From the MoSS? Pit: Fleetwood Mac

fleetwood mainIf you’ve read some of my posts over the last year or so you may remember that I am a big Fleetwood Mac fan. Their Rumours album was the #10 selection in my part of the “MoSS? Undisputed Top Albums Ever” lists Chris and I made last year. My wife is a huge fan too so when I saw they were coming to Des Moines this summer there was no way we were going to miss it. In need of additional support crew, we looked no further than our Pygmalion Fest/Best Coast concert pals. I’m pleased to report that thanks to their help… No wrong turns this year baby! Although, I wouldn’t have minded making a small 90 minute detour to the Missouri border for some fireworks (this trip being pre-4th of July and all.) Sadly, Iowa does not sell the good stuff.

Anyway, upon arrival in the big city of Des Moines we started our evening off at a martini bar called The Standard. They have excellent food (Tapas baby!), very good/not too pricey drinks and horseshit service. Concert night with one waitress? Come on The Standard! You can do better. They did have a cool little guy/girl band performing while we ate. They did excellent covers of some very random groups. Weezer, Timberlake, Marvin Gaye are just a few examples. I wish I could remember their band moniker so I could give them a plug but sadly, I don’t. Too many boozie drinks that night I suppose. So would I go back to The Standard for another pre-concert dinner?… Probably.

Since there was no opening act, all we had to worry about was getting our first concert beer and finding our seats. Price tag on a can of beer at the Wells Fargo Arena was a shocking $8. 8 bucks? For Coors (Pronounced Kerrs in my house) Light? I was a bit taken aback until the beer wench handed over two ice cold  20 oz. cans. 20 ounces? Shit lady, that’s all you had to say!  I could barely carry them to our seats which were not exactly close. That’s the one bummer about this trip. I can add up the total ticket cost of my last five shows and they are still just under the ticket price for Fleetwood Mac and we were still midway to nosebleed land. Still, there was no way we were missing this one.

fleetwood liveWhen we finally sat down I noticed that the crowd was pretty large. If they didn’t sell out the venue I would be surprised. I was also surprised at the age range of the audience. Since the band members are in their mid-60s, I assumed our thirtysomething foursome would be at the young end of the spectrum. That was not necessarily the case. While there was no shortage of baby boomers, there was probably almost as many 30-40 year olds on hand as well. I even saw a few teenagers wandering around getting a rock and roll history lesson from parents.

We didn’t have to wait more than a few minutes for the show to begin.  Fleetwood Mac came on stage a mere 15 minutes after the designated start time. I can deal with 15 minutes. That’s basically on time in rock and roll land. Maybe “The Mac” have given up the rock diva thing after all these years. Or maybe they just wanted to get the show done before the 11PM Matlock episode started. I’m kidding of course. Over the period of the two and a half hour show, not one of the members of the band showed any signs of slowing down. In fact, they seemed to have endless energy.

fleetwood live 2

Guitarist/Vocalist Lindsey Buckingham was onstage for almost every song and still plays flawlessly and ferociously. One of my favorite Lindsey songs is “Never Going Back Again” which showcases his unique guitar work. The live version that night was slowed down a bit from the original but it still shows he has the skills.

[Side note on the video: Although I did upgrade my mobile to the highly superior iPhone, this could not help my videos from the night. Shitty seats = Shitty video. I was able to find a few YouTube clips filmed by some cat named Jason Smith. Luckily, he recorded some of my favorite performances of the night. Thanks Jason!]

fleetwood live 3Stevie sounded great too. Her voice may not be able to hit the higher notes perfectly anymore but she can still belt out the hits. One of my favorite Stevie songs is “Sara” and I was singing it all afternoon in anticipation of hearing it live as my annoyed support crew can attest. After a couple of those 20 oz. beers I was talking about earlier, I had to take a restroom break. As I was doing my business, I heard the opening lyrics of “Sara.” Talk about bad timing! I was able get  to my seat to in time to catch the last half of the song though. Check out the video below.

Another Stevie highlight from that night was the performance of her solo tune, “Stand Back.” She pulls out all of the trademark Stevie stuff. Air keyboards. Flowing witch/gypsy dress. Waving scarves. And my favorite, the Stevie Spin. That’s right. The Spin. What other rock star can whip the crowd into a frenzy solely by spinning in a circle like a little girl? No other rock star. That’s who. I got caught up in it too. At the sight of the first Stevie Spin of the night, my wife and I turned to each other and simultaneously shrieked “SHE’S SPINNING!!!” Check out the video below.

Every current member from the Rumours lineup (except for John McVie who has never been particularly talkative) spoke to the crowd during breaks in the action.  They all seemed to have the same theme…Gratitude. They appeared truly touched and humbled by the years of love and applause. Even though the ticket price may be a bit high, I suggest you go out and see Fleetwood Mac. Before we know it there won’t be too many bands like them left.

Setlist:

Second Hand News
The Chain
Dreams
Sad Angel
Rhiannon
Not That Funny
Tusk
Sisters of the Moon
Sara
Big Love
Landslide
Never Going Back Again
Without You
Gypsy
Eyes of the World

Gold Dust Woman
I’m So Afraid
Stand Back
Go Your Own Way

Encore:
World Turning
Don’t Stop

2nd Encore:
Silver Springs
Say Goodbye

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