Bob Welch on the Slide (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
If unfulfilled talent is a shopworn cliche, then former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch appears to exist solely for the purpose of achieving the living embodiment of the concept. In a dubious show of musical vanity, Welch, backed by a well-meaning Arizona-based quartet called Avenue M, offered an unfortunate glimpse of a rock career on the downslide at Hits on Monday evening.
Although Fleetwood Mac has included such stellar guitar talents as Peter Green, Danny Kirwan and Lindsey Buckingham, Welch's tepid attempts at instrumental bravado are almost too meager to mention.
While the guitarist wisely kept his Gibson Les Paul guitar slung uselessly behind his back for most of his 90 minutes onstage, his few underdeveloped melodic attempts were best quickly forgotten.
As if to pursue the utter desperation of his current musical perspective, Welch sadly deluded himself with a "contemporary" rendition of his Fleetwood Mac-era song "Hypnotized." After performing a lackluster '70s-flavored version of the number, Welch destroyed what little nostalgic value the song deserved with a pointless "heavy metal" interpretation.
Although it probably didn't occur to Welch to be embarrassed by the results of his ill-conceived butchery of the composition, it certainly should have.
After mumbling something about "record company interest," Welch offered a glimpse at his latest songwriting efforts. Sadly, songs such as "Fight Fire With Fire" and "Treat Her Like a Woman" exhibited a noticeable lack of craftsmanship. This is all the more depressing when considering the haunting melodic qualities of past Welch successes.