• Fleetwood Mac and the Arnel Pineda detour

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    Karen Kunawicz

    Queens, NY: It always feels strange coming to terms with the fact the music I listened to while growing up now falls under the oldies or the “classic rock” category. The thought resurfaced while I was standing in line for tour merchandise and chatted with a couple who finished high school the same year I did, in 1986. I hate giving up my age and I feel that someone might even ask me to remove “girl” from “Fan Girl.”

    To me, the ‘90s seemed like only yesterday when the ‘70s music was something cool our older cousins and relatives were into. But while the ‘70s was such an amazing decade for music and songwriting, we have to admit that the brilliant and prolific generation of artists is getting older.

    As such, it’s a truly rare and magical moment to see legends like Fleetwood Mac with their big line—Mick Fleetwood (70), Christine McVie (74), John McVie (71), Lindsey Buckingham (67) and Stevie Nicks (69)—onstage anew. Serious fans did miss key members of other iterations namely, Bob Welch, Peter Green.

    It’s amazing to know that they are all still around and getting along well enough to do a show like The Classic East—a weekend of shows featuring The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, The Eagles, Earth, Wind & Fire and Journey (all missing key members though). Fleetwood Mac was the last band on the last night of the tour.

    And I say, what a fitting close. They sang 20 songs—practically all the hits like “Dreams,”“Rhiannon,”“Tusk,”“Gypsy,”“Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop.” The band was fabulous and Stevie was still such a presence, with her voice in great shape.

    The band did break up and there were a lot of squabbles. At one point during the show, Lindsey did acknowledge how on paper the members wouldn’t be expected to get along but the bottom line is, they have made some beautiful, unforgettable music.

    He continued, “It’s the synergy of what we do that makes it more than the sum of its parts—that’s always been the case.”

    Right before Fleetwood Mac, Journey played to the crowd. It’s been about 10 years since Arnel Pineda joined the band—he’s come such a long way. I am sure each show he plays is different but on this night, his highlights were the ballads “Open Arms” and “Faithfully.”

    It was great to see the crowd respond to him, and while the band dedicated the song “Lights” to their original front man Steve Perry, they referred to Arnel as the “wind beneath their wings.” Before thanking the crowd and giving his love to New York, Arnel even proclaimed, “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!”

    I know he has gotten some criticism, but ultimately, what I see is someone who has a serious work ethic, who loves what he does and takes nothing for granted.

    To get a taste of Fleetwood Mac, start with their album “Rumours,” to find out more about Arnel’s career, watch Ramona Diaz’s 2012 documentary “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey.”

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