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  #1  
Old 10-23-2018, 12:52 PM
saniette saniette is offline
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Default Fleetwood Mac minus Lindsey Buckingham could make The Q a strange place

By Chuck Yarborough, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio - In 2015, Christine McVie returned to the Fleetwood Mac fold and it made a mountain of difference.

Two years earlier, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band had visited Quicken Loans Arena without her and it was, in a word, disappointing. As I noted in a review of the 2013 show , Stevie Nicks' smoky but limited range suffered from having to try to carry the female part of the music:

"But Fleetwood Mac has always been about the vocals, and as the saying goes, therein lies the rub,'' I wrote in that review. "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."

When McVie returned to the fold in 2015 after 16 YEARS away, drummer Mick Fleetwood told the rightfully fawning sellout crowd, "Making all this complete! Yes, indeed! Our songbird has returned!"

But "complete" was a passing thing, apparently. Earlier this year, the band fired guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, apparently because everyone else wanted to go out on tour and he didn't. He's suing for $12 million in lost tour wages, so we will have to see how that goes.

It's not the first time Fleetwood Mac has shifted guitarists, but we will have to see how THIS version of an incomplete Fleetwood Mac goes. Something tells me it could be bad, as it has taken TWO people to replace Buckingham, guitarists Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Crowded House and Split Enz.

In another excerpt from that 2013 review, I wrote this about Buckingham's performance, which really was the lone bright spot in the show:

"And then there's Buckingham's guitar. In a word, WOW. His finger-picking style on his beloved Turner Model One guitar really is the stuff of legends. Multiple big-screen close-ups showed that he was able to bend strings from here to Toledo and pull sounds out of a guitar that most people wouldn't think possible, especially on 'I'm So Afraid' and 'The Chain.' ''

And apparently, I'm not the only one concerned. Unlike that full-band show in 2016, this one is not a sellout. A group with Fleetwood Mac's pedigree normally would almost be able to guarantee there wouldn't be an empty seat in the house, especially in a town as devoted to rock 'n' roll history as Cleveland. Certainly that was the case most recently for the Eagles and Phil Collins, acts with equal resumes.

And they were able to fill the house despite having to deal with what could have been show-crushing circumstances: Collins' health issues, which prevented him from playing drums and forced him to perform the entire show seated, and the absence of the late Eagles co-founder, Glenn Frey, who was replaced (sort of) by his own son, Deacon, and country superstar Vince Gill.

The Mac show might still sell out, based on reputation alone, plus neither Campbell, himself a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as a Heartbreaker, nor Finn is a slouch on guitar. But if it does, it will be a surprise.

That being said, the tour is getting relatively favorable reviews thus far, in large part because of Campbell and Finn, whose presence some critics say seem to have revitalized the band, whose staples - from Fleetwood to bassist John McVie to Nicks to Christine McVie - are now between 70 and 75 years old.

"The new players helped to open up the Big Mac catalog, which, of course, dates back to the band's beginning in 1967 in England,'' wrote Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune . "That gave Campbell, 68, an underappreciated guitarist in his Petty days, an opportunity to exercise his blues vocabulary, painting 'Black Magic Woman' with a heavier brush than Carlos Santana used on his famous cover version and turning 'Oh Well' into something swell if you welcome a Led Zeppelin feel."

Kevin C. Johnson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch did what I hope we all will do Friday night, and go into the show with a bit of skepticism, but a willingness to listen and be open-minded.

"The first real test came with the Buckingham-penned 'Second Hand News,' on which Finn assumed lead and to his credit pretty much nailed it,'' Johnson wrote. "And with that was the realization the new Fleetwood Mac isn't a bad thing, but rather a different thing. And maybe a shake-up is necessary at times to bring new elements into an old thing."

Maybe. But some of us are traditionalists. I drink coffee, not espresso. Miller High Life and not a craft beer. Burgers are made with beef and not tofu. Every new driver should learn on a manual transmission.

And Lindsey Buckingham should be part of Fleetwood Mac.

Fleetwood Mac
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, 1 Center Court, Cleveland.
Tickets: $69.50 to $249.50, plus fees, at the box office, theqarena.com , at Discount Drug Marts and by phone at 1-888-894-9424.

Last edited by saniette : 10-23-2018 at 01:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2018, 01:41 PM
bwboy bwboy is offline
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Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to read what he thinks of the show.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:49 AM
bwboy bwboy is offline
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I just saw the rave review of the concert this guy wrote on www.cleveland.com is the same guy who wrote this article expressing doubt about this incarnation of FM. Apparently he answered his own questions about how well Fleetwood Mac would do without Lindsey. "Reinvigorated and reinvented" were the words he used in the headline. The fact that writer Chuck Yarborough was legitimately questioning how the band would sound beforehand gives this review a more objective stance. I was anxious to read his review and thrilled to see how much he loved the show.
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