Best Fest returned to the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. In 2014, The Cabin Down Below Band (CBD) brought George [Harrison] Fest and in 2015 Brian [Wilson] Fest. This year it was Fleetwood Mac Fest. This year presented two nights of Fleetwood Mac hits as well Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks solo hits. Once again the proceeds went towards Sweet Relief to help musicians in need, and Jameson was the big sponsor of the night.
Starting the night, the CDB band took the stage and opened with “Tusk.” Throughout the 27-28 songs performed, everyone got to hear their favorite song performed by celebrities and musicians. Both nights featured performers that have played Best Fest before as well as some first-timers.
After “Tusk,” the first guest of the tonight was none other than Carly Rae Jepsen who performed “Hold Me,” and gave an incredible performance—on night two, Allison Pierce performed the song. A big highlight came up on “I Don’t Wanna Know,” from Jess and Holly from Lucius, singing as a duet on a double-sided mic dressed in gold outfits both nights. Following was Elvis Perkins for the mind-blowing song “World Turning.” The dance floor opened up on the next song, which is a Buckingham solo hit from the movie Vacation. Things settled down with “Little Lies,” sung by Noah Gundersen, which was a surprise being a Christine McVie-led song, but it was a great fit. For “Never Going Back Again,” chairs were brought out for Jamestown revival for an all-acoustic version of the song.
To perform the Steve Nicks’ classic “Edge Of Seventeen” was Dead Sara’s Emily Armstrong, who kept everyone on his or her toes with a very powerful rendition of the song. Next was another song that kept the dance floor going, “Rhiannon,” with Karen Elson. Once again things calmed down for an amazing performance of Landslide from Dhani Harrison and Mereki. Harrison played an unforgettable solo. Actor Danny Masterson was announced and came out saying how he wanted to bring some acting friends with him, so he brought out his wife Bijou Phillips and, from the TV show Men at Work, Adam Busch. They performed a high energy “Second Hand News.” Phases came out next and did a beautiful rendition of “Everywhere.”
Ruby Amanfu came out to sing “I’m So Afraid,” which is the final track off the self-titled Fleetwood Mac album in 1975 that was the first to include Buckingham and Nicks. A frequenter of Best Fest, Butch Norton did “Monday Morning,” and blew everyone away as he always does. This was only half way through the show with another 14 songs to go. Another big hit was sang by Jessie Baylin and it was none other than “Gypsy.” “Say You Love Me,” brought together the Pierce sisters on an amazing duet. A really groundbreaking performance came from Doyle Bramhall II on a song that couldn’t have been more fitting, the Peter Green led Fleetwood Mac classic “Black Magic Woman.”
The only band to play as a special guest was Cold War Kids performing “Man of the World.” The next big star was Will Forte along with Karen Elson and Weezer Guitarist Brian Bell on “You Make Lovin’ Fun.” It was impossible not to laugh when Forte sang the Tom Petty verses. To sing the groovy “You Make Lovin’ Fun” was KT Tunstall. The craziest performance of the night was Juliette Lewis on the Nicks’ “Stand Back.” Lewis ran around the stage and did all kinds of moves. Only on one of the nights was “Beautiful Child,” sang by Joanna Newsom. Comedian Sarah Silverman joined by Butch Walker performed “Go Your Own Way,” which everyone was dancing to. A big guest came out for “Silver Springs,” and it was none other than Courtney Love who performed the song barefoot.
The last four songs of the show started with “Dreams” sung by The Kills and Dead Weather’s Alison Mosshart and fresh from the Superbowl two days earlier Mark Ronson. An amazing duet of husband and wife Perry and Etty Farrell came next for “Gold Dust Woman.” As always Perry Farrell is an amazing guest at Best Fest. Now there were just two songs left. The Farrells, along with Tunstall, Walker, Mosshart and Armstrong, performed the chain. With there being just one song of the night left it had to be “Don’t Stop,” which included all the performers throughout the night. On the first night, Mosshart got on top of Walkers shoulders during the solo. It was an incredible night with Best Fest once again and the CBD always serves as a great house band and leaders of the show.
Photos and text by Alex Kluft
*Disclaimer: The words expressed in photo blog reviews do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Music Connection Magazine.