Feb 21, 2017

REVIEW | Classic Albums Live: Fleetwood Mac Rumours album

When my friend Shelley first brought the Performing Arts Centre’s events calendar to my attention last fall, there were several acts I was looking forward to. The one I was most excited about was Classic Albums Live rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album.

Classic Albums Live is an ensemble group whose claim to fame is their ability to recreate entire classic rock albums, “note for note, cut for cut.” It’s like listening to your favourite records without the popping sounds and white noise.

Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album Rumours sold 800,000 copies a week at its peak and became the quickest moving LP of all time. Judging by the demographics of the audience, we were all around when the Rumours phenomena occurred (read: older crowd.)

Although the musicians that performed in Classic Albums Live were all very talented and indeed reproduced every song on Rumours with precision and accuracy, there was an awkward disconnect between the group and the audience. Between songs, the group sipped their bottled water, flipped their music books to the next page and waited for their cue to begin the next cut. There was no acknowledgement that they were standing on stage in front of a sold out room full of Fleetwood Mac fans. Maybe the band’s silence was intended to represent the brief silence one would experience between songs when listening to the actual album. Whatever it was meant to be or not to be, it felt odd to be able to hear a pin drop when the group wasn’t performing.

Things took on a lighter tone when Classic Albums Live returned for their second set, which was a collection of Fleetwood Mac hits recorded before or after Rumours. Although at no point did the band introduce themselves, there was some small talk between selections and the group seemed to be enjoying themselves a bit more than when they performed the entire Rumours album.

The highlight of the night was their rendition of Tusk, where several Laura Secord Secondary School band members lined the aisles playing drums, while others joined the band on stage, clashing large cymbals. It was a stunning performance that brought the entire room to its feet and gave the night that “it” moment, which everyone was talking about when the show was over.

If you like a live show that’s heavy on music and very light on idle banter, a Classic Albums Live presentation is just the ticket for you.