Glasto your own way

Sources close to the band said it was ‘highly likely’ the band would headline the iconic festival next year

Fleetwood back: Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham

Glastonbury organisers are in the final stages of signing Fleetwood Mac , we can reveal.

It comes after they headlined Isle Of Wight festival last year as a UK exclusive.

But now having kept that promise to Isle of Wight bosses, they are free to Go Their Own Way.

A festival source at Q tells us: “Glastonbury was always on the cards and they wanted to do it last year but they couldn’t because of the deal they have signed with Isle Of Wight organisers. Now they are free of that they can do what they want.”

It is not yet known how much Glastonbury mastermind Michael Eavis has offered the British-American rockers.

Fleetwood Mac performing at IOW

But it will be significantly less than what Isle Of Wight organiser John Giddings splashed out to get them last year.

Giddings said he managed to get the five stars – including Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham – by showing them the dollar.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GN2kpBoFs4%5B/embedyt%5D

Apparently Michael Eavis was blown away by their tactics. Giddings revealed: “Michael Eavis said, ‘How did you get Fleetwood Mac?’ I said, I paid them!”

He said he had to invest in a show-stopping headline act to fill the festival.

“Glastonbury are in a privileged position, whereby they sell out in advance,” he explained.

Fleetwood Mac play live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2015

“They could book my granny and still have a festival.

“The rest of us are still in the realms of having to book a decent line-up and make it attractive to people and make them want to come.”

Other acts tipped to headline next year’s Somerset extravaganza include Coldplay and Adele.

Fleetwood have been on a multi-million-pound tour of the world and wrap it up in next month in New Zealand.

We just hope Mr Eavis can seal the deal. Don’t Stop hoping…

Tom Bryant / The Mirror / 19th October 2015

Why we’re excited about the return of Christine McVie

Those heading for the Isle of Wight festival will see something Mac fans feared they would never see again: Christine McVie’s return after a 16-year absence.

To listen to Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie speak, you’d never guess she was a member of one of the world’s most successful – not to mention debauched and dysfunctional – bands of all time. Level-headed and prone to understatement when I interviewed her for the Guardian in 2013, she described the songwriting gift that enabled her to knock out such hits as Don’t Stop and Little Lies as follows: “I don’t know what it is really … I think I’m just good with hooks.”

During that interview, she went on to discuss the band’s legendarily gargantuan drug intake without a hint of romance – “Well, I’d be lying if I said I was sober as a judge” – and described the crazy routine the band adhered to at the peak of their success in similar terms: “You look at tennis players; it’s the same kind of thing.”

So grounded can McVie appear that it’s almost surprising that the songs she writes take flight so effortlessly: heartfelt and clear, they’re given extra wind beneath their wings by her pure, songbird falsetto. This summer, those heading to the Isle of Wight festival will get to see her perform them, something many Mac fans feared they would never see again: McVie left the group in 1998, succumbing to a fear of flying and longing for a quiet life in the country; she rejoined in 2014.

It’s a testament to Fleetwood Mac’s abundance of talent that they have not just survived without McVie and her many hits during this 16-year absence, but delivered storming three-hour sets packed with classic tracks. Great though those shows were, it wasn’t quite Fleetwood Mac. McVie’s songs don’t just stand out in their own right, but also provide a counterbalance to the other artistic directions in the band. Less mystical than Stevie Nicks’ and less wilfully experimental than some of Lindsey Buckingham’s, McVie’s simple songs of love nonetheless brim with a sense of positivity, not to mention an abundance of melody.

Her musical gifts – let’s not forget she’s a skilled keyboard player with a style schooled in the blues – are not the only reason Mac fans should celebrate her return. In a famously fractured band, whose existence always seems precariously balanced, thanks to decades of broken marriages, flings and rows, McVie’s down-to-earth personality provides a steadying role similar to that of her songs.

