Wednesday, May 06, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac - St. Louis May 5, 2009

By Kevin C. Johnson

No, those weren’t dinosaurs unleashed on downtown St. Louis Tuesday night. It was the classic band Fleetwood Mac, here for the local leg of its "Unleashed" tour at the Scottrade Center.

More than 10,000 fans came out to see the band, perhaps lured by the fact there’s no new album to promote.

That meant there was no lumbering through unfamiliar material. Instead, the two-hour-plus show was full of the songs that just about every fan could want, from "Go Your Own Way," still a rabble-rousing crowd pleaser, to the perfectly percussive "Tusk" and the melodic "Say That You Love Me."

"We’re just doing the songs we love," Lindsey Buckingham told the crowd, explaining how the tour was about getting back together just to have fun.

Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie (Christine McVie remains long gone) came out the box sounding a little creaky at the top of the show with "Monday Morning," but took no time to shake off the cobwebs and get down to business with necessary nuggets such as "The Chain," "Gypsy," and "Rhiannon."

"We’re thrilled to be here tonight and think we should get this party started," Nicks said before "Dreams."

Several songs were introduced with stories by Nicks or Buckingham, which surely weren’t new stories but served to put them in perspective.

Nicks said "Gypsy" was written as an homage to the mid-to-late ’60s music scene in San Francisco that helped spawn them. Buckingham offered that "Second Hand News" was the first song recorded for the landmark "Rumours" album (reissued in special form for this tour), and that it’s a sad song with humor and optimism.

Fleetwood and McVie had vibrant showmanship, but the night belonged to Buckingham and Nicks. Each had memorable showcases, including Buckingham’s field day on "Tusk," "Big Love" and "Oh Well." His guitar playing remains a marvelous thing.

And then there’s Nicks, her witchy outfits flowing, doing "Gold Dust Woman" and "Stand Back" as only she can.

Stand back, indeed.

photos by Sarah Conard

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