Fleetwood Mac @ Bell Centre – February 5, 2015

Fleetwood Mac, a British-American band with roots in blues, notorious for its hookups and breakups which they wrote about in numerous songs, reunite to tour and perform much of their 1977 award winning hit album Rumours. Namesakes, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie are complimented by three female backup singers, a synth keyboard player and another guitarist. Their performance warmed up the chilly winter spirits of the smiling mild mannered mostly middle aged Montrealers that came to the Bell Center to musically reminisce the late 1970s.

The concert began with an unassuming stage setup, a seemingly plain screen backdrop and an audio drone of what seems to be the sound of crickets. Soon we discover extraordinary, skillfully produced video projections on three fixed and three uniquely configured moving screens. The colorful co-ordinated and elegant light show kicks in and the fun begins.

Often songs started with the backbeat of Mick Fleetwood’s steady and simple but creative drumming. “World Turning” featured an unusual drum solo where a very happy looking Fleetwood succeeded in getting the audience’s vocal reply participation to his various chants. This cool experience was further enhanced by digital video effects and the many high definition camera shots projected all over the assortment of video projection screens. There were even some spectacular overhead shots of his playing.

0206 FleetwoodMac 7072John McVie, as Mick Fleetwood describes him, is “The Backbone of The Group “. He played a steady consistent solid bass throughout the entire gala extravaganza. With every song Lindsey Buckingham changed to a freshly tuned Turner guitar that was equipped with a rotating pickup. Lindsey demonstrated his special solo and strumming techniques without using a pick. He also played a nylon string guitar. Then he demonstrated brilliant acoustic steel string playing technique in a duet on “Landslide” with former partner Stevie Nicks. His guitar solo in “I’m So Afraid” was climaxed with his version of a Chuck Berry Hop movement and a huge audience roar of excitement.

The characteristic vocals of Stevie Nicks were complimented by her song stories. Her introduction to “Gypsy” explained her fascination with her signature look style of apparel that she modeled on stage while giving an inspirational story to the audience at the same time teaching them that they should never forget to follow their dreams. Stevie also took the opportunity to plug the American Horror TV show that features their song “Seven Wonders”.

fleetwood mac at bell centre2Christine McVie played keyboard and completed the band with her distinctive sounding voice. The band expressed their delight that she, the last of the Rumours album fame producing members, had finally come to join them on this tour.

Watching the show I began to think that the delicate arrangements of their songs, and the ideas and the feelings expressed in the words and melodies have played a huge part in their success. The timing of the tight recording technology of the 70’s and the affordability of superior high fidelity home sound systems along with the mindset of that era is what contributed to the popularity of their “Rumours” album that we all came to celebrate.

Leaving the concert, freezing on the cold corner as I waited to cross the street, I asked the attractive 45 year old blond standing beside me “What was your favorite tune?“ She replied “Go Your Own Way” and dedicated it to her ex-husband with a chuckle “ LOL. As for me, my favorite is “Don’t Stop” …. Thinking About Tomorrow. With the return of Christine McVie, hopefully more new great material will come.

Set List:
The Chain
You Make Loving Fun
Second Hand News
I Know I’m Not Wrong
Sisters of the Moon
Say You Love Me
Seven Wonders
Big Love
Never Going Back Again
Over My Head
Little Lies
Gold Dust
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way
Encore: World Turning – Don’t Stop – Silver Springs
Encore 2: Songbird

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