We attended the Fleetwood Mac show in San Diego last night. Overall, I enjoyed the show but it was up and down to say the least.  Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Neil - Neil was great as usual. Well-dressed and happy throughout. Seemed more subdued than I was anticipating clearly in the supporting player mode drifting in and out of the spotlight. He would move to the front of the stage to sing lead on a song or two and then drift into the background allowing others to take the spotlight. Interacted a bit with Stevie, Christine, and Mike but didn't have much of a chance to show the humor and chemistry that he usually displays. His shining moments were singing "Don't Dream It's Over" and accompanying Stevie for an acoustic version "Landslide".  Other than that, he was a team player.

2. Stevie - very up and down. At times, she was magnificent - especially when she dialed down the improvisation and staying in key. At other times (esp Gypsy), she seemed off key and the band didn't seem comfortable. Stevie was clearly the "boss" on stage and others seemed a little tense and staged around her. She clearly got the biggest crowd responses throughout the night and most of the fans were there to see her although the couple next to us were huge Neil fans and said to me that they thought that the band should be backing him up ...  .  Her voice was actually quite good most of the time; strong and on point. Her singing issue is staying on key and avoiding improvisation - her singing wasn't nearly as good when she was improvising. She seemed to have tremendous respect for Neil and Mike, but my sense is that she doesn't view them as equal members as of yet. She made one cringe-worthy comment trying to complement "Don't Dream It's Over" and Neil. She said the song is one of those one in a million songs that everyone knows and loves ... but then said that "you may not know who sang it".  Neil then made a funny gesture putting his hands out to say "c'mon ...".  Neil tried to make it a cute moment but it wasn't the smoothest moment of the night. Stevie is much better staying on script.

3. Christine - seemed happy, however, her voice sounded quite fragile and required a lot of vocal assistance from the backup singers on stage. Her keyboard work also sounded off at times requiring assistance from the backup keyboardist. From her performance, I would think that this may be her last tour with the band.

4. John - stayed in the background as usual, but hit all the bass parts with precision and authority.

5. Mick - Mostly as energetic as ever. Seemed to tire a bit as the show went on but his drumming was really good.  That being said, there was a fantastic co-percussionist on stage who did a lot of the heavy lifting and Mick didn't do many of the wonderful drum fills that he's done in the past (especially on "You Make Lovin Fun") and I missed hearing those.

6. Mike Campbell - I have mixed feelings about Mike in the band. He's a great guitarist ... no doubt.  He and Neil have good chemistry ... no doubt. He's happy to be a team player so fits in well.  That being said, he seemed a bit too restrained last night which is how I felt about Neil as well. Neil and Mike played too much of the team player role last night. I understand that Fleetwood Mac is a classic rock band where the main focus is playing the "hits" but this lineup sorely needs Neil and Mike to pump some energy into them. And that's only going to happen if they're freed up to be themselves and that was lacking last night. Neil's humor and banter were missing. Mike's passionate guitar shredding was missing. Sure Mike nailed the guitar parts but it was sort of like having a session player on stage rather than one of the world's great guitarist which Mike undoubtedly is.

That all being said, the band sounded generally good. The songs were performed well although I will say that they seemed "tighter" on the Stevie and Lindsey songs than the Christine songs.

One interesting side note is that they dropped "All Over Again" as the closer which Stevie and Christine have been performing together as an acoustic closer. They closed with "Don't Stop". Dropping "All Over Again" is oddly coincidental coming on the day that Lindsey was on CBS This Morning saying that Christine believes that Stevie wants Lindsey back in the band "in her heart".  I wonder if this had anything to do with dropping the song from the set.  Stevie and Christine didn't acknowledge each other on stage which also struck me as odd. Perhaps this was just a coincidence.

Overall, it was wonderful to see Neil, my favorite musician, last night. He seems happy which is great to see. The band is worth seeing and some of the issues (outside of Christine's vocals) can be easily worked out by allowing a bigger role for Neil/Mike and Stevie sticking to the script. I definitely recommended checking out the band if they come to a city near near.

My best guess, based on body language from last night, is that Neil leaves the band after this tour and returns to his other projects while Mike stays in the band until Lindsey returns for the "reunion tour".

Original Post

Fine review, Sugar Mouse. 

I've been seeing the response to your posts on the Ledge, and sighing in disdain. Thank you for an honest assessment that is respectful and revealing. Maybe Lindsey will come back for the reunion tour and everyone can be happy again. Long-time fans appreciate seeing their heroes on stage after all (hint, hint, CH).

Thanks for the review!

I too make a daily trip to the Ledge :-) And then I roll my eyes and move on. 