She always seemed capable of rising above the tangled love dramas that caused jealously and tantrums among the men, and her enduring friendship with Nicks helped the pair to face the perils of being female artists during the sexist 70s. When McVie first left, Nicks said she was heartbroken; today she talks lovingly about having her musical sister back in the band: “When I finish Silver Springs, Christine waits for me and takes my hand,” she recently told Canadian magazineMaclean’s. “We walk off and we never let go of each other until we get to our tent. In that 30 seconds, it’s like my heart just comes out of my body.”

McVie is too key a figure for Fleetwood Mac to have carried on touring without her, and drummer Mick Fleetwood has admitted that her return to the band makes them “complete” again. Speaking to the Vancouver Sun in March, he added that he “couldn’t think of a better ending, when this does end … we’re all on the same page and writing the same last chapter”.

Comments such as this only add to the sense that their Isle of Wight show will be a magical, uplifting and emotional experience. Or “not a bad gig”, as Christine may well say afterwards.

Fleetwood Mac play the Isle of Wight festival on 14 June.

Tim Jonze / The Guardian / Wednesday, 3rd June 2015 

CONCERT REVIEW: New Orleans Jazz Fest still a summer highlight

(Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images)
(Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images)

Times Leader
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

For four decades, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has been a mecca for music lovers from across the nation. Before multi-day festivals ever became popular, Jazz Fest has been offering weekend-long celebrations of the music that defined the sound of The Big Easy, along with the many genres it influenced. The festival has grown from its early days at the famed Congo Square to its current location at the Fairgrounds and Racetrack and continues to deliver two weekends of the best musical acts on the circuit. For four mud-filled days from May 2 through 5, Jazz Fest, yet again, provided the perfect early summer escape.

Housing nearly a dozen stages, Jazz Fest offers enough music to pacify any music fan from country and bluegrass, to reggae and straightforward rock ‘n’ roll. While the main stage lineup for the second weekend featured A-list acts like Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5, and The Black Keys, if one wandered around the festival grounds, a slew of other lesser-known acts were delivering some of the best sets of the weekend, including Galactic, who turned in a funky hour-long show featuring an appearance by vocalist Corey Glover of Living Colour.

Traversing between multiple stages can prove to be a daunting task – especially with crowds exceeding 100,000 – but being able to take a five-minute walk from watching Maroon 5 on one stage to see the legendary Willie Nelson on another is certainly a nice reward, though having so many stages running simultaneously can cause a bit of frustration for fans hoping to catch a full set by their favorite acts. For instance, Saturday, May 4 had Fleetwood Mac, Phoenix, Frank Ocean, and Los Lobos sharing the same timeslot, but having a true Jazz Fest experience ultimately leads to catching brief snippets of certain acts and planning your route to catch others playing at the same time.

For those who did stick it out for their favorite acts, the music did not disappoint. Fleetwood Mac, arguably the headliner of the second weekend, put together a set chockfull of hits, including “Second Hand News,” “Tusk,” “Rhiannon,” an exquisite “Landslide,” which showcased Stevie Nicks’ still crisp voice, and a pounding “Go Your Own Way,” which turned into one of the loudest sing-alongs of the weekend. Earlier on Thursday, a reunited Widespread Panic trudged through a rain storm with a fiery set, including “Climb to Safety,” “Blackout Blues,” and a fine take on Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy.”

On Sunday, popular alt-rockers The Black Keys played one of the more lively sets of the festival with upbeat crowd favorites like “Howlin’ For You,” “Dead and Gone,” “Little Black Submarines,” and a driving “Lonely Boy.” Later in the evening, New Orleans favorites Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue brought the festival to a close with a charging 90-minute set full of funk, blues, rock, and brass. While his name may not be too familiar in NEPA yet, Trombone Shorty is proving himself to be a force on the up-and-coming list and will probably be reaching a much bigger audience in the very near future.

