[The Nicks Fix]


6/26/04 Chronicle Concord, CA

Newest reviews posted at the top.

Susan Costello
I just want to say how cool the band was last night. Stevie dedicated Beutiful Child to Vanessa Carlton because she thought the world of her. Lindsay dedicated a song to his brother Fred for getting him involved in music in the first place. The highlight for me was when stevie took my nephews headband that he made from my hand and she shook my hand. Dreams do come true. She was shaking it like a tamborine.It had had lace and feathers in it. Like her microphone has hanging from it. Any way I will never forget it. The Mac Is Back.
Jim Prevo
Inexplicably, I am unable to sleep after the show, so the decompression is as follows: June 27th was a memorable night going with two friends and two new friends, all of whom became good friends over a great night of performances by Stevie and Lindsey individually and as a duet and as an incredibly tight band. The best part is that I am going to experience it for a second time in two days at the San Jose show at the HP Pavilion. Something to look forward toÖ. Something to appreciate was the on-fire performance. The Chain came out and immediately rocked and was delivered with fierce intensity. The mood was tidal as it alternated between an atmospheric Dreams, and an intense I Know Iím Not Wrong. Peacekeeper was played slow and deliberate and then Second Hand News amped up the crowd as it built toward its first major climax. A song may have been played next, but Rhiannon started the guitar/bass grind and it rocked hard. The ending was great on Stevieís high note delivered with a lot of emotional force. I grabbed beers during Come and came back to a really sweet Sara with Stevie recreating the classic Tusk era sound and image in red. Big Love was sung really well particularly in Lindseyís low range. I am a huge fan of Lindseyís version of Harrisonís/Beatles Here Comes the Sun that he performed individually on a Peter Jennings show. If you have a chance to catch that song on MP3 somewhere, GRAB it. Beautiful Child sounded great as well. I couldnít be happier that two Stevie-Tusk songs were added to the set, altho we did lose Gypsy and Silver Springs. What can a band do when they can only play for so long? Aside from playing on, I appreciated their giving us some new songs in the set. Stevie and Lindsey both looked great. Tusk was good and then Stand Back was awesome. I met someone who counted the spins (the estimate was 7, I believe, and they were fast spins. Stevie was moving and looking great and came out of it ON THE BEAT to deliver the next verse of Stand Back. A great transition. Go Your Own Way was set up nicely by Stand Back and probably the crowd loved this one one millimeter more than Stand Back with Stevie singing a large part of the 5-note? harmony). Donít Let Me Down Again was not to be heard this night, but Donít Stop was. Goodbye Baby was sweet but I want Farmerís Daughter. Iím looking forward to the next big new show in a year, two, three where 10 other songs could be played and loved as much as these were tonite. A 30-year triumphant journey for sure. To the new friends met afterward, thank you very much.
