Fleetwood Magic at the Turf Club, 3/12/11
It's certainly a given and often even a little aggravating to what extent internet buzz acts as a gauge for the significance of any given thing. Occasionally, that buzz results in little to no payoff - that one guy who was supposed to show up at that one place ends up going somewhere else instead, the gal who tweets about her drunkenly promiscuous escapades hits a thousand followers then decides to get a life and delete her account #bummer #adulthood. More frequently, and usually in the case of celebrity meltdowns, the more retweets, the greater the attention, the bigger the culminating event, all ending in Charlie Sheen taking all of Hollywood hostage - #winning, #tigerblood, #omg!
Me & My Arrow
Amidst said celebrity breakdown and a variety of other events of great cultural import happening more locally in the past weeks, I was honestly a little surprised at the internet buzz being generated about a tribute night planned for a band everyone's parents probably regarded as little more than a guilty pleasure way way back in the day. But it was so - the buzz on blogs and social networking sites indicated that Twin Cities music fans were indeed all a-twitter about Fleetwood Magic, a tribute night planned by Mac superfans Natalie Bowers, Jen Hughes and Alison Stolpa. Everyone wanted to know how many versions of "Rhiannon" they were going to get to hear, who was going to dress whole-hog Stevie circa Rumours, whole-hog Stevie circa Wild Heart, or simply, "Stevie-inspired." How did the band gain a following in the days before hashmark tagging? It's a mystery. #cokeuptheassrumours
Hughes, Stolpa and Bowers (L-R)
By the conclusion of the first short set, performed by the one-woman minimalist electronic act Littlefoot, the rapidly filling Turf Club was a clear indication that the buzz was real. Through covers by Invisible Boy, Nightinghales, Me & My Arrow and Vampire Hands, folks were as enthusiastic about hearing the third of the night's renditions of "Rhiannon" as they were the first, wardrobe proved to be largely "Stevie-inspired," and those who weren't up front dancing were at one point or another seen voicing the lyrics to their favorite song.
Most inspired take: Littlefoot's electronic dreamscape behind clear-as-a-bell vocals and RenFest vibe (minus all the accompanying polyamory and chainmail) was an excellent translation of Fleetwood Mac's ouvre.
Most signature sound: When covering someone else's song, you can either keep it true to its original form, or go with an interpretation totally your own. Invisible Boy went with the latter, with his characteristic vocal vibrato and dreamy guitar.
Me & My Arrow
Best call for the USC Trojan Marching Band: Second place - Vampire Hands' cover of "Tusk," featuring guest percussionist Freddy Votel. First place - Me & My Arrow. They already have a hundred people onstage anyway. (Did anyone make that joke yet? It is the best Me & My Arrow joke.)
Closest interpretation: Vampire Hands, featuring guest vocalist Sara Bischoff and vocalist/keyboardist Molly Harrington, had the right gender breakdown and spot-on harmonies.
Critic's Bias: Too short to wear long gypsy dresses.
The crowd: People with Twitter accounts. Older people who liked Fleetwood Mac before Twitter but have since been encouraged by their children to start Facebook accounts.
Overheard in the crowd: "Look at all these groupies!"
Random notebook dump: (re: Nightinghales) "Bottom line: they get major points for the magnet/steel cover. I'll blow coke up any'a yer asses fer that one."
Littlefoot: Everywhere/Never Going Back Again/Rhiannon/Silver Springs/Landslide
Invisible Boy: Walk a Thin Line/Save Me a Place
Nightinghales: Hypnotized/Gold Dust Woman/Rhiannon/Magnet and Steel
Me & My Arrow: Think About Me/That's Enough For Me/I Don't Want to Know/Don't Stop/It's Not That Funny
Vampire Hands: Second Hand News/Dreams/You Make Loving Fun/I Don't Want to Know/Rhiannon/Storms/The Chain/Gold Dust Woman/Tusk
For more photos: See our slideshow here.