Interesting observations about the potentially more subdued mood during the show you went to. I wouldn't want to read too much into it either, but when I watched the Lindsey B. interview, I suspected that this might lead to a bit of a stinky mood.

I have to say, I'm slowly getting bored now of following the Fleetwood Mac stint. Nothing new ever happens! No funny stories, no on-stage banter, no spontaneous bursting into songs, no playing tricks on fellow band members, no nothing. Neil's bromance with Mike Campbell still entertains me hugely (MC seems to be a nice guy: rescue dogs, bathrooms jams, not taking himself too seriously etc.).

I'm quietly hoping that Neil takes something away from this: Playing with a proper band is great; just with band members that are a bit less high-maintenance. Oh wait, I know... (Or to put it in other words  

c.houser posted:

(hint, hint, CH).

Anyone have an opinion on why they settled with LB, rather than taking it to court?

Mica posted:

Thanks for the review!

I too make a daily trip to the Ledge :-) And then I roll my eyes and move on. 

Interesting observations about the potentially more subdued mood during the show you went to. I wouldn't want to read too much into it either, but when I watched the Lindsey B. interview, I suspected that this might lead to a bit of a stinky mood.

I have to say, I'm slowly getting bored now of following the Fleetwood Mac stint. Nothing new ever happens! No funny stories, no on-stage banter, no spontaneous bursting into songs, no playing tricks on fellow band members, no nothing. Neil's bromance with Mike Campbell still entertains me hugely (MC seems to be a nice guy: rescue dogs, bathrooms jams, not taking himself too seriously etc.).

I'm quietly hoping that Neil takes something away from this: Playing with a proper band is great; just with band members that are a bit less high-maintenance. Oh wait, I know... (Or to put it in other words  

c.houser posted:

(hint, hint, CH).

Anyone have an opinion on why they settled with LB, rather than taking it to court?

I agree. This Fleetwood Mac tour has so much potential but is being stifled by scripted performances.  They really need to let Neil and Mike loose.

Re: All Over Again, they’ve dropped it a few times on this tour as far as I know, I wouldn’t read anything into it necessarily. 

Nice to read your thoughts on the gig, Sugar Mouse.

On settling with LB - I remember reading things at the time of his suit along the lines of “they were planning to pay him off anyway, this might just be to make sure they do,” which seems as reasonable an explanation as any. 

New to the forum but have been a fan of Finnmusic since first hearing True Colours back in 1980. I've noticed that (for some odd reason), Fleetwood Mac is starting up the next leg of their current tour right where they ended the first leg, here in Denver. I had a previous concert (Joe Henry) scheduled for the same night, but that has been cancelled, so I am now free to potentially attend the FM gig. I have been Finn-starved in terms of live action since the 2010 Intriguer Crowded House show in Denver (thankfully preserved on the Intriguer Live: Start To Finish release), so am seriously considering attending. I have never seen Fleetwood Mac in concert, but have been a fan since the late 1970s (Tusk is my favorite), so this would be a good way to get both birds, etc., albeit without Lindsey Buckingham.

For those who have attended gigs on the FM tour, should I go? I'm a bit concerned that I might feel a bit wistful that I'm not seeing either FM at full power (with LB) or Neil Finn at his best (with CH or Tim). What say y'all?

That 2010 gig is still probably my favorite I've ever attended. Does that mean you missed Neil in '16 in Boulder? Those were fun nights.

You will have a good time at FM. It's not a Neil gig, although hearing an arena full of people singing DDIO is a nice bonus. But they're sounding good and full of energy, and Neil is clearly having the time of his life up there, which is a joy to see. Just don't judge the whole thing by Fleetwood's drum solo. You might like to do something more fun during that, like some amature dentistry or something.

 

Thom Bullock posted:

That 2010 gig is still probably my favorite I've ever attended. Does that mean you missed Neil in '16 in Boulder? Those were fun nights.

You will have a good time at FM. It's not a Neil gig, although hearing an arena full of people singing DDIO is a nice bonus. But they're sounding good and full of energy, and Neil is clearly having the time of his life up there, which is a joy to see. Just don't judge the whole thing by Fleetwood's drum solo. You might like to do something more fun during that, like some amature dentistry or something.

 

I did miss him in 2016. I think I was overseas at the time, if I recall. Also missed him at Largo in LA by a day when I was there on business a few years ago. Frustrating!

Haha re the drum solo. Not a fan of those in general; I think the only one I ever saw that was compelling was Phil Collins with Genesis about 35 years ago. Most drummers aren't Phil Collins though.

Thanks for the input. I'm thinking I will probably go. Why not, right? It'll be fun to see Neil up there without the weight of being the bandleader on his shoulders.

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