Michele Jackson
After having arrived late and flustered to the Irvine show, I was relieved to get to the Concord show on time. I watched Brett Tuggle and others give mini tours of the stage to various groups of people. I saw an assistant bring out thermoses (of what I presumed was herbal tea) and sit them at the side, in easy reach for when Stevie's throat becomes parched. It sounds hokey, but it's fun to watch the empty stage and imagine the show that will be performed on it in just a few minutes time. Seeing Stevie's empty mic stand with the flowing ribbons and imagining her standing it, watching Mick's idle drum kit and hearing the pounding that will soon emanate therefrom . . . the anticipation of it all contributes to making concert-going such a great experience. One thing about the outdoor venues that have been part of the second leg is that sometimes you hear REAL crickets chirping, instead of just the recorded ones! The show started and Lindsey immediately bounded to the front row to slap hands with one of the exuberant women standing at the foot of the stage. Stevie was all smiles and looked happy throughout. Sometimes, at other concerts I've seen her wear a somber expression, but I never took that to mean she wasn't enjoying the night. I just think she brings different levels of intensity to the shows. Sometimes, she's smiling and playful, with a flirtatious spark that adds to the show's allure. But other times when she's more serious, her darker songs have a deeper urgency and emotion to match her mood. Anyway, it's all good. Sunday, she just happened to be in a more teasing and playful mode. After the Chain, Stevie threw her hands out to greet the audience. Usually Stevie's welcomes are generic. But this time when she said "Welcome Concord, the Bay Area and San Francisco," I knew she wasn't lumping anonymous regions together. She knew all of the places personally, lived in the area, drove the streets. In a sense, these old haunts they roamed as a struggling opening act, before they reached stardom are probably more like "home" than Los Angeles. I noticed Stevie is trying to add a little touch to the end of dreams. She stretches the last line to say, "when the rain washes you clean you'll know, kn-o-o-ow." Well, Stevie livens up the end of GDW by repeating "shadow" and now she's trying to do the same thing with the end of Dreams, but it's too little, too late to save that song, which is pristine on record, but has gotten a little stage worn when it comes to the live performances. GDW rocks all the way through in so many different ways, from the "sell it," to the scream, to the "shadow" at the end (which Stevie no longer just whispers in repetition, but sings softly, fiercely, many different ways before closing the song), to the pose with her back to the audience. So, when she experiments with the ending of GDW, it's just icing on the cake. Dreams, on the other hand, can still be saved, but it needs a major overhaul. So simply adding, "know, know . . . " at the end just won't cut it. The highlight of the evening is the new song Sara. This time, in addition to pinning all of her hair up (last time I saw her perform Sara she only had the tendrils at the side of her head, pinned up into a ball), I look at her hands and wonder if Stevie always had red gloves instead of the black. Guess I was so busy looking at the bright shawl that if her gloves were red too, I didn't notice until now. She turns her mic to Lindsey when she sings "I think I had met my match," knowing that he sometimes now playfully sings on that verse, although it isn't something that they practiced doing together. This time, because she turned to him, he chimes in and sings the line, "he was singing," leaving the rest of the verse (the undoing the laces part) to her. Then later, they accompany each other beautifully on the part that goes, "ask me and I'm there; I'd go anywhere, anywhere, because I care." When Stevie turns to Mick during 2 of the musical interludes in Sara and quickly ratchets her arms back and forth, I imagine the reaction she would get if she did it facing the audience. It's kind of a hip, sexy move and I think the crowd would love it. She sometimes saves her best stuff just for the band. I like it when Stevie says, "it does matter; it's never gone." Changing words which originally spoke of loss, to something more positive. Of course, I don't like it when she changes the words to Christine's "Don't Stop" in a similar manner. When it comes to the "ooooooh, Sara, ooooh," harmonies, Lindsey looks over at Jana and Sharon and sings in unison with them. It's kind of funny to me, because he usually does not look at them, even when he's standing right in front of them (like he does in Stand Back). Anyway, watching him sing those vocals reminded me of the tour rehearsal tape when the band is working on Sara and Stevie says, ostensibly to Chris, that she doesn't hear any background vocals mainly because there aren't any. That was hysterical. When Stevie goes over and sings at Lindsey's mic, I keep waiting for the longhaired crew member to run out and wipe the mic for her first, like he does after Mick's drum solo. Really, with these outdoor