Aside from the music, Jazz Fest distinguishes itself from other festivals in various ways, including ground performers, parades, and most importantly, the southern cooking that has helped New Orleans establish itself as a culinary hotspot. Sure, there’s standard fare of burgers, soft pretzels, and Sno-Cones, but Jazz Fest may be the only festival where you’re able to catch your favorite bands while indulging in soft-shell crab po’ boys, alligator jambalaya, and more variations of shrimp than any person can handle. It’s almost enough to make the music seem like the backdrop for the weekend.

With an early ending time of 7 p.m., Jazz Fest somewhat serves as a catalyst for the New Orleans night scene, with many of the acts playing clubs or theaters after the festival concludes. For those who wanted more music, the city offered late-night headlining gigs with everyone from Robert Randolph and the Family Band and The Black Crowes to George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, albeit for a small price. Even in the French Quarter, there were multiple clubs featuring the brass and funk bands that have become part of the New Orleans sound.

After more than forty years, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is still one of the biggest festivals in our country. The music, food, people, and – this year – the mud, helped uphold its tradition of being a yearly destination for people from almost every state. For anyone looking for a relaxing, music-filled, and delicious vacation – to quote actor Woody Harrelson, who was spotted on the grounds this year – the answer is simple: “F——-g Jazz Fest!”

The ‘State of the Listen’ @ Jazz Fest 2013

Jazz Fest 2013

Live Music Blog
Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The 44th Annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival drew sizeable crowds this year, despite the rain that kept less ardent fans away. Featuring music, food, crafts, and culture, Jazz Fest falls on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May each year.

The following data reflects public social media mentions on New Orleans Jazz Fest from April 5 – May 5, 2013. The information was pulled from Radian6, a social media monitoring and analytics platform.

In the last year, Jazz Fest goers have turned to social media in greater numbers than in years past – almost doubling the number of mentions about the music festival over 2012. There were noticeably more attendees on Saturday May 4th, as Fleetwood Mac’s performance attracted some of the largest crowds in Jazz Fest history (attendance numbers have not yet been released). However, the classic rock group missed out on the lion’s share of the buzz with Maroon 5 claiming the top place among social media mentions. And although the crowds gathered for Fleetwood Mac were greater in number, it is likely that the younger crowd present for contemporary pop group Maroon 5 was more tech savvy than their older festing compatriots, which could account for the discrepancy in crowd size and the volume of social media buzz.

For the second year in a row, Crawfish Monica and Crawfish Bread were the food items that most people dished about on social media. Crawfish dishes received more mentions from Jazz Festers than many of the top performers. But receiving more buzz than the top food and many key Jazz Fest acts was the weather. Rain played a starring role in Jazz Fest this year, which was reflected in the social media chatter about the festival. Surprisingly, more people posted about the rain at Jazz Fest than the mud, which stuck around much longer. Due to the inclement weather conditions, galoshes (rain boots and shrimp boots) ruled the fest. Many local stores sold out of the types of footwear needed to traverse the festival grounds by the second Saturday of Jazz Fest. Galoshes proved to be a social media star of the festival, receiving more buzz than the top food attractions and many of the musical acts.

Jazz Fest 2013

CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac top soggy second week of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz Fest May 4, 2013By Alex Rawls / Rolling Stone
Monday, May 6, 2013

Fleetwood Mac headlined Saturday, the biggest day of Jazz Fest. The first sunny day of the weekend helped, as did the last-hour musical choices: Phoenix, New Orleans-born Frank Ocean, Los Lobos and Fleetwood Mac, who were as physical and relentless as the Black Keys in their own way. Lindsey Buckingham played guitar and sang as if every song was a challenge, and he celebrated the ending a hard, rocking version  of “Not That Funny” from Tusk with an emphatic “Yeah!” and a couple of foot stomps. At the conclusion of an extended version of “I’m Not Afraid,” complete with a lengthy, aggressive guitar solo, he leaned forward, hands on his knees, to catch his breath.

