rd. If you haven't seen them on this tour, get a ticket!