venues, it's hard to see the old Fleetwood Mac footage on the screen when Sara is performed. Luckily, I saw it in Madison and it moved me to tears. But in the last two shows I've seen, I can barely make out the image on the screen enough to be effected. Thirty minutes later into the set, it's considerably darker outside and the the other video footage (like the marching band shown during Tusk) can be appreciated more, but none of them are as compelling as the film footage in Sara. When Stevie comes out for the Landslide dedication she says, "I'm going to get this ball . . . rolling." As always she thanks the crowd for supporting the group all of these years. Then she says that she has a special dedication and she's sure that he [the guitarist] will join her in it. She says they joined this band in 1968 -- "well, I don't know when he joined the band, but I joined in 1968. Not this band, a whole nother band called Fritz. Anyway, all of the members of Fritz, our whole band, is here tonight and we want to dedicate this song from us to you. Fritz, I don't know what to say guys." At the beginning of Say Goodbye, Lindsey says that he has a dedication too. He says that when ever they play the bay area it's special because the two of them . . . he can't think of the words and he looks to Stevie, but she just raises her hands gesturing, "I have no idea what you're trying to say." Lindsey continues that he was born and raised in Palo Alto and this area is special to both he and Stevie. Whenever they play here, family and friends seem to converge, so that it puts their entire performance into a different context, making it quite a contrast from when they play other venues. He says that last night he dedicated the song to his father who has been gone a long time, but was still present. Tonight, his brother Jeff is in the audience and he'd like to dedicate the song to Jeff. It was Jeff who got him into music in the first place. He says. "I love you, Jeff and thank you." He goes from Say Goodbye to Red Rover without an introduction. Even when Stevie is not at her mic she is mouthing the lyrics with him. She used to mouth the lyrics to EOTW which surprised me, because I didn't think that was her kind of song. I know Red Rover isn't. I think she stays on stage, directly behind her mic (instead of farther in the background like she sometimes is for "I'm So Afraid" before she completely leaves the stage) and claps after the song is over to show support for it, because I think of all the songs in the set, this one might garner the least crowd response. By contrast, people seem to really be ignited by the other addition to the set, "I Know I'm not Wrong." For Beautiful Child Stevie says that it came from an album that they did in 1979. It took "13 months, 6 days a week. I swear." She said they recorded it at the Village Recording Plant in Santa Monica and, of course, it was a song that she thought she'd never get to sing, but now these wonderful guys said that she could do it. Stevie says she has another dedication because, "well he already told you that we have lots of family here tonight." She dedicates the song to Vanessa Carlton and says that she thinks Vanessa is one of the great ones. Stevie referred to Lindsey 3 times Sunday, always calling him "he." She's only known him 38 years and didn't see him very often in all that time, so I guess it's only natural that his name might slip her mind. She's probably really good with faces though. For Tusk when Lindsey comes over to box with Stevie he makes 2 passes at her first and she steps to the side, like a toreador evading a blind bull. When he pounced onto John's shoulder, John kind of sagged up against the divider between him and the drum kit. He stayed slumped over the divider for a few minutes after Lindsey retreated. I guess he was playing dead. They end the song with Lindsey at the mic and Stevie standing directly in front of the drum kit, striking a pose. For World Turning, at the end of the drum solo Mick says that the world is turning inside of his head. To illustrate this, he starts swirling a finger on top of his bald pate. Remember when you were a kid and you tried to see if you could rub your stomach and pat your head at the same time? Well, Mick can do you one better, he can rub his head and play a drum vest at the same time! When he introduces "Lindsey Buckingham!" Lindsey just stands there. Then he pretends to suddenly rouse himself and says, "Me? Me?" Mick says, "yes you, you, you!" He adds that Lindsey is "a helluva guitar player." At the close of the concert, Stevie walks the apron of the stage and shakes or touches several hands. It almost reminded me of the days of old when she'd go down the entire stage, shaking every extended hand and taking as many gifts as her arms could hold. Sunday she accepted a couple of gifts from the audience, a purple velvet garment, a round thing with streamers flowing from it. She and Lindsey move to the wings as Mick addresses the audience. Lindsey puts his arm around her and she leans into his shoulder as Mick pronounces "the Mac is back." It's so easy to remember when this tour started and so hard to accept that it's nearing its end.
