Tuesday night, I had the great privilege of experiencing Fleetwood Mac live, in concert. My mom flew into town for the concert, and we were both so excited to do something we both loved, together. For her, it was reliving the moments of her life that were highlighted by their music, and for me, it was more about connecting with songs I’ve enjoyed hearing growing up, but never felt a strong emotional tie to.
Aside from the music, I loved hearing the stories Fleetwood Mac had to tell about touring, recording and finally getting to visit the famous Velvet Underground boutique in San Francisco. As they said, their rocky and self-destructive history isn’t exactly a secret, so I was fascinated by the implosion of a band at the height of their popularity and the scandal that riddled the group. Hearing the brief references to their past had my brain going, thinking about damage control and how the breaking apart of a hugely public band would have rocked the media.
Today, the slightest mention of addiction sends media and fans into a frenzy, as was made clear during a recent Today Show interview with the mega-popular band, One Direction. One of the band members was missing from a performance due to illness, and one of Matt Lauer’s opening questions to the rest of the group was a point-blank assumption that he must be battling substance abuse of some kind. He was honestly sick and unable to travel, and Lauer received a storm of criticism for that one comment alone.
It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to run media interference for a group that was actually falling apart due to sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, even before the days of sharing every controversial comment or photo with the world through social media. Approaching the situation with honesty and apologizing to fans for losing sight of the music and letting personal disagreements come between the group would be important for fan understanding. Additionally, keeping matters between band members civil would be vital in keeping the focus of the great things they had accomplished together, as opposed to pointing fingers and placing blame.
A moment in the concert that stuck out in my mind was Stevie Nicks’ comments about the influence the hit show American Horror Story has had on their music recently. Nicks was cast in two of the episodes in the Coven season, and two songs, “Seven Wonders” and “Rhiannon” are also featured. During the show, she thanked American Horror Story for bringing the music back into the spotlight, and to a whole new generation of fans.
As I’m sure my fellow Integrate team members Jenny, Julianne and Cait, who were also in attendance, can attest to, Fleetwood Mac can definitely still rock the house, and their infectious passion for the music brought the sold-out crowd at Toyota center to their feet time and time again.
Written by: Allison Huseman