Their two-and-a-half-hour set was essentially the one the band is playing this tour, including some deep cuts and two from the new Extended Play. Stevie Nicks explained that “Without You,” one of the new cuts, was a lost song from the unreleased second Buckingham-Nicks album rediscovered on YouTube, and that Mick Fleetwood and John McVie listened to them for the guitarist.

“I told them they had to take you,” Buckingham said.

“Thank you for taking me on the ride,” she answered.

In honor of the setting, Nicks performed the chorus to “New Orleans” from her In Your Dreams album, with lines written after Hurricane Katrina. “I wanna sing in the streets of the French Quarter,” she sang. ” I wanna dress up, I wanna wear beads/I wanna wear feathers and lace/I wanna brush by the vampires.”

CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac draws huge Jazz Fest crowd

(Matthew Hinton)
(Matthew Hinton)

By John Wirt
Advocate
Sunday, May 5, 2013

NEW ORLEANS — What a difference a day makes. After a Friday of mud, wind and chill, Saturday saw the sun return to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The temperature rose into the 70s, the mud receded.

The cooperative weather likely helped draw what must have been one of the biggest crowds in Jazz Fest history to classic-rock band Fleetwood Mac’s headlining show at the Acura Stage. The audience maxed out space on the Fair Grounds Race Course infield and bordering racetrack.

Fleetwood Mac singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham used his introduction of a newly recorded Fleetwood Mac song to explain the return of the band that’s sold 100 million albums.

It would be easy to assume, Buckingham said, that a group with decades together in the music business would have nothing new to discover. On the contrary, he said, “there seem to be a few more chapters left in the history of Fleetwood Mac.”

The 2013 edition of Fleetwood Mac features four of the five group members who filled its most successful lineup: drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, Buckingham and singing, tambourine-rattling Stevie Nicks.

“We’re so excited to be in your amazing city,” Nicks said after the band opened with “Second Hand News” and the autobiographical “The Chain.”

The band played many of the hits the crowd expected. “Rhiannon,” a Nicks signature song, also came early in the show.

Nicks, always the most visually striking member of the group, wore blonde bangs, oversized tinted glasses that looked very ’60s and one of her witchy black outfits. Later in the show, she donned a top hat for “Go Your Own Way.”

True to Fleetwood Mac history, one of the new songs the band played — released via iTunes last week — was inspired by a disagreement between Buckingham and Nicks. He responded to her reluctance to make a full-length album by writing “Sad Angel.”

“Hello, hello, sad angel,” Buckingham and Nicks sang together on the Acura Stage. “Have you come to fight the war? … The crowd’s calling out for more.”

Nicks and Buckingham took center stage again for “Landslide,” from 1977’s landmark Rumours album. The pair performed the song as a duet, with her singing and him playing his finger-picking, multi-voiced acoustic guitar.

Frank Ocean also performed Saturday. He is a New Orleans native whose 2012 album, Channel Orange, won a Grammy Award for best urban contemporary album. Another of the day’s Grammy-winning acts, French rock band Phoenix, appeared on the Gentilly Stage.

In this world-famous music festival for which the majority of talent comes from New Orleans, two generations of blues singer-guitarists, Kenny Neal and Jonathon “Boogie” Long, represented Baton Rouge Saturday.

Neal drew a full house to his early afternoon show at the Blues Tent.

“Oh, I’m feeling the blues already!” he told his audience before playing the moody, mid-tempo and ultimately searing “Blues Falling Down Like Rain.”

Neal has been performing at Jazz Fest since the 1970s, beginning with his late singing, harmonica-playing dad, Raful. His band now includes his brother Frederick and nephew Tyree, both playing keyboards, his bassist brother, Darnell, and drummer Bryan Morris.

Always popular at Jazz Fest, Neal’s songs often transcended his genre in the Blues Tent, one example being his inspirational soul ballad, “You Gotta Hurt Before You Heal.”

