“Why don’t they just retire?” It’s a question often posed by cynics about legendary rock bands of the ’60s and ’70s who continue to tour, and are able to charge hundreds of dollars per ticket. Obviously, that cynical question doesn’t take into account the system of capitalism and the rules of supply and demand: if people want to pay for something, the market isn’t wrong to provide it for them. If people want to see a rock band — enough people, say, to fill three arena shows in the New York area in less than a week — why should a band call it quits?
Of course, music fans see music as more than just business, it’s art. And most fans have probably experienced at least a few band’s concerts, concerts that take place long after the magic is gone, the performances perfunctory. Many genre-specific bands — heavy metal groups, goth bands, punk rockers — may have a hard time convincingly performing angst-ridden anthems that they in their 20s, many decades and royalty checks ago.
Fleetwood Mac is not one of those bands.
While their most celebrated songs are about relationships that went south in the ’70s, somehow those songs seem timeless, more than thirty years on. And, as every fan in the audience knows, those songs are generally about people who are on stage with the person singing them. Such is the magic and the drama of Fleetwood Mac.
On Saturday night (October 11) Fleetwood Mac played to a packed Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (they played two nights at Madison Square Garden earlier in the week); this was only about a year after the band did a two night stand at the Garden last year. The big difference — and the reason for going on tour so quickly after the last one ended — was the return of singer/songwriter/keyboardist Christine McVie.