Thursday, March 12, 2009


It’s official: Fleetwood Mac hasn’t lost a step.

By Lauren Carter

They may be aging rock stars on the back end of massive stardom and near-meltdowns, but apparently they’re no worse for the wear.

Five years since their last tour, sans keyboardist and singer/songwriter Christine McVie, the Mac remains a well-oiled machine that need only be kicked into gear when the timing is right.

Wednesday night at a nearly sold-out TD Banknorth Garden, the famous foursome rocked as though they’re not technically hovering near senior citizenship.

John McVie was the silent, sturdy anchor of the rhythm section, tugging at his bass with businesslike precision.

Counterpart Mick Fleetwood was, as usual, giddy and borderline crazed with joy to smash away at a drum set and serve as the band’s pulse.

At 59, Lindsey Buckingham continues to play with the inspired, tortured fervor of a guitarist with much more to prove and much less in his bank account.

Whether plucking away solo on the acoustic monster “Big Love,” playing backup to Stevie Nicks on the always poignant “Landslide” or letting loose like a man possessed on “I’m So Afraid,” Buckingham’s guitar work remains an undeniable star of the Mac spectacle.

A radiant Nicks reprised her role of dreamy enchantress on “Gypsy,” a beautiful “Sara” and “Storms,” the “Tusk” gem that is seeing the light of performance for the first time on this greatest hits tour.

Nicks’ voice has deepened, but its emotive quality is still intact, and she accessorized the Mac’s music with her typical array of add-ons - layers of lace and chiffon, a top hat during “Go Your Own Way,” swats at the tambourine, wry smiles, her signature sways and spins, wardrobe changes while Buckingham went to work on the guitar, and - occasionally - shared glances with Buckingham that probably did as much for the crowd as the music itself.

At two-plus hours and 23 songs, the set allowed latitude for the band to delve into their greatest hits and beyond, including “The Chain,” the shadowy “Gold Dust Woman” and “Say You Love Me” as well as “Don’t Stop,” Nicks’ synth-rock hit “Stand Back” and the one-time “Rumours” B-side “Silver Springs” during the second encore.

The extra dimension that Christine McVie adds to the band’s harmonies - as well as their musical selections - was clearly missed, but her absence let the focus alternate between Nicks and Buckingham.

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