After his set, Neal posed for photos and greeted dozens of fans, including Jazz Fest attendees from Australia, Germany and France. He also gave an interview to a Slovenian journalist.

Later in the afternoon at the Blues Tent, Long, a 25-year-old star on the rise fresh from a tour with B.B. King, tempered his often rocking, swaggering blues with softer yet still virtuosic guitar interludes.

In an example of the collaborations that happen often at Jazz Fest, rhythm-and-blues and funk masters George Porter Jr. and Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste — the bass and drums in the Meters respectively — joined two jazz artists, trumpeter Nicholas Payton and pianist David Torkanowsky, in the local supergroup, Fleur Debris Superband.

Naturally, this supergroup’s selections grooved, but they also turned ethereal and exploratory in, for instance, the band’s rendition of New Orleans jazz maestro Harold Battiste’s “Marzique Dancing.” The Fleur Debris Superband drew an overflow crowd at the Zatarain’s/WWOZ Jazz Tent.

Jazz Fest wraps up Sunday.

CONCERT REVIEW: Mac makes magic with show-closing set

(Chris Granger)
(Chris Granger)

By Jerry Shriver / USA Today
Saturday, May 4, 2013

All the cool young kids flocked to the Gentilly stage to catch hot French pop band Phoenix execute songs from their new Bankrupt! album, along with irresistible hit Lisztomania from 2009. Given that they were scheduled against Fleetwood Mac, the size of their audience was impressive.

But lovers of classic Baby Boomer pop-rock, and their grandchildren, packed the huge field of the Acura stage to witness a wonderful reunion of Fleetwood Mac. The group in various configurations has been around since 1967, but the lineup on Saturday was the beloved classic version of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, missing only retired Christine McVie. The group paid loving tribute to its past, taking pains to explain the origins and context of the songs and digging out decades-old obscurities. Buckingham introduced several songs from 1979’s Tusk, an album he said was a turning point in their career. When it came to the classic hits, “Rhiannon” seemed perfunctory but the set reached its peak with a heartfelt “Landslide,” sung by Nicks with an air of resignation. Nicks, wearing a blue velvet long-sleeved gown with a gold wrap, charmed the crowd with a brief a capella version of “New Orleans” from her recent solo album, In Your Dreams.

The whole approach, though well-curated, seemed a bit too low-key for a festival crowd that had been camped in the mud for most of the day.

Fleetwood Mac headlines New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

17TH SHOW: Fleetwood Mac, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, May 4, 2013

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Fleetwood Mac headlined the Acura Stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Saturday afternoon. The band pleasantly surprised the diverse festival revelers of all ages and musical persuasions. Attendees tweeted their enthusiasm for Stevie’s engaging stage presence and Lindsey’s exceptional guitar work throughout the show. Fleetwood Mac performed for appropriately two hours and 20 minutes, playing a shortened set list (dropping “Silver Springs” and “Say Goodbye”) for the general festival audience.

Stevie paid tribute to the New Orleans people by singing a few lines from her 2011 song “New Orleans,” which she wrote about Hurricane Katrina.

Jump to videos of the show.

Fan reaction (via Twitter)

@adampaul5
Who is this Fleetwood Mac person playin? He is pretty decent… #partyongarth #nawlins #jazzfest

@chalala_turtle
fleetwood mac are amazing

@Zoe_Mclean
Fleetwood Mac is unbelievable! #jazzfest2013

@Davekellan
Fleetwood Mac in the hot New Orleans sun…

@RachelAndrea
I just heard “The Chain” live by Fleetwood Mac. I love my life.

@mooseNYC
Fleetwood Mac live in New Orleans….worth the destroyed kicks!

@alicia_volpe
Holy shit Fleetwood Mac is so good

@AndrewPuschel
Fleetwood Mac. Still got game.

@ASBurch_2393
I have to say, Fleetwood Mac is putting on a really good show.

