By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa
Venue: Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida–November 8, 2017–Christie McVie/Lindsey Buckingham and Wilderado
In August Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham released a self-titled album, the first time the duo have collaborated together without the whole Fleetwood Mac clan. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, however, did assist in recording the studio album, which made me wonder, “Where are you Stevie? When will everybody be together again?”
When I arrived at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida, the venue looked solidly packed except for a few lone seats in the last rows near the soundboard. And yes, that is where we photographers were slated to shoot the show this warm and balmy November evening. The soundboard is located at the tip-top of the venue near the last row of seats.
The evening opened with a band hailing from LA called Wilderado. The band consisted of the usual guitar, bass, and drum set-up but their sound was really alt-rock-Americana modern for the first few songs. The first comparison that comes to mind is The Lumineers or even Mumford & Sons with the harmonies, blend of acoustic and electric guitars, and meaningful lyrics. The lead singer Maxim Rainer spoke to the crowd between songs saying, “We’ve been playing since 1015 and we’ve gone from playing in bathrooms in this place—to this! We are grateful! This is the coolest thing we’ve ever done.” Then he continued, “This is a song about knockin’ up my wife…my daughter is two years old now. I hope you all enjoy it.” There were giggles in the crowd and then Wilderado played a song with spot-on harmonies. The songs toward the end of the set actually were more alt rock and finally the singer broke away from his mic, and the guitarists and bassist pranced, jumped around, and head nodded while playing. I thought, “I wish they had cut loose earlier when I was taking photos!”
I enjoyed the set so much I had to saunter down to the merch stand to buy a CD. I asked the guitarist, “How do you describe your genre of music?” He replied shrugging, “I don’t know? We really can’t define the genre.” Nevertheless, I really liked what I heard.
Finally, the main attraction arrived on stage! Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham walked out on the stage with McVie behind the keyboard and Buckingham behind an acoustic guitar whose sound was mesmerizing. The set began with Buckingham singing his own song “Trouble” and followed by McVie singing, “Wish You We’re Here”, a Fleetwood Mac song. Buckingham’s guitar and playing was otherworldly has every nuance was apparent, especially when he played “Never Going Back Again.” He sang with such conviction and emotion that the crowd stood and cheered several times between verses as his voice when from low whispers to emphasized enunciation “never going back again!” At the end of the song, the crowd stood with approval, clapping and cheering.
Then, McVie and Buckingham played three of the newly penned songs with a full band. The crowd seemed to enjoy the songs which could be described as pop-rock, but not Fleetwood Mac-ish. Then they played more Fleetwood Mac favorites like “Lies” and “Tusk” in which McVie rocked the song with an accordion and Buckingham was totally in “rock guitarist” mode with prancing and voguing. These two were clearly having much fun on the stage!
Buckingham explained how McVie took a 15-year break from Fleetwood Mac and how the two started to correspond “across the pond” and send musical ideas to each other. He eventually went to the UK and to share their musical ideas, and he declared, “After three days, it was better than ever!” It was almost like a “karmic gift” where they reunited after each having had their individual experiences. Buckingham worked on his solo projects while McVie worked on her own personal journey. He thanked the audience for “coming and sharing.”
They played a couple of new songs “Love Is Here to Stay” and “Red Sun” before performing “You Make Lovin’ Fun”, much to the crowd’s delight. The song brought back memories and was always one of my favorites. McVie’s voice sounded the same but at times a bit warbly (it could have been the mic). The crowd gave a standing ovation and cheers as Buckingham skipped and pranced with the guitar, clearly enjoying the hell out of himself. He was posing for folks in the front row who had their cell phones out recording every move.
More Fleetwood Mac songs were played like “Go Your Own Way” and after the encore, “Everywhere” as well as a new song I really like called, “Lay Down for Free.”
Overall, I saw lots of dancing around where I was sitting, cheering, and clapping of approval. I believe everybody walked away feeling satisfied and for a minute imagined they were back in 1979 listening to the FM radio.
Trouble, Wish You Were Here, Never Going Back Again, Shut Us Down
Sleeping Around the Corner, Feel About You, In My World, Too Far Gone
Hold Me, Little Lies, Tusk, Love Is Here To Stay, Red Sun
You Make Loving Fun, So Afraid, Go Your Own Way
ENCORE–Everywhere, Lay Down For Free, Game of Pretend
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
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