I wanted to write something eloquent and concise for everyone to sum up what is likely to be my final Fleetwood Mac concert of this tour. This isn’t quite either, but I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and it’s the best I can do.
A lot of people have been asking me how I’ve done it. How have I gone to so many shows (5!), and how have I gotten to the third row once, and to the front twice. A lot of is adopting a carpe diem attitude and credit card bills. A lot of it is accepting nosebleed seats, because just being in the same room is enough. A lot of it is luck — my Washington D.C. show and this past show in Newark were because my dear friends (Noel and Krissy) had extra tickets. Luck of knowing people who know how to get to the front. Luck of getting there yourself.
A lot of it is confidence, which I have never really have an abundance of, but I’ve found lately that I’ve been faking it much better. What can I say? I learned from Stevie: “When we walk into the room, we have to walk in with a big attitude. Which does not mean a snotty conceited attitude. But it means like we have to float in like goddesses, because that is how we want to be treated.”
When I blew past security last night with Krissy and Cathy, that’s exactly what I did. We had tickets in two different sections on the side, but we walked right down to the floor without looking back. I won’t go into detail on how we got to the front, because there is enough controversy surrounding this practice or “policy” as there is. What I will say is this: We got taken up to the front because we had confidence. We knew we belonged up there.
As far as the concert review goes, I really can’t delve deeply into it. I can’t be as objective as I wish I could be, because, frankly, it was overwhelming. I can say that, musically, two weeks ago at Madison Square Garden was better, though not much more so. Newark wasn’t bad, it was just different. Lindsey hammed it up more last night; “Gold Dust Woman,” though still a mind blowing experience, was not nearly as intense. “Tusk” dragged a little.
The hardest part of writing about last night is trying to explain how it was the most emotionally raw I have ever seen Fleetwood Mac, have ever seen any performers so close, actually. How it felt several times like unintentionally intruding on private moments. How it felt like I should apologize for invading their privacy, close the door, and creep away. And it’s hard to describe to anyone who wasn’t there or who hasn’t experienced a similar event.
Towards the beginning, something felt a little off. From my vantage point, it seemed like Stevie’s exuberance was a little phoned in, like their energy levels were dipping, but I brushed it off. I was at concerts in the fall that fell on the second or third day in a string of dates, concerts where the dynamic between Lindsey and Stevie was cold and distant, where it was too easy to tell they were mad. “They’re just tired,” I thought.
But during the acoustic set, things changed — fast. First, Stevie choked up during the introduction to “Landslide,” which was dedicated to Matthew Anderson, someone named Andrea (?), and Robin. Cause for emotion: check. But I remembered being there for her previous introduction to her late best friend and godson, and it just wasn’t the same. At the end, Krissy, who was nearer to her than I, leaned across the crowd and shouted: “She was crying. Did you see? She was crying.”
The tears continued into “Never Going Back Again.” By then I could see. They aren’t as clear in my low-res iPhone video, but you can hear it in her voice. The struggle to make it through. When it was over, she wiped her eyes and shook her head, her hair covering her face. She stood with her head down, turned away from the crowd, in front of Mick’s drum set as techs brought out the mini drum kit and everyone moved around her. No one consoled her, and she didn’t budge until the lights came up and “Over My Head” began.
The rest of the show went on with little pause for concern. Until the encores. Buckingham Nicks walked out hand in hand, the grip a little tighter than usual, as if one were clinging to the other for support. Suddenly, Lindsey pulled Stevie into a slow dance, which she quickly refuted. Things were definitely different, confusing, even.
“Silver Springs” was intense, to say the least. As it picked up, again, tears glistened on Stevie’s face as she buckled down and wailed into the microphone. Cathy and I literally held onto each other.
After the five of them rose from their bows, she gave Lindsey a knowing look, as if to say “I can’t.” He nodded understandably, and as soon as the applause died down, instead of her ritual “Christine has been gone for 16 years, thank you for bringing back our girl,” final speech, she — and everyone but Mick — bolted off stage.
As if the show wasn’t emotional enough, two girls approached me separately and told me they recognized me from here. They complimented my photos, thanked me for writing Daughters of the Moon, and told me how much it meant to them. This has never happened to me before. I may or may not have cried. (Hint: I definitely did.)
I’ll never say I’m never going back again for this leg, but if this is it for the On With The Show tour, I went out, not with a fizzle, but a bang.