Saturday, April 11, 2015
Don't stop thinking about tomorrow
A friend of Leslie's turned us on to two tickets to Fleetwood Mac in Los Angeles last night. Expensive seats. They played at the not so fabulous Forum. Our tickets were actually quite good, first row of elevated seating. Had been about 31 years since I had last seen them by my count.
Honestly, age has not been so kind to what was once such an excellent band. I am a huge Christine McVie fan, love her early contribution to Chicken Shack and looked forward to a chance to see her. And she sounded in top form.
But her distaff mac stablemate no longer has anything approximating a high range, the first three or four numbers were a painful exercise where they unsuccessfully tried to find an octave in which to sing together. Think nails and a chalkboard.
Fleetwood Mac started out as an excellent blues band in England in 1967 and was often billed in those days as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, the original ex Bluesbreaker guitar player being one of the most talented and lyrical players to ever grasp a fretboard.
There were various other guitar players along with way, many quite wounded, like Green himself, Kirwan, Spencer, Welsh to name a few. At one point in the mid seventies Lyndsey Buckingham and girlfriend Stevie Nicks joined the band and they soon exploded into a mainstream powerhouse, filling arenas. Never cared much for that sound or lineup.
Last night we were treated to a greatest hits package. I saw the Dead at the Forum on two occasions and the sound was perfect. Candidly, it sucked last night. The band, on gig number 77 on their current On with the show tour, stood far apart from each other on stage and lacked any real intimacy from my vantage. Very canned, although we were treated to little psychological vignettes about their struggles and travails from a few members. They are a quintessential arena band and there are lots of people who liek that sort of thing but it is lost on me. Cycled through all the pop radio classics.
One positive thing I can say is that the visuals were incredible, first class light show and backdrops, very cool. It was more of a visual treat than an auditory one but that is fine too. I enjoyed Landslide and So Alone very much.
Buckingham has a rather strange strum hand pluck technique, sort of like Derek Trucks and he seems to flail a lot at the strings, but it works for him and he expended a lot of energy. Mick gave us an obligatory drum solo at the end that was good and workmanlike but he will never be confused for Mitch Mitchell. John McVie is a reliable plodder. Couldn't hear C. McVie's keyboards or the background singers either for that matter.
The crowd was well dressed and possibly even older than the band. It should have been a real clue to me that Depends™ is sponsoring the entire tour. Many of the people in the stands left early so as to get home to their milk of magnesia at a decent hour.
Very nice to get the tickets. Don't think I need to see them again.