Sin City 77 Jon Wizardo Master Cassettes (Wardour-462)
Aladdin Theater For The Performing Arts, Las Vegas, NV, USA – August 25, 1977
Disc 1 (40:50) Intro, Say You Love Me, Monday Morning, Dreams, Oh Well, Rhiannon, Oh Daddy, Never Going Back Again, Landslide, Over My Head
Disc 2 (53:27) Gold Dust Woman, You Make Loving Fun, I’m So Afraid, Go Your Own Way, World Turning, Blue Letter, The Chain, Second Hand News, Songbird
One of the first recordings to show up on DAD from the Jon Wizardo master tapes was his excellent recording of Fleetwood Mac in Las Vegas during their Rumors tour. Jon gave the recording to Vicky Vinyl who pressed and released it the following year on the very popular at the time title Sin City 77 (Dragonfly Records MAC-1) and its European counterpart Sin City 77 (Ruthless Rhymes MAC-1). Even though the title insert declared both titles were complete, Monday Morning was omitted, however these original titles were much more complete than Fleetwood Mac Play The City Of Angels (Takrl 922). Like the Pink Floyd Anaheim Stadium recording which circulated for years as California Stockyard, the master tapes for the Fleetwood Mac concert have never circulated until March 2021, thankfully Wardour took notice and now present the complete concert in excellent quality.
This concert was recorded five days before Mike Millard’s excellent capture of the L.A. Forum concert on August 30 and there are a lot of similarities between the two, performance wise. Sound wise Jon was able to get an excellent capture, perfectly balanced, clear and detailed and sounds like he was close to the action. There is a wonderful frequency range and a very small amount of tape hiss but that wonderful analog sound. The audience was not as crazy as Los Angeles so this concert is a bit more subdued yet the music still has the intensity.
The band take the stage to a huge round of applause and soundcheck their instruments briefly and begin to jam as they are introduced “Ladies and Gentlemen would you please give a warm welcome to Fleetwood Mac” and launch into a duo of songs from their self titled 1975 release beginning with Christine McVie’s Say You Love Me followed by Lindsey Buckingham’s Monday Morning which garner moderate applause from the audience. Once Dreams is introduced to a loud ovation, the clarity of the mix is excellent and you hear all the nuances of Stevie’s vocals and the interplay of the musicians. For a five piece band the music sounds lush and full, each of the lead players take turns with the introductions.
“Like to do an old song for you now, recorded a few years back which you may remember…” is Christine’s introduction to Peter Green’s Oh Well which features Lindsey on lead vocals and guitar. Mick plays some great fills and his percussion talents add much color to this version, Lindsey plays a ripping solo as well. Stevie’s intro of “A song about a witch” is standard for Rhiannon, interesting is that this song dates back to pre-Mac 1974 as there is a Buckingham Nicks live version from a Tuscaloosa radio broadcast. The song takes on its own life onstage as the band turn in a longer version than the official version as the vocals and music rise in intensity. The more subtle yet equally intense Oh Daddy follows, McVie’s vocals are passionate and lovely.
After two moody songs Lindsey lightens up the mood with the more uptempo Never Going Back Again, his finger picking style put to good use. This style stays for a gentle version of Landslide, Stevie’s vocals are incredible and soft and the music captivates the audience to near silence. In complete contrast Over My Head gets people off their seats and up and dancing. Gold Dust Woman is very textured, each instrument is adding its own flavor to the song and when subtly done, the result is perfection. John McVie is strong and driving on You Make Loving Fun, the keyboards follow a slightly different key but when in unison provide the backbone for the song, interesting that like Buckingham and Nicks, the McVie’s make strong music while being apart as a couple. Great version.
The “heaviest” song of the set is most certainly Buckingham’s I’m So Afraid, again John’s bass is instrumental in laying a bombastic heavy foundation and Mick’s drumming is superlative, never busy or overdone, his timing is impeccable. Lindsey introduces his guitar tech Raymond who is playing acoustic guitar on Go Your Own Way, the song has a slow start but by the time they get to the chorus it is fully fleshed out and brings the house down. The band begin to stretch out on World Turning giving the musicians a chance to improvise and jam, this evolves into a mini Fleetwood drum solo. When you look at Mick’s style, he is totally unique in his style, he flourishes the music adding flavor never overbearing. This song has the audience up clapping and dancing as the atmosphere continues to build. The energetic Blue Letter ends the main set to a huge ovation.
Jon changes tapes at the songs conclusion without missing much of anything and get his gear back up as the cheering is full on as the audience wants more. A rapturous ovation greets the band at the begin of The Chain then again as the vocals begin. A rousing Second Hand News follows and the concert ends with Christine’s beautiful Songbird which despite the concert at a fever pitch, has the audience completely silent as she sings. A fabulous concert of Fleetwood Mac at the height of their powers.
The packaging is typical for Wardour, inserts that feature live shots of the band, the cover photos look to be from the 1980 tour as Stevie has her hair permed and Lindsey has short hair, the interior photos are more era specific. The Jon Wizardo recording is excellent and the mastering of this title is up to the Wardour standards, for fans of Fleetwood Mac, this title makes a nice companion piece to the Millard L.A. show.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)