Monday, March 02, 2009

Fleetwood Mac / Mellon Arena

Last night was the tour opener for Fleetwood Mac at Mellon Arena. Why they chose Pittsburgh, I have no idea. Gigi and I met up with Nikki and Mike for dinner and drinks at Bigelow Grill at 6pm. I had never been there before and seriously doubt I'll return anytime soon. Gigi had this cauliflower oriented soup which was decent. Mike and Nikki both had fish and salad. I wasn't really hungry, so I opted for this wild mushroom and gorgonzola pizza appetizer. If they had decreased the amount of gorgonzola by 80%, it would have been decent. Suffice to say, it was not. The service ranged from mediocre to poor, but I was more interested in just chit-chatting before the show and having a couple beers.
Those 2 had purchased Igloo tickets so they were good to go. We briskly hiked to the arena in search of some cheap tickets. It was freezing cold and I didn't feel much like bartering. Cheap seats were $52 + service and the good seats were $150 + service charge. I found a guy right out front who had two extra in Section E. He wanted an even $100. I countered with 2 for $40. He dropped to $60, then $50. I kind of felt bad for him so I said, "Hey, let's meet in the middle at $45. This way we can all take away something positive from tonight." Bingo! That ordeal took about 35 seconds. And hey, we're in a recession. Right?
We zipped in and ventured to the side of the stage. We were about 20 rows up from the 3 background singers, directly below the widescreen. Great seats - I love standing on the side and we had the entire row to ourselves.
I've always been a fan of Fleetwood Mac. They're just an unusual collaboration of individuals. You've got Lindsay Buckingham who's kind of arrogantly talented, Stevie Nicks who's kind of mysterious and the drummer guy who provides a 70 year old foundation. Christie McVie isn't touring with them which kind of blows. She brings a very cool dimension to the band - kind of like a pleasant host of a casual, but sophisticated dinner party. Just for the record, there was an additional drummer, relatively hidden on the lower side of the stage. I think they needed a little extra ooomph for some of the songs. The kid did get to take a bow near the end so at least they gave him credit.
Pretty much a greatest hits show. Everyone sounded decent, nothing too outrageous or over-the-top. Highlights for me were The Chain, Rhiannon, and a great version of Gold Dust Woman. They closed out with Don't Stop and came back for Silver Springs. I liked the mellow closer. Kind of reminded me of when the Dead would close shows on a softer note. Quiet the crowd and send them home with a warm glow. After all, we'll rock it out later. The only low point was Lindsay Buckingham's mid 1980's solo material. Why he decided to include this stuff, I have no idea.
Halfway through the show, I noticed some open seats in the front row on the side, so we discreetly zipped down there and hung out. We invaded the space of an older mulleted gentleman who complained briefly and then took off for some other aisle seats. These were obviously unsold seats. I was hardly surprised that nobody was brave enough to move down. For the most part, the crowd was lame. Vast sections remained seated for the entire show. Well, until the end of course where people got up and suddenly acted jubilant. I know... I know... It's an older crowd, but come the fuck on!
Anyway, at the sound of the last note, we hit the restrooms and bolted to the car. We made it back to Gig's house in about 6 minutes. I'm just not accustomed to that. Usually it takes an hour to get back to Wheeling. No need to do any after-tailgating. It was freezing outside.
All in all, it was a great time/great show but totally paled in comparison to the Fleetwood Mac Starlake show of 1997. Now that one was a concert for the ages. Only one downer note - I didn't get to hear Edge of Seventeen (Stevie Nicks solo material), but she did play it at the 2001 Starlake show, so that is that. I've said it before and I'll say it one more time - I have no need for a Fleetwood Cadillac nor a Big Mac, but a combination of the two ain't bad.


Sandy said...

I've never had a good eating experience at that Bigelow Grill either. It used to be called the Ruddy Duck or something? Lame.

And I know I still owe you $5. Don't be thinking I'm a deadbeat.

sonofsaf said...

YES. I think I'll buy a scotch at the Alpha or maybe 10 shares of AIG. I wonder which has greater value.