The rumors were true about Fleetwood Mac tribute band


I wasn’t able to catch Fleetwood Mac in Pittsburgh two weeks ago (or in Cleveland last month), so the timely local appearance of Rumours of Fleetwood Mac over the weekend proved intriguing.

The tribute act finished up its North American tour Saturday at Packard hall in Warren.

There are only a few bands for whom I would even consider going to a tribute show. Pink Floyd is one of them, and Brit Floyd’s performance at Packard in May lived up to the accolades that preceded it.

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac did the same.

The act performed the entire landmark “Rumours” album, took a break, and then returned for a second set that went back to the earliest days of the British band. (The “Rumours” album, released in 1977, propelled the band to great heights; it is No. 25 on Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest albums).

While Brit Floyd presented a faithful facsimile of a mindblowing Pink Floyd concert with the full laser and video elements, ROFM took a different approach.

It was more of a fan experience than a concert re-enactment.

The band played mirror-like versions of every Fleetwood Mac hit, while images and video clips of the Hall of Fame band played on the big screen above the stage.

ROFM has the blessing of Fleetwood Mac, and a video introduction from Mick Fleetwood at the start of the concert justifiably raised expectations for the audience.

For most of the evening, the act was in the latter-day configuration of Fleetwood Mac, with Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.

But ROFM touched on all of Fleetwood Mac’s phases (except the current one – the band is touring without Lindsey Buckingham, who was kicked out this year).

During “Need Your Love So Bad,” a black and white 1969 video of the song showed a close-up of then-guitarist Peter Green playing some bluesy notes while the guitarist on stage played them live. It was a visceral connection to the earliest days of Fleetwood Mac, and is exactly what a tribute show should be.

I even learned a couple of trivia answers that should be filed under the Rock History category.

A Stevie Nicks ballad titled “Silver Springs” was left off of the “Rumours” album for logistical reasons: it wouldn’t fit on the vinyl. It was handled beautifully by Jess Harwood, the ROFM member who plays Nicks.

I never would have known that “Black Magic Woman” – a signature song of Santana – was written by Peter Green and was first recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1968. Santana’s version came out in 1970.

A REVERENTIAL SETTING

FOR BOB DYLAN CONCERT

Bob Dylan’s return to Covelli Centre Tuesday felt like a momentous event.

The ever-touring folk-rock legend has seemingly entered a phase of classical performance, and the downtown arena was more like a dark and hushed theater for the concert.

Fans were moved out of the bowl section directly opposite the stage, and those seats were covered by a black tarp. This brought everyone closer to the action, and to each other.

In short, a dignified mood prevailed.

The “no recording of any kind” rule was strictly enforced by the ushers. After a bathroom break, you felt compelled to wait until the song ended before pushing aside the curtain and re-entering the seating area.

The focus, of course, was on the stage, which was sparse but elegantly lit by bare-bulb lamp stands.

Dylan, wearing a spangled white evening jacket, sat at his piano with his band lined up behind him.

The 77-year-old master hasn’t been able to play the guitar for a while, and mainly used the piano just to accent certain moments of songs. But his voice, which has grown deep and gravelly, was strong and utterly distinctive.

Dylan long ago reworked his entire canon and performs each song with a different arrangement, melody and – sometimes – pace. Fans who can’t deal with this evolution generally stay away.

So it’s different. But with the help of his fine musicians, the songs formed a cohesive whole with a uniformity of style.

Somehow, it seemed fitting and right – a final rendition, couched in class and artful Americana.

Guy D’Astolfo covers entertainment for The Vindicator. Follow himon Twitter at @VindyVibe.

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