@kbeninato
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. She has on cute little rose colored glasses #jazzfest #fleetwoodmac #andscarves

@AlisonF_NOLA
Overheard at #jazzfest: “is she not magical? I think I’m gonna cry.” #fleetwoodmac #stevienicks #witches

@pamelamacmac
Lovin #stevienicks fricking awesome!! #fleetwoodmac @jazzfest ❤ #legend

@aimee2621
Lindsey Buckingham play the f*ck out his guitars with NO picks!!! #JazzFest

@raymondroker
Fleetwood Mac sounds GREAT. Just did “Tusk” but should have had a local band stand in for USC. #jazzfest

@Intoxicologyst
@jazzfest Lindsay Buckingham s a musical monster #fleetwoodmac

@kbeninato
This is a long-ass set. Fleetwood Mac has too much stamina. I’m plopped on a couch in the press tent. #pooped #jazzfest

New Orleans set list

  1. Second Hand News
  2. The Chain
  3. Dreams
  4. Sad Angel (new song)
  5. Rhiannon
  6. Not That Funny
  7. Tusk
  8. Sisters of the Moon
  9. Sara
  10. Big Love
  11. New Orleans/Landslide
  12. Never Going Back Again
  13. Without You (new song)
  14. Gypsy
  15. Eyes of the World
  16. Gold Dust Woman
  17. I’m So Afraid
  18. Stand Back
  19. Go Your Own Way
  20. World Turning (encore)
  21. Don’t Stop (encore)
  22. Silver Springs
  23. Say Goodbye

Videos

1. Second Hand News (courtesy of Reagan White)

2. The Chain – partial (courtesy of Karen Hamilton)

3. Dreams (courtesy of Karen Hamilton)

3. Dreams (courtesy of juggalette8722)

5. Rhiannon (courtesy of jett1273)

5. Rhiannon (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

6. Not That Funny (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

7. Tusk (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

7. Tusk – partial (courtesy of jeg601)

8. Sisters of the Moon (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

9. Sara (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

10. Big Love (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

10. Big Love – distant view of projection screen (courtesy of Juan Geldres)

11. New Orleans/Landslide (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

11. Landslide – partial (courtesy of bjaso)

12. Never Going Back Again (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

13. Without You (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

Big, massive New Orleans bug (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

14. Gypsy (courtesy of ZviZeav)

14. Gypsy (courtesy of jett1273)

15. Eyes of the World (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

16. Gold Dust Woman (courtesy of ZviZeav)

17. I’m So Afraid (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

18. Stand Back (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

20-21. World Turning & Don’t Stop (courtesy of edgeofthewind)

21. Don’t Stop (courtesy of Karen Hamilton)

Special thanks to bjaso, edgeofthewind, Juan Geldres, Karen Hamilton, jeg601, jett1273, Reagan White, and ZviZeav for making these clips available.

CONCERT REVIEW: For Fleetwood Mac at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, yesterday isn’t gone

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By Keith Spera / Times Picayune
Saturday, May 4, 2013

Midway through Fleetwood Mac’s two-hour-and-20-minute headlining set at the New Orleans Jazz Fest’s Acura Stage on Saturday, Stevie Nicks spun a tale about “Without You.” Originally a poem, she and then-paramour Lindsey Buckingham recorded it in the early 1970s for their unreleased second duo album. “Without You” faded into the hazy mists of memory until they “rediscovered” the song three years ago on YouTube.

“We loved it, we lost it, we found it,” Nicks explained.

She was speaking of the song, but she might well have been describing the arc of Fleetwood Mac’s career, one of rock’s great success stories and soap operas. Like the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac accounted for one of the best-selling albums of all time, as well as one of the most enduring catalogs in American popular music. Also like the Eagles — and with the additional baggage of multiple intra-band romances — they fractured badly, only to come together again as an older and presumably wiser unit.

Much of the Fair Grounds was still a muddy bog on Saturday, but the weather was picture perfect — clear skies, mild temperatures. Tens of thousands of people filled the Acura Stage field and spilled over the dirt track all the way to the fences.

