Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fleetwood Mac "Unleashed" 2009 Tour



“You and Dad ought to go see Fleetwood Mac!”
“Are they coming to town?”
“Yes, and there are still many great seats available.”
“Hmm”
“I’ve got the screen up right now, should I order them for you?”

This is how our daughter makes sure that my husband and I have a life, even on a school night. Last night, we went to see Fleetwood Mac give a great two and a half hour performance of a couple of dozen of their greatest hits.

What struck me as we walked through the parking lot was the number of young fans streaming into the arena. How did they become fans? Was it that their parents played Fleetwood Mac’s music at home, the Dixie Chicks remaking “Landslide”, or Bill Clinton using “Don’t Stop” as his campaign anthem? However they got there, I can vouch that their love of the music is as ardent as the first generation fans.

The band, all original members sans Christie McVie (sadly), still sounds incredible. With no new album to promote, the band decided to “keep it fun”, as Lindsey Buckingham put it early in the concert. They delivered song after song just as we remember it from decades ago with only a few adjustments to accommodate some loss in voice range. The concert was pure music without a lot of antics and gimmicks, sprinkled only occasionally with introductions to some of the songs.

Stevie Nicks introduced “Gypsy” by telling us how she met Lindsey Buckingham in her last year at Menlo-Atherton High School right here in Menlo Park, only one town over from Palo Alto. Nicks recalled how they formed a band named “Fritz”, which gained immediate popularity, with their success rising until they became the opening acts for Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. Nicks said she wrote “Gypsy” ten years later when she was looking back fondly to those days.

Here are a couple of clips from last month; last night’s performance was very similar.

Stevie Nicks sounded great, but yes, she still slurs her all her words, so I'm providing the lyrics as a public service:
Gypsy

So Im back, to the velvet underground
Back to the floor, that I love
To a room with some lace and paper flowers
Back to the gypsy that I was
To the gypsy... that I was

And it all comes down to you
Well, you know that it does
Well, lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
Ah, and it lights up the night
And you see your gypsy
You see your gypsy

To the gypsy that remains faces freedom with a little fear
I have no fear, I have only love
And if I was a child
And the child was enough
Enough for me to love
Enough to love

She is dancing away from me now
She was just a wish
She was just a wish
And a memory is all that is left for you now
You see your gypsy
You see your gypsy

Lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
And it all comes down to you

And it all comes down to you

Lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
And it all comes down to you

I still see your bright eyes, bright eyes
And it all comes down to you
I still see your bright eyes, bright eyes
And it all comes down to you

I still see your bright eyes, bright eyes
(she was just a wish)
(she was just a wish)
And it all comes down to you

Lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
And it all comes down to you

Lindsey Buckingham, born right here in Palo Alto, still plays a mean guitar, note the part from 4:40 onward:


As in this clip, last night’s audience sang along with Stevie Nicks:

Landslide

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older too

Oh, take my love, take it down
Climb a mountain and turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down

If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well maybe the landslide will bring it down





Though I missed Christie McVie's smoky voice, all the members of the band turned in great performances, but Lindsey Buckingham's artistry on the guitar was mesmerizing and his showmanship carried the show.  Mick Fleetwood's drum solo towards the end of the concert was fantastic. The tour has concerts scheduled through the end of May with rumours of concerts being added into June. If they are coming near you, I highly recommend this tour.

It was so lovely spending the day with Fleetwood Mac songs endlessly running through my head. Thank you, my sweet daughter, for thinking of your ol’ parents.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Underwater Astonishments by David Gallo

Image from here.

Over the past few years I’ve been sent various links from TED. TED is a Technology, Entertainment and Design organization whose mission is to give millions of knowledge-seekers around the globe direct access to the world's greatest thinkers and teachers.

This one, sent by my in-laws, is one of my favorites – please be sure to watch all the way to the end because there is one squid that is truly impressive. Enjoy!

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