Tacoma in the Night

Saw them live last night in Tacoma. First time seeing FM. A few scattered thoughts:

1. Reports of Christine McVie's decline have been greatly exaggerated. Her vocals are a little tentative at times (I think a fair comparison is to Paul McCartney's current voice), but she still has some very nice moments on the keys. Reports I'd read made it sound like she just sort of stood there most of the show, which isn't true.

2. Nicks sounds better than she did in the initial clips from this lineup on the Ellen show, but there are still plenty of notes she doesn't reach for. It's hard to believe The Dance is now legal drinking age, at 21 years ago, but she definitely has lost the top of her range. Plenty of power in the rest of it, though.

3. The pre-Buckingham/Nicks tracks they added in sounded great, Black Magic Woman, Tell Me All The Things You Do, and especially Oh Well, during which it was just John McVie/Fleetwood/Campbell/Finn on stage, very hard rocking.

4. Neil is clearly having the time of his life up there - running around the stage, jumping off Fleetwood's drum riser, a smile a mile wide all night. It was a pleasure to watch. On the other hand, I realize he's primarily there as a vocalist, but I would have loved it if they'd mix his guitar up even slightly. The 3rd guitar player in the shadows gets more space in the mix than Neil does, and that's unfortunate.

5. Speaking of which, the fact that they have a whole extra band up there with them bothered me less during the gig than it does in theory. Sure, any of the principals apart from John McVie could stop playing at any point and we wouldn't necessarily notice, but they make a very nice sound as long as you don't think too hard about it. 

6. Fleetwood's drum solo in World Turning is a pointless waste of time. He's not that sort of drummer, and giving him a mic for a few minutes to make the crowd go "woo" back at him is just silly. They handed him a single drum with a strap and a wireless mic at one point so he could wander around the stage with it, and behind him the screen showed footage of him doing that same bit over the years, which made it look tired to me, but people afterwards were raving about it, so I must be in the minority.

7. The stage setup itself is interesting - the drapes/netting behind the stage look like they were installed in a hurry a few minutes before the gig, but they couldn't have been, because there was dedicated video specifically projected onto them. Compared to custom built sets used by many other artists (CH/SE included), it all looked a bit slapdash. The video footage itself is mostly very well done, Gold Dust Woman especially.

and finally 8. The biggest revelation of the night for me was Mike Campbell. I've never really been a Petty fan, so I didn't know much about the guy, but WOW can he play the guitar. I could have listened to him for hours... perfect tone, touch, everything. They've got a real asset there.

Oh, and unrelated to the music, but 9. Getting in and out of the Tacoma Dome is a complete Charlie Foxtrot. I hadn't attempted that before, and it's ridiculous.

Original Post

Thanks for the review, I enjoyed reading it, and your comments about Neil in exuberant mode made me smile. Good to hear from someone who was there!

I found your comments about Christine's voice interesting (lurking in the FM forums always depresses me), and about the stage setup seeming a bit slapdash. It reminds of the first few gigs, where apparently they had massive gettyimages watermarks in the Tom Petty pictures. Seems weird given that they don't seem to be frugal when it comes to expenses in other areas.

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MicaShadowman
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