VIDEOS 2/18: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland OH

Fleetwood Mac performed at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Wednesday night.

Date Venue Location Reviews Show # Total
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Quicken Loans Arena Cleveland, Ohio 18 58

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Videos

Thanks to Brian Kraig, CINDY P, Ken Jenkins, onefastvette, RainyDayAssembly, Michael Southard, and UndergroundVideoInc for sharing these videos!

The Chain / You Make Loving Fun / Dreams (RainyDayAssembly)

Rhiannon (onefastvette)

Rhiannon / Everywhere / I Know I’m Not Wrong (RainyDayAssembly)

Sisters of the Moon / Say You Love Me (RainyDayAssembly)

Landslide (onefastvette)

Gold Dust Woman – partial (UndergroundVideoInc)

I’m So Afraid – partial (Michael Southard)

I’m So Afraid – partial (Brian Kraig)

Encore (UndergroundVideoInc)

Don’t Stop (CINDY P)

Silver Springs (CINDY P)

COMPILATION: The Chain / Dreams /Second Hand News / Rhiannon / Go Your Own Way /Big Love / Landslide / I’m So Afraid / Go Your Own Way (Ken Jenkins)

Set List

1. The Chain 13. Landslide
2. You Make Lovin’ Fun 14. Never Going Back Again
3. Dreams 15. Over My Head
4. Second Hand News 16. Gypsy
5. Rhiannon 17. Little Lies
6. Everywhere 18. Gold Dust Woman
7. I Know I’m Not Wrong 19. I’m So Afraid
8. Tusk 20. Go Your Own Way
9. Sisters of the Moon 21. World Turning
10. Say You Love Me 22. Don’t Stop
11. Seven Wonders 23. Silver Springs
12. Big Love 24. Songbird

 

REVIEW: Christine McVie’s return lifts Fleetwood Mac

Christine McVie’s return lifts Fleetwood Mac back on its Hall of Fame Pedestal

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Mick Fleetwood said it best Wednesday night.

Rising his full 6-foot-5 frame from behind his massive DW drum set, he pointed to keyboardist-vocalist-songwriter Christine McVie, on tour with her Fleetwood Mac bandmates for the first time in 16 years.

“Making all this complete,” the wild-eyed Fleetwood thundered to a sold-out Quicken Loans Arena as the spotlight shone on McVie. “Yes, indeed, our songbird has returned!”

It’s so, so true.

Two years ago, Fleetwood Mac sans McVie cut a wide swath through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band’s expansive catalog, relying on vocals from Stevie Nicks, who never had much range to begin with and has lost much of that over time, and a valiant effort by guitarist-vocalist Lindsey Buckingham. It wasn’t a marathon sonic waterboarding, but those limitations did make for some torturous moments over the course of more than 21/2 hours.

Wednesday night was a completely different experience.

With McVie back on keys, and her still-strong mezzo-soprano offering lead and harmony vocals, the night became a 160-minute prayer that the inevitable end would not happen.

Perhaps oddly, the greatest benefactors of McVie’s presence – aside from those of us in the listening audience – were Nicks and Buckingham.

Gone was the pressure on Nicks to carry an entire night of songs, many of which are out of her throaty wheelhouse.

Gone was the need for Buckingham to fill gaps with guitar solos in a valiant but futile attempt to fool us into thinking something wasn’t missing.

Instead, the two were able to focus on their strengths and the songs for which they are known.

For Nicks, that would be the ethereal “Rhiannon,” the cosmic (although pitchy) “Sisters of the Moon,” the wrenching “Landslide,” the autobiographical “Gypsy” and the even more autobiographical “Gold Dust Woman.”

Buckingham, a more than capable vocalist himself, could tackle “I Know I’m Not Wrong” “Big Love,” “Never Going Back Again” and “I’m So Afraid” (albeit with a bit too much FX on the last for my taste) and deliver the goods on the iconic “Tusk.”

But more than that, McVie’s presence seemed to free him to be what he really is: one of the best – and most unique – guitarists in rock ‘n’ roll.

His Rick Turner Model 1 guitar alternately screamed, wailed, cried, crooned and wooed throughout the night, as he furiously attacked the strings with his finger-picking style.

To be fair, he did that last time, too, and just about as well. But in 2013, it seemed like he was trying to fill those voids created by McVie’s absence. It ended up like rowing with only one oar, and all you do is go in circles.

McVie’s presence was felt from the opening strains the show-starting “The Chain,” and just got stronger with every lead and harmony vocal she did.

