Live Review: Fleetwood Mac ‘Unchained’ in St. Paul

Published on March 4th, 2009

March 3, 2009 – It’s been more than five years since the start of the last Fleetwood Mac tour, but last night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, the band played, sounded, and looked as if time has stood still.

The band has been a four-piece for some time now after the 1998 departure of Christine McVie, but Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood, and a team of five back-up musicians have no trouble filling the stage with activity and the air with a wall of sound.

Internal conflict and drama has characterized the band throughout its history, but there were no signs of such conflict at last night’s show, which was the second of the ‘Unleashed’ tour which began on March 1 in Pittsburgh.

The Stevie Nicks persona of mystique and her one-of-a-kind voice were in full force, although the singer did appear somewhat mellow during the first half of the set. It wasn’t until her keyboard-driven solo hit “Stand Back” kicked in that she finally appeared to be having as much fun as the Fleetwood Mac fans in attendance.

Lindsey Buckingham proved that he hasn’t lost his spark on the guitar or his contagious energy on stage; he looked and played like someone half his age.

The years have been especially kind to Mick Fleetwood, who at age 61 is still an incredibly menacing and powerful drum player. Fleetwood appeared to be the happiest of the group on stage as he glanced warmly at Stevie and Lindsey, almost as if he was amazed to see and hear his own band back in action.

The quiet John McVie isn’t to be forgotten although he certainly didn’t draw much in the way of attention toward himself as he plucked away on the bass in Stevie’s corner of the stage.

The Unleashed tour marks the band’s first tour in over 20 years without any new material or a new album to support. Given these circumstances, the set list was a very well-crafted mix of the famous, faster paced hits like “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop”, and the slower, lesser known and rarely played songs like “Storms”.

Closing out the set was the Stevie Nicks song “Silver Springs”, an unreleased song which has since become a live favorite after not making it onto the Rumors album. Despite tough economic times and increased ticket prices, the venue was packed with over 10,000 loud and dedicated Fleetwood fans.

With tens of millions of albums sold and thousands of concerts played over their 40 year career, Fleetwood Mac has nothing to prove in 2009. They do, however, have millions of fans around the world who still want to hear their music, and although the band does tend to play it safe these days by hitting the road about twice a decade, there are no visible signs of a slow-down.

Even Stevie Nicks has been quoted as saying that she knew instantly when her career started that it would be a life-long devotion, stating “I plan to do this when I’m 60.” That day has now come for Stevie and the band, but they aren’t about to let it slow them down.

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  1. Posted by classicrockforthesoul on March 5th, 2009, 14:21 [Reply]

    I found your blog from your posting on The Ledge — great review and pictures of Fleetwood Mac!

    I’m definitely jealous because I won’t be able to go to any of their shows this time around :(

    Anyways, looks like you’ve got a nice blog over here — you should check mine out sometime, I think you’ll enjoy it! :)

  2. Posted by classicrockforthesoul on March 5th, 2009, 14:23 [Reply]

    P.S. Just saw your concert calendar — lots of good shows coming up!!

    I'll be seeing Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood in Houston (on June 24th) so I look forwards to reading your review before I go!

  3. Posted by Matt Becker on March 5th, 2009, 20:39 [Reply]

    Thanks for checking out the site! Glad you enjoyed the review as well.

    Just looked at your blog and it looks like we have very similar musical taste. Keep up the good work…


  4. Posted by on March 6th, 2009, 08:05 [Reply]

    Your shots are fantastic and I enjoyed your review, as well. Linked to your post today and am certain readers will love the photos.

  5. Posted by Matt Becker on March 6th, 2009, 10:50 [Reply]

    Thanks for the link, love the site!


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