Saturday, May 16, 2009


By Tom Harrison

Who: Fleetwood Mac
When: May 15, Friday
Where: GM Place
Grade: B+

Fleetwood Mac is using this tour, Fleetwood Mac Unleashed, to survey its own legacy since the mid '70s.

So let's do the same.

In one of the many improbabilities of a long career, Rumours was the best LP of 1977 — or it was the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks?

Rumours arrived with a continuing soap opera and a wealth of hit singles. Bollocks, on the other hand, glued the Sex Pistols in a time. Rumours was the very thing Bollocks was against, but if over time Bollocks can be appreciated for some good rock 'n' roll, Rumours' songs have each taken on a special meaning and the album has come to symbolize survival.

Mick Fleetwood and his fellow co-founder, John McVie, knew how to roll with the punches and their new recruits, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, took note.

Now, between Nicks and Buckingham, they have made their own lore.

This tour celebrates that lore. Apart from two video screens, a few swirling scrims and six additional singers or musicians, the four have mounted a simple production in which the songs are the real stars.

There are 23 of them in all in a two-and-a-half-hour show. Of these, only one, "Oh Well," harks to the old Fleetwood Mac and only two come from the solo careers of Buckingham or Nicks.

Fleetwood is an animated eccentric, McVie the anchor, Nicks still the sensitive waif, Buckingham a stage-stalking guitar hero.

Some of the songs are bigger stars than others. "Rhiannon," for instance, got the first loud applause. But Nicks' "Sara" was watery and didn't have the same impact.

Buckingham's solo "Big Love" stood out for his urgent playing, but his "Go Insane" wasn't as well known or as well received.

"Go Your Own Way" and "I'm So Afraid" burned with intensity. Nicks' "Gold Dust Woman" was steeped in mood. Over the years, the four original members of the longest-lasting edition of Fleetwood Mac now have intuitive understanding of themselves and their songs.

She may be retired from the band now, but Christine McVie wrote "Don't Stop."

It seems too late now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amazing concert. My mother named me after Stevie Nicks also so it was awesome to see the woman I was named after live! The sound was just unreal , surely worth the incredibly high priced tickets I'd say.

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