What they witnessed in the second half of Fleetwood Mac’s set was a band that still very much wants to be a band. Nicks, Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie — Christine McVie, John’s ex-wife and the lead singer on several Mac hits, has not toured with them in years — could have phoned in a greatest-hits recital and called it a day.

But to their credit, they were not afraid to take chances, and their time. Last week, Jazz Fest moved up Fleetwood Mac’s start time to 4:40 p.m., giving the band 30 minutes more than originally scheduled. They easily filled them.

The show’s early going included classics — “The Chain,” “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Tusk” — as well as “Sad Angel,” from a new Mac EP. “Every time we go apart and come back together, it’s different,” Buckingham said. “You’d think a band that’s been together as long as us would have nothing new to discover, but there do seem to be a few chapters left in the history of Fleetwood Mac.”

History still weighs heavily on them. But now they seem to share the warm camaraderie of veterans who survived a war together. Midway through the show, Nicks and Buckingham were left alone for an intimate duet on “Landslide.” Buckingham finger-picked an acoustic guitar as Nicks sang, “I’m getting older.” At the song’s conclusion, he gallantly kissed her hand.

When Nicks and Buckingham first joined Fleetwood Mac, some fans of the band’s first incarnation as a blues-based rock group were horrified, but they provided the necessary ingredients for mass popularity. A couple at the time, they came as a package; Nicks joked that Mick Fleetwood was really only interested in Buckingham’s guitar skills.

“The voices, all that stuff was completely secondary,” she said. “They just wanted you, let’s face it.”

Buckingham grinned: “It worked out OK.”

At the Fair Grounds, Nicks battled a “New Orleans bug” that was stuck in her throat. “I need some coffee or I’m never going to get through this next song,” she said. “If it totally sucks, Lindsey will be singing lead.”

The next song was “Gypsy,” which would have been an unfortunate choice for Buckingham. Happily, Nicks managed just fine. “Thank you everybody for being so patient,” she said. “We’re learning to live with that bug.”

She accented her black-on-black ensemble — high-heeled, platform suede boots and, for one song, a top hat — with sparkling strands and scarves on her microphone stand and a succession of shawls. During “Gold Dust Woman” — which Fleetwood prefaced with a bass drum and cowbell beat — she and the band embarked on an extended breakdown. “Baby, baby, baby, you should see me now,” she sang. She traced the silhouette of a woman — a gold dust woman? — in the air, then turned to face Fleetwood’s drum kit, holding her shawl aloft like angel wings.

Buckingham’s voice was a bit craggy at points, but his guitar work was consistently aggressive and vital. During a romp late in the set, he ripped off distorted, dirty riffs, high-stepping and stomping across the stage. He pounded the guitar’s neck with his fists, and slapped it, producing squalls of sound. Afterward, he tapped a hand to his heart, then blew the crowd a kiss.

The band’s auxiliary keyboardist — there also was a secondary guitarist, and two female backing vocalists — carried Nicks’ solo hit “Stand Back.” They went back to the Mac with “Go Your Own Way.” It got off to a shaky start; Nicks eyed Buckingham from across the stage, as if trying to get in sync with him. It was all good once the crowd took over the chorus. Buckingham, the bite still in his guitar, ended the song atop Fleetwood’s drum riser, whacking a cymbal with his bare hand.

The encore opened with a sturdy “World Keeps On Turning,” its churning riff angular and lean. It was a bit late in the day for a drum solo, but Fleetwood took one anyway. “You know it’s comin!” he shouted.

Although Christine McVie no longer tours with the band, her signature composition “Don’t Stop” does. Buckingham sang the first verse, Nicks the second. “Don’t Stop” is about moving beyond grief, about looking toward a brighter day. “Yesterday’s gone,” they repeated.

Not if you’re Fleetwood Mac, it isn’t. Yesterday, rediscovered, still sounds pretty great.

