A Rat At Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac's "On With The Show" tour came to the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX Sunday night, 1 March 2015. It was evident that not only humans wanted to see and hear the reconfigured Fleetwood Mac, but also animals.

As I was sitting in my seat in section 63 waiting for the show to begin, much to my surprise, five seats over, a well-fed big rat scurried down the terraced steps under the seats. A few people, I noticed, lifted up their legs.

Earlier, I had dinner at the Breckenridge Hospital cafeteria. It was a cold drizzly winter's night and two homeless men were my company. One young Caucasian man with a myriad of plastic bags slumped over his table sleeping with ear plugs in his ear connected to a possible iPhone. The other man was a bearded African-American man slouched sitting in is his chair with his head tilted back sleeping. The security guard came by and checked on them both. We all left minutes later as the cafeteria closed.

Walking across the street to the Frank Erwin Center was a challenge. All of the construction has swallowed up what used to be the old parking area. A Breckenridge Hospital employee told me "they are building a new hospital across the street." This should be interesting when the project is completed as there won't be much space between the new hospital and the Frank Erwin Center.

I thought how appropriate for Lent, construction, building, creating something new. But within the midst of the construction rubble, was the rat displaced to the Frank Erwin Center?

Fleetwood Mac delivered a generous three hour show with ample offerings from the Rumors and Tusk and Tango in the Night Albums. Much attention was given to the return of Christine McVie, who looked radiant and who also played ferociously proficient. Lindsey Buckingham bounced around the stage like a manic rabbit, flaying at his guitar, especially on "I'm So Afraid." Mick Fleetwood sat behind his drums like a Polynesian God and during "World Turning" uttered all of these guttural cries as if he was summoning the forces of the primal depths. John McVie held down the bass bottom all night and drove a solid consistent rhythm.

Stevie Nicks dedicated the song "Landslide" to her friend Allie and to her step-brother Corey and she mentioned that it was the favorite song of her deceased father. "When I sing it, I imagine him back with us." Nicks remind us poignantly:

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I'm getting older too

And I'm getting older too

She also later gave a brief discourse about the song "Gypsy" which was inspired by the Velvet Underground in San Francisco in the 1960's, a vintage clothier that was frequented by Janis Joplin, Grace Slick and others. It was moving when Stevie Nicks observed "you need to find your own Velvet Undergound with its floor to a room with some lace and vapor flowers as your place of inspiration." She also encouraged people no matter their age to be able to find their passion in life.

The return of Fleetwood Mac with Christine McVie is truly a welcome event. This group of musicians who have been entwined not only musically but romantically as well still generate a lot of romance and yet also some danger. Their new period of musical development should be interesting.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering if the rat will show up for The Who ?