I saw Fleetwood Mac in Denver on Wednesday night, April 1. It was actually their second Denver stop on the same tour. This is the “On With The Show” tour, in which Christine McVie has rejoined the group and is touring with them again, something I never thought I’d see happen. They came here initially in December, and the cool thing about them coming back just 4 months later is that demand was greatly attenuated by the first show, and consequently I was able to get much better tickets — 10th row!
Now, normally at a concert I’m pretty absorbed by the music, but even so there’s some part of my head that occasionally perks up and writes out a little post, live-tweeting its comments back to me. Here are some of the things it had to say this time:
- Before the show — somebody behind me just said, “Oh my god these seats are so close! THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE!” Heh. It feels pretty good when somebody behind you is super-excited about their seats.
- I’ve had this thought at pretty much every Fleetwood Mac show for the last 20 years: I can’t believe these guys are still doing this and still sound so good.
- Christine, until you came back, I never realized just how much I’d missed you.
- This is the exact same show I saw in December, and not just the same set list, but the very same between-songs patter.
- Lady to my right: No matter how many times you insist to your two friends that they are about to start “Black Magic Woman”, they are never about to start “Black Magic Woman”, and they never will be about to start “Black Magic Woman.” (Though, postscript note — they did play it four years later, once Lindsey was out of the mix!)
- There are all these graphics that show up behind the different songs, and I don’t object to them. In fact, some of them (like the ones for “Rhiannon” and “Tusk”) I quite like. But the giant Lindsey-head that floats above the group during “I Know I’m Not Wrong” is both super-weird and super-freaky.
- Okay, man and two women to my right. Think about this. In the middle of a huge arena, with a rock and roll band playing fifty feet away from you, has got to be one of the hardest places in all of Denver at this moment to carry on a conversation. And yet, you persist in trying to have one, which means you are SCREAMING at each other through many songs. Did you seriously pay gobs of money to do this? Wouldn’t you be more comfortable outside?
- GOD I love hearing “Sisters Of The Moon”. Even though Stevie can’t hit the high note on it anymore, it is still so good.
- And now: Deep Thoughts, with Lindsey Buckingham.
- Oh my god you three to my right! It was one thing when you were shouting shit to each other during “Everywhere”, but do you have to do it during the quietest moments of “Landslide” and “Never Going Back Again”? I feel like saying to you, “Hey, I’m having trouble hearing you over the music, can you speak up?” But because I do not want to get into a conflict and thereby miss even more of the show, I will just seethe over here and write nasty things in my head about you.
- Stevie tells a story before “Gypsy” that is way longer than anything Lindsey says, but while I’m tired of hearing Lindsey talk before he’s even done, I could hear Stevie tell this same story over and over again and still be rapt. I know, because this is the second time I’ve heard it, and I love it just as much as the first time. Plus, afterward she sings “Gypsy”!
- Christine: Still Perfect. Stevie: Still Spellbinding. Lindsey: Still Soloing.
- Oh, I see, lady to my right. You meant “Gold Dust Woman” the entire time. While I will grant you that they are both Fleetwood Mac songs, they are so not at all the same song. Plus, I’ll bet you don’t even know that “Black Magic Woman” started out as a Fleetwood Mac song.
- The thing Stevie does on this tour during “Gold Dust Woman”, where it is as if she is possessed by all the dysfunction of the worst versions of herself, is so theatrical, so disconcerting, and so awesome.
- “World Turning”: Hooray! 10-minute session of Mick playing drum solos and grunting into his head-mic: Boo! This is such a buzzkill, and I have never seen Fleetwood Mac leave it out. At least he’s not getting up in front of the stage and tapping electronic drums built into his clothes anymore.
- Woman in front of me, you have seriously had that Fleetwood Mac tote bag over your shoulder for the entire show. Wow. That is some serious dedication to your pre-show merch purchase.
- “Don’t Stop” is so much better now that Christine is back.
- It’s amazing how Stevie and Lindsey can still summon the drama for “Silver Springs”. Boy, it must really suck to have an ex as a lifelong co-worker.
- Ahhh, final encore. “Songbird.” Except… where’s the baby grand? And why is Mick coming back out? Oh no, he’s launching into his same-as-ever show-closing monologue! But what about “Songbird”? Noooooo!!! Oh man, what an anticlimactic disappointment at the end of a show that actually has Christine in it.
[I researched this later and learned that they dropped it from the set list about a month ago, and that Christine is thought to be nursing a hand injury. I wonder if she has some kind of repetitive-stress thing? Even so, I wish she would just come out and sing it with Brett Tuggle on piano, but I think that kind of solo spotlight is not her cup of tea.]