She killed “You Make Loving Fun” and took 14,000 of us with on a trip to “Everywhere.” “Say You Love Me” turned into a tour de force of her voice and Buckingham’s guitar work that would’ve made the night complete had it ended just there.

But it didn’t. “Over My Head” and “Little Lies” were spectacular with her in the lead role, and her harmony vocals on other songs helped recreate the lush sound for which Fleetwood Mac is known.

And yet, as important as McVie’s vocals were Wednesday night, there seemed to be a bigger thing at work. Every member of Fleetwood Mac, including bassist John McVie, her ex-husband, seemed content to have her back in the fold.

Fleetwood was right: The band is complete now. Life is good. For them, and for us.

Chuck Yarborough / The Plain Dealer / Thursday, February 19, 2015

PRE-SHOW: Fleetwood Mac returns to Quicken Loans Arena

Fleetwood Mac – including Christine McVie – returns to Quicken Loans Arena

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A piano with 87 keys can get close, but it will never be right. So it was that Fleetwood Mac minus keyboardist and singer Christine McVie could never be right.

That’s changed now, just in time for the band’s Wednesday, Feb. 18 gig at Quicken Loans Arena.

McVie, who was always “the quiet one in a band known for larger-than-life personalities like her ex-husband, bassist John McVie; singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham; Buckingham’s ex, the raspy-voiced ethereal Stevie Nicks; and the role model for the Muppets’ skins-pounder Animal, drummer Mick Fleetwood, has rejoined the band.

This is how Caroline Sullivan, a writer with the British newspaper The Guardian put it:

“The welcome she’s received from fans and press has been clamorous; with McVie back in the fold, Fleetwood Mac are finally whole again.”

For 16 years — with the exception of a one-off show in England in 2013 and the band’s 1998 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — McVie and Fleetwood Mac had lived separate musical lives.

And the band was worse off for it.

I’ve seen a couple of “reunion” shows during the self-imposed hiatus by McVie, whose bluesy alto always was my favorite part of the band behind Rumours, Tusk and more. None has impressed me.

Nicks, though she retains the demure look that made her the stuff of dreams for many a young man back in the ’70s — and yes, I speak from experience — is just too vocally one-dimensional to carry a band.

Here’s how I put it in my review of their June 2013 concert at The Q:

“But Fleetwood Mac has always been about the vocals, and as the saying goes, therein lies the rub. Nicks still LOOKS 25, but she’s 65 now, and her already limited range is even more limited. Not that much, you understand, but enough to make a difference. To use a sports analogy, it’s like a home run hitter who’s lost a few mph off his swing; balls that used to reach the bleachers are now warning-track outs.”

I wouldn’t say that it was the worst show I saw that year, but I will say it didn’t even crack the top 10 in terms of best shows.

That is likely to change with McVie back in the fold of the band in which she was a part even before Buckingham and Nicks. And while those two seem to get most of the songwriting credit, the reality is that Christine McVie’s pen was a huge part of the success that put the band in the Rock Hall.

“Songbird,” off the Rumours album, is a soaring testament to the beauty of her voice and her subtle touch on the keys, coupled with Fleetwood’s deft but understated cymbal accents, turns a simple song into classic.

“Little Lies,” may be a little over-produced — a common trait during the 1980s when albums like its home, Tango in the Night, were being made — but it’s remarkable for its purity of lyric and hooks.

Of course, “Don’t Stop” is, was and ever shall be her signature Fleetwood Mac song. The tune, also on the Rumours album, which came out in 1977, is as much a part of the band’s history as Fleetwood’s bug-eyed grin, Nicks’ dreamy dress twirls, John McVie’s solid bass lines and Buckingham’s fret-burning guitar runs.

At 71, Christine McVie is the eldest member of the band, trailed by John, 69; Fleetwood, 67; Nicks, 66; and Buckingham, 65. As crass as it may sound, the deaths of Ian McLagan and Joe Cocker and Jack Bruce have brought home to me — and I suspect to some of their peers — that there IS such a thing as mortality.

So I’m really glad that McVie called the band after what was supposed to be a one-off show in 2013 and asked how they’d feel about her coming back, and that they welcome her with open arms.

You see, I just passed along my vinyl copies of Rumours and Tusk to my daughter and her family, and we spent a night during my last visit to their home listening to them, marveling about how good Fleetwood Mac was back then, and wondering if they could be again.

And now, at last, all the keys are in place.

Chuck Yarborough / Cleveland Plain Dealer / Wednesday, February 11, 2015