Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Fleetwood Mac, at the NIA, Birmingham
By Andy Coleman
It is rare for a rumbling bass guitar riff to get one of the biggest cheers at a concert but it happened when John McVie played those famous notes of The Chain, introduced to a whole new audience thanks to its use as the theme tune to TV’s Grand Prix racing coverage.
And, just like an F1 car, Fleetwood Mac got off to a flying start as they took the audience on a Greatest Hits trip. The Chain, the second track of a 22-song set, was followed by Dreams and a rockin’ I Know I’m Not Wrong.

Frontman Lindsey Buckingham explained: “We’ve got no new album to sell so we’ve decided to do the songs we love – and we hope you love them too.”While 60-year-old Lindsey provided the hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll, former girlfriend Stevie Nicks, a year his senior, enchanted with her more ethereal tunes.

Rhiannon and Gold Dust Woman were highlights of the two-hour 20-minute show, while at the end of Sara, Nicks and Buckingham hugged, a sign that time has healed the rift between them.
The duo may be in the spotlight at the front but the power is at the back of the stage in the shape of 63-year-old McVie and towering 62-year-old drummer Mick Fleetwood, who provided the muscular rhythm for another show-stopper, the mighty Tusk.

When it comes to guitar maestros, however, it’s hard to top Buckingham who played a blistering solo at the end of I’m So Afraid.

He had the stage to himself for Big Love, a song, he explained, that was written as an ensemble piece but has evolved into a solo performance.

Drummer Fleetwood encored with a madcap solo before a rip-roaring finish of Don’t Stop which had the sold out crowd singing along.

The Mac are well and truly back.

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