Well, this is the 3rd time I've been to a Mac show and 6 or 7 to a Nicks concert. All I can say is that it keeps getting better? So yeah, I'm a nicks fan writing a review. So what, Stevie Nicks' advice in an interview inspired me to have our children; I can still be impartial! Here we go by songs...my best shot. The Chain - Good warm up song for the mixing crew and the band. Good energy, gets crowd going. Sound not to much of a concern. Lots of sound level adjustment. Par for the course at any concert I go to. Dreams - Interesting transition. Sound not quite tweaked in but song required it. Some glitches on the mics. Stevie and Lindsay play write through it like pro's. I Know I'm Not Wrong - Upbeat but unknown song (at least for me). Some of the crowd was unwilling to stay on their feet. The sound was pretty tweaked in by this point. No real glitches that I can recall. Perhaps a new song here would have been better. Peacekeeper - Really love the message in this song. I think I like it better live than CD. Perhaps that is why we go to concerts. Something about the vocal mix. It changed. Seemed clearer. Second Hand News - Things just kept on rolling. Band is still warming up. Stevie sharing the mic with Linds and taking it easy. Lindsay hits it hard and is freakin' the stage. :-) Say you will - Good low range for Stevie...still taking it easy and warming up. Great melodic song Never Going Back Again - Lindsay breaks out the first towel for the sweat. Callouses on the fingers are warming up. :-) Rhiannon - Stevie holds back and stays in the low range. Sort of anticlimactic. I'm hoping she is still warming up. No screamin' or anything. Nice and steady...good rendition of the song...just not spectacular. Come - Now, I just love this song. It's a metal song...so what! It rocks. The skin on the callouses has begun to come off. I think he goes back and glues them back on...perhaps a second set of glue on fingernails! :-) His voice is starting to hurt by now...duh...he has been singing and screamin' for almost an hour now. The sweat gets collected and is sent back for water recycling. Guitar is still alive. No broken strings...yet. Sara - Close your eyes and listen to Stevie. It's a flash back to the 70's. She opens up and goes to the high head singing range. I haven't heard her do this recently for the entire song. What a surprise! Stevie has been working on her voice and it is just great! I thought we'd never hear her sing high, light, and airy again! I was wrong...now I'm glad she didn't scream on Rhiannon. I've heard it in short spurts, but she did the whole song. Just like the old days. Makes your hair stand on end. Enough said...this is getting long. Big Love - Acoustic Lindsay...New set of fingernails and callouses. Voice is holding up...incredibly...but not up high or loud screams. Lots of grunts and low stuff. Landslide - Nice easy song for Stevies voice. Done to perfection. Say Goodbye - Hmmm, forgot this one. I'll probably remember it when hear it again. Red Rover - Great version. I really like this one live. Mick comes up front and plays the box with Tak. Beautiful Child - My attention span must have been waivering or the songs started gelling into one...ooops. Gold Dust Woman - OK, here we go. Just like Sara, she went up high. The whole song. Just amazing, like the studio album. Sang from her head and not the body. For all the vocalist aficionado's, you know what I'm talking about! Not through the Nasal's, but from the throat and head. It has a higher pitched tone. The one she used to use in the studio. Sign of things to come? Hopefully. Loved the ending. I'm So Afraid - OK, the man has to start using his knuckles to play the guitar. I guess the Crazy glue isn't holding up! Silver Springs - Hmmm, don't remember this one either? Tusk - There goes that mad man running around again. Lindsay, you're a Freak! :-) Stand Back - Great version. Really rocked. Liked it a lots. Go Your Own Way - The fake fight was cool. great to see Stevie so active. World Turning - Micks Drum solo. I would've liked to see Mick roll out the second acoustic drum set and solo on that for a little too. Would've been a good mix to the familiar vest and conga. He's a great drummer...what can I say, I need something to pick on I guess. Throwing sticks back and forth with Tak would be really cool too! The big Chinese drums...African ones too. Maybe some world beat stuff too. So many ideas for the man. Don't Let Me Down Again - Uhhh, out to lunch on this one? Don't Stop - Great version of the song...loved it. So, there it is. That's all I have time for. Was I impartial? If not, oh well. I guess I'm a fan. Can't wait for the next album.

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