Sunday, May 03, 2009

REVIEW: FLEETWOOD MAC - Live in Houston - May 2, 2009

Fleetwood Mac takes musical walk down memory lane
Houston Chronicle

There were no surprises, radical reworkings or new tunes to promote during Fleetwood Mac's Saturday night set at Toyota Center.

There were just music and memories — keys to the complete Mac experience. (And Stevie Nicks in a shawl, of course, during Gold Dust Woman.)

The echoes of hope and heartache informed every lyric, and each song signaled a memory, a moment in time for someone in the crowd (and onstage).

"Fleetwood Mac, as I'm sure you know, has had a complex and emotional history," Lindsey Buckingham told the crowd.

"It's kind of worked for us. Every time we come together, there's a sense of possibility."

The band walked onto a dark stage, Buckingham leading Nicks by the hand. They kicked off with a jangly, lighthearted Monday Morning — but things quickly intensified with the pounding groove of The Chain, which boasted solid harmonies (aided by a trio of background singers).

The staging was simple but effective, a maze of shadows and light. Nicks' trademark scarves were wrapped around her microphone stand.

The gypsy woman can't quite hit the girlish high notes of enduring hit Dreams, but her voice still has a bleating allure. She introduced Gypsy as a nod to her musical history in San Francisco, which gave it a wistful sense of remembrance.

Less dynamic were the moments when Buckingham took command (I Know I'm Not Wrong, Go Insane). The crowd thought so, too, and several folks scurried up toward the lobby. His voice-and-guitar take on Big Love, however, was a searing set highlight.

Nicks sparkled amid the rueful strains of Rhiannon, and Second Hand News (the first song recorded for the Mac's legendary Rumors album, Buckingham said) was a blaze of joyful vocals and instrumentation. Tusk boasted a blaring kick, and it's impossible not to be moved by Landslide's weary grace.

But the small details often made the biggest impact: Nicks sweetly placing her head on Buckingham's shoulder during a heartfelt Sara; Buckingham taking quick moments to soak in the cheers after every song.

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