Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden January 22, 2015

 On a Thursday night in January, the legendary band, Fleetwood Mac, gave an amazing concert at Madison Square Garden.  The five original band members, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham recreated their  unique and very recognizable sound.
 Could they fill up this huge auditorium, 20,000 seats, plus?
Shortly after 8:00 pm everyone was in their places.  What I hadn't expected was the amazing huge screen behind the band that kept changing digitally, with videos and stills and close ups of the band members, and I don't mean the Jumbotrons,  LED screens, that were there on the sides.
Christine McVie, absent from the band for sixteen years, living in Great Britain, brought the band back to their original verve, and sparkle.
Lindsey Buckingham, playing one of several guitars and banjos, executed each song with unbelievable precision and speed, using just his fingers, no picks!
John McVie, the bass guitar player, and former husband of Christine provided the essential heart beats for the songs.
Stevie Nicks brought the magic and the flower power.  She is such a 60's woman, and has never lost that buoyancy.
Finally the tall man, Mick Fleetwood, along with John McVie, namesakes of the band, was exuberant.  At the end of the concert he was humble and thankful for the forty years of fan support and was hard pressed to leave the stage after two and one half hours of playing.
The thing that was new to me were the huge digital backdrops.
Yellow balloons were launched overhead.
There were special effects,
constantly changing colors,
and backdrops that were coordinated to the music.
From this photo you can judge just how large the background screen was, but it became so many things due to the imagery projected, sometimes a cathedral,
sometimes a meadow,
and even raindrops falling.  Truly almost spiritual at times.
Stevie and John
Christine, whose voice has defied the years, played the piano, an accordion and tambourine.
The backdrop got a little creepy and Wizard of Oz like when Lindsey's head  took center stage, but it worked with his performance.
There was even a video of the  USC marching band when they played Tusk.
Mick Fleetwood doing a drum solo.
One of the special effects had to do with bands of LED screens that were lowered in front of the large background.  These screens and their digital images gave the background a minimalist depth that was interesting.
 Rock star Lindsey
Images of cities, street level
and birds-eye-view shots were created.
This image, part of a video of a woman in a diaphanous gown, underwater,  was the most striking of the evening, As unbelievable as it seems, I took all of these photos, except the ones with me in them, with a tiny Cannon Power Shot SD 1400 IS digital  ELPH camera.  Considering the lag time with most digital shooting, I was lucky to get this photo during the video of this effect.
and it went perfectly with Stevie Nick's, twirling and dancing performance.  The shawls came out!

Christine McVie and Songbird.  To see any of these images in a larger format, just click on the photo.

Fleetwood Mac At MSG - 1/22/15 Setlist:
The Chain
You Make Loving Fun
Second Hand News
I Know I'm Not Wrong
Sisters of the Moon
Say You Love Me
Seven Wonders
Big Love
Never Going Back Again
Over My Head
Little Lies
Gold Dust Woman
I'm So Afraid
Go Your Own Way
Encore 1:
World Turning
Don't Stop
Silver Springs
Encore 2:
 Tickets, time table, purse essentials.
 Rolling Stone magazine, Fleetwood Tee shirt, Greatest Hits Album
 required leather jacket from the Huntington Community Thrift Shop
I do not usually put personal photos in my posts, but we were so happy with the concert,  and how faithfully the music sounded.  It was like they never stopped as a five-some.  The sound was completely intact!   One of the things that I did before the concert was to go on You tube and watch a recent documentary about the band and their ups and downs.  It was done by the band members and added a lot to my understanding regarding the dynamic of these five musicians and why they are able to undertake such a lengthy concert schedule, and place the playing with this band above any  personal history.   Its very clear to everyone that they love playing as a group.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt Sculpture at the American Museum of Natural History, NYC

On my bucket list for last year was a trip into NYC to the American Museum of Natural History to see and sit next to the very realistic bronze sculpture of Long Island's own past United States President, Theodore Roosevelt.
The trip involved a ride on the Long Island railroad, then on to a NYC subway to the museum's underground stop at 81st street.
There were amazing mosaics of animals on the subway walls.

Looking down, this was one of the floor tiles at the subway s top.
 Outside the front entrance to the museum, an equestrian sculpture of Roosevelt stands.
 It maybe because the design of this portrayal of Roosevelt is a bit too idealistic, that the museum decided to use a more human, trail blazing, adventurer styled bronze of the President.  His hat, binoculars, neckerchief, and explorer's clothing appear in the new bronze. 
 Quotations from Roosevelt are engraved into the building's facade.  The museum is a tribute to his life long interest in the environment and natural history.  There are exhibits inside from his youth, and lists of the National parks and expanses of land in the United States that Roosevelt set aside for  future generations.  Sometimes he had to go against big businesses and the houses of government to get this done.

 For the holidays, the Museum decorated the front steps with topiaries of dinosaurs.
 There is a magnificent display of the universe with huge models of the planets and the solar system, explaining the relative sizes of the heavenly bodies and the distances between them.

 As a child, I remembered the many beautifully designed, painted, and sculpted dioramas of animals and geography.  As an adult, I am taken by the efforts to replicate all of that by the many artists that worked on these creations.
 When I look at indigenous and primitive artifacts on display, I cannot help but connect these with modern artists that used them for inspiration.
 Fossils and
 recreations of ancient animals,
 dinosaurs full size on display,

 and the bones of past creatures reconstructed, so that visitors, adults and children can marvel at their size and ferociousness. 
 When I got to the museum, I looked for this particular diorama of a cross section of garden soil with its leaves and bugs.  It was still there, and still giant!
 Some of the exhibits are large and hanging,
 some are cast and small.
 One of the areas that I most enjoy is the portrayal of human development.
 Then, there is a area dedicated to minerals and gem stones.
 Huge crystals are displayed in the walls.

 Geodes and
 gem stones are on display.
 But the thing that made this trip to the American Museum of Natural History was the new realistic sculpture of President Theodore Roosevelt.  Visit the museum soon,and discover all of the things that you remember from your childhood visits, and see the new exhibits that make us appreciate anew, the contributions of Roosevelt. Located at Central Park West at 79th Street, NY, New York 10024.