CONCERT REVIEW: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival sees performances from Fleetwood Mac, Little Big Town

(Douglas Mason)
(Douglas Mason)

By Chevel Johnson / Associated Press
Saturday, May 4, 2013

NEW ORLEANS — Little Big Town says that some networking they did is paying off with a chance to cross a couple of items off their “bucket list.”

After playing Bayou Country SuperFest in Baton Rouge last year, group member Karen Fairchild said they talked to festival producer Quint Davis about other things they hoped to accomplish. They mentioned that they’d one day like to perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Davis was in a position to help since he also produces Jazz Fest.

Known for its trademark four-part harmonies, Little Big Town performed in New Orleans on Saturday.

“Can you believe we’re opening for Fleetwood Mac?” said Kimberly Schlapman, another group member. “We’ve been wanting to play Jazz Fest forever and now we’re opening for Fleetwood Mac and can mark off two big things from our list.”

Schlapman said early in their career they had the chance to meet Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, which she described as an “amazing harmony band.”

“Being able to share a stage with them is one of our greatest wishes,” she said.

Fairchild said they’ve watched Jazz Fest from afar for years. “The who’s who of music shows up year after year at the festival. Who wouldn’t want to play there?”

Flags flying amid a cool breeze, music fans packed the festival grounds by the stage where Little Big Town and Fleetwood Mac performed. Some put down tarps over the muddy infield. Others sat in chairs, wore rubber boots or stood barefoot to hear the bands.

“Once you’re in it, it kind of feels good,” said Mary Kathryn Gatlin, of Greenville, S.C., who danced shoeless in the mud, the muck covering her feet past the ankles. Gatlin was taking in her first Jazz Fest with her sister, Frances Gatlin.

The pair had been at the stage since noon, about an hour after the gates opened.

“We love country, bluegrass, just easy-listening music that’s fun to dance to,” Gatlin said.

Many danced as Fleetwood Mac performed such hits as “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy,” “Tusk” and “Landslide,” which drew huge roars from the crowd when Stevie Nicks introduced it.

Nicks also delivered her tribute to the host city, singing a portion of her song, “New Orleans,” which she said she wrote after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “I wanna get a room in New Orleans, I wanna sing in the streets of the French Quarter,” she sang.

The band also performed a new song, “Sad Angel,” testing it out with the crowd. Toward the end of their set, they played an old favorite, “Go Your Own Way” at the end of which Buckingham shouted to the crowd, “New Orleans, we love you!”

They left the stage briefly before returning for an encore performance of “The World Keep On Turning,” a song from their self-titled first album released in 1968 and “Don’t Stop.”

Other Saturday headliners included Phoenix, Frank Ocean, Los Lobos, Terence Blanchard, Davell Crawford and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Sunshine and blue skies were welcomed by fans of the outdoor festival, which had been drenched by rain in previous days. Despite the mud, the field in front of the festival’s largest stage was packed hours before Fleetwood Mac’s performance.

Little Big Town’s Fairchild said she hoped their festival appearance would help boost their fan base.

“This is a great chance for longtime fans to come out and see our set and a chance for us to discover and be introduced to new fans,” she said.

Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook make up the rest of Little Big Town, which recently won two Academy of Country Music awards for their latest album “Tornado.” They go on tour with Keith Urban in July.

“I like them,” said Monique Powell, of Lafayette. “They’ve got three big hits out right now, `Tornado,’ `Pontoon,’ and `Little White Church.’ We came in to hear Maroon 5 yesterday. This is just a bonus.”

Powell and her friend, Matt Chaisson, also of Lafayette, said Saturday’s sunny weather made the trip worthwhile.

“Even though it’s nasty out here with all the mud, we’re making the best of it,” she said, adding that she should have packed her rain boots.

“I should know better,” she said, laughing. “I’m from here!”

The festival ends Sunday, with closing performances by Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Aaron Neville, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, and Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra with special guest Dee Dee Bridgewater.