Hearne: Has Been Classic Rockers Fleetwood Mac @ Sprint Should Go ‘Their Own Way’

About that Fleetwood Mac show at Sprint April 30th…

Does the world really need another helping of dated 1970s arena pop rock?

I caught Fleetwood Mac in concert at the then new Qwest Center in Omaha in the early-mid 2000s.

But let me this clear, I didn’t go because I wanted to see the band.

Far from it, I went because a gentleman by the name of Kevin Collison – a business reporter at the Star originally from Nebraska – had been pimping readers about how Kansas City was falling behind Omaha. And that KC needed a new downtown arena to make sure the hicks from the little cowtown didn’t pass up us hicks in the Big Cowtown.

Surely Kansas City would have none of that, Collison half preached, half threatened.

So up to Omaha I rode to the only thing halfway resembling a big concert there that didn’t entail country music.

The Qwest Center – now the CenturyLink Center – was fine, better than Kemper Arena certainly, with padded seats, decent sound and other more modern amenities. Plus it was conveniently located right off the main party, shopping and restaurant drag in downtown Omaha.

You could park, eat dinner and then walk to the show – speaking of which…

I’ve got to tell you, Fleetwood Mac was ultra boring in concert even then. The band’s hit “Don’t Stop” came out in 1977 – that’s 35 years ago – and it’s been 20 since Bill Clinton appropriated it for his first presidential run in 1992.

I was thinking about all that when I got an emailĀ  from cantankerous entertainment industry attorney / sage Bob Lefsetz.

The subject line: “Fleetwood Mac on the road”

“What if they toured and no one cared?” Lefsetz began. “They’ve gone back to the well so many times, burned out so many markets, that to think they’re just gonna put tickets up for sale and sell out is to believe the Democrats and Republicans are gonna settle their financial disagreements by the end of the day.”

Clever, and probably true. To Lefsetz thinking this tour is basically a consumer ripoff.

“They charge too much and deliver the same old thing – but without Christine McVie it’s a cash grab and the only people who can’t see it are the rich too blind to know the tickets they’re overpaying for will not make them look good when they show up the next day and say they were in attendance,” Lefsetz adds. “Yup, that’s what sells the expensive ducats. Pricks who just want to say they were there. Who come late, talk through the show and leave early. Who probably weren’t even fans in the seventies. At least the Stones had a hook. The fiftieth anniversary.”

Another problem the band faces: “The audience is not the stoners of yore, but the matrons and He-Men of the Universe of today,” Lefsetz says.

Fleetwood Mac as its fans once knew them is o-v-e-r, “and the fact that the band doesn’t realize this amazes me,” Lefsetz adds . “The Who are doing terrible numbers. Not even filling half an arena in some cases. We got it. You need the money. You’re missing half the band and we’ve seen you ad infinitum.”

Lefsetz bottom line on Fleetwood Mac and other dinosaur classic rockers:

“I’m not saying the Mac doesn’t have a right to go on the road.

“But I am saying that when you put money in front of music, we get to point out the emperor has no clothes, that you’re living in the wrong decade, that you’re representative of everything that’s wrong with our country, where concerts are not life-changing events but financial affairs wherein you pay your multiple mortgages and the only people who get a good seat are the ones who employ subterfuge or overpay or both.

“We thought classic rock would rule until the end. But what we find out is these greedy people end up exposing their mercenary ways and become positively creepy, turning us off.

“Thank god the records are perfect. They can’t be changed.”

No wonder Fleetwood Mac put tix on sale before Christmas, nearly five months before the concert.






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16 Responses to Hearne: Has Been Classic Rockers Fleetwood Mac @ Sprint Should Go ‘Their Own Way’

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Arenas and stadium shows seldom interest me. I did pluck down major dinero for Springsteen here. Trying to catch lightening in a bottle again, saw him many times in small venues and the energy in those early shows was amazing. Still has the energy of those days but the size of the venues waters it down for me.

    Friend drove to Red Rock many moons ago, to see The Moody Blues. Enjoying the show, he looked and out of the stage lights were the musicians who were really playing the music.

    Trans-Siberian Orchestra packs them in. And the crowd fails to notice the lack of certain instruments they hear actually being on the stage. Canned music, to quote Dan Hicks.

    When cousin Sally was saving the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, George Burns bet her he could don a body suit, perform her act and no one in the crowd would be the wiser.

    It is not the music, rather the “hipsters” wanting to say I was there.

    To paraphrase Mencken, no one ever went broke by underestimating the gullibility of the American public.

  2. Mysterious J says:

    Wow, this is a “provacative Hearne” column, pissing all over someone or something in an effort to raise hackles. I am no fan either and you would have to pay me to go, but why not let the market decide if this tour is viable or not?

  3. randyraley says:

    The only person I would care to see in an arena is Bruce.
    He has made the transition well. He gives you your money’s worth and works harder than anyone this side of Peter Wolf.
    A number of my female friends are pretty excited about this show.
    My guys friend could care less.
    Now, if Christine McView would be in the band and they could dig up Bob Welch for an hour or two, well you might have something. The Who is not the Who with just two.

  4. Craig Glazer says:

    Guess we got no new major rock bands so…better than the options…hip hop, rap, or well you get it…

  5. Harley says:

    hernia…sorry…they’re one of the best classic rock bands..
    obviously you havent seen stevie nicks lately…great show…saw her in
    vegas than here with rod stewart.
    years ago saw them in denver at redrocks where stevie did her
    special rendition of gypsy and it was incredible from her demo…still on
    you tube.
    even if they fill sprint half way that about 9000 seats…stilla nice
    show gate….and if you’ve been to the sprint lately (doubt you have)
    thats a ton of extra revenue in the power and light that night.
    And its not the gangsters and hoods you write so much about…and
    most importantly its not just a bunch of aging rockers…springsteen had
    a lot of young people there to see him…
    so again hernia…please let the markets decide..you nad your right wing
    buddies are for the free market aren’t you? if the people wantto pay
    …good for the downtown economy…if not…they’ll spend it elsewhere.
    still fleetwood mac is one of the top groups in music…still get
    tons of airplay on classic rock stations….and they’ve lasted longer
    than almost any other band….leave them alonge…

    • admin says:

      Hey wild man, I’m more a fan of the original Fleetwood Mac, with Peter Green with fellow lead guitarists Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwin.

      The post Peter Green Fleetwood Mac had some decent tunes but were largely for the masses and, you know, posers

  6. Nick says:

    Who knew they were still existent? Then Play On was the last excellent disc Fleetwood Mac produced; Bare Trees is listenable. After that it was nothing but pop nonsense.

    • Harley says:

      nick…they play for 2 1/2 hours their hits….they’ve got so many it
      would take 4 hours….
      stevie plays some of her songs and so does mick..
      still agreat band…they still get air play which means people still
      love them…
      they’ve lasted for decades…and the rumours cd is probably one of
      the best ever made….thats not just my opinion…but some of the
      great people in rock n roll

      • admin says:

        I’ll bet you alternate playing their greatest hits along with Barry Manilow and Moody Blues. Knock yourself out!

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