Showing posts with label Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour Review - New York City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour Review - New York City. Show all posts

Friday, June 12, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in NYC "Lindsey's Back Spasms"

Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden: Backstage Pass

by Michele Romero

Fleetwood Mac's Rumours was the very first album I heard as a kid that made me lust for music and obsessively watch the dust collect on the record needle as it picked sound up out of those waxed grooves. Therefore, I have loved this band forever.

Last night, the famously tumultuous group, who have reformed (minus Christine McVie) for a greatest hits tour called "Unleashed," did just that at Madison Square Garden, and I was lucky enough to be tenth-row center on the floor.

I was mesmerized watching guitarist Lindsey Buckingham's fingers pick out notes on songs that everyone knows by heart ("Dreams," "Landslide," "Tusk," "Go Your Own Way") but also just crying my eyes out with gratitude watching this virtuoso working so hard right in front of me that I could see him wince in pain and grab his back to quell a spasm after every few songs (the dude is almost 60).

Stevie, in contrast -- all wrapped in her cocoon of black and maroon scarves -- could just effortlessly mouth the words "Sara" or "Gypsy" into the mic and melt ice. She is the only person in the universe with that voice and I'm grateful she and Lindsey met up in High School back in 1965, as Stevie reminded the crowd while sharing an impassioned lesson in Fleetwood Mac history. Also? This band opened for Janis Joplin and played on the same stage as Jimi Hendrix in San Francisco.

Mick Fleetwood is still sporting those little dangling fabric balls on his trousers, a la the Rumours album cover, which made me wonder if he just wears them all the time (awkward meeting new people like that) and he pounded that drum kit all night like he was made out of Viagra.

I ended up backstage with Stevie Nicks (connections!) at the end of the show and petted her dogs, including an elderly Yorkie who barked at us as if we were in his dressing room and we should get out now. Scarves hung about the space, and I spied boxes of blonde hair color peeking out of a drawer in an equipment case that said "Stevie" in pink spray-painted letters. I was too shy to say hello but wish I had said thank you. So, thank you, Stevie!

What was the first record that started your love of music -- you know, the one you played 1000 times until it broke and you had to get a new one? Was Rumours one of them?

REVIEW: For Fleetwood Mac, it was a night of fun at the Garden

Band's 'Unleashed' Tour stops at Atlantic City Saturday


"Every time we come together it's different," Fleetwood Mac guitarist and lead singer Lindsey Buckingham told the audience at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. "This time, we said, ‘Let's just go out there and have fun!' We're going to play songs we all love a lot."

The show was one stop on the band's "Unleashed" tour, which will hit Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday. Since the band has no new album to promote, unlike 2003-2004's "Say You Will" tour, the nearly-three-hour long concert was able to include virtually all of Fleetwood Mac's most popular songs, including "The Chain," "Say That You Love Me" and "Tusk."

The set also included some lesser-known songs, such as "Storms," which lead-singer Stevie Nicks told the audience the band had never performed at a concert before.

Nicks seemed to be in an especially talkative mood, sharing personal anecdotes with the audience before launching into several of the band's songs.

She admitted that she teared up earlier in the day when she brought a fifth-grade choir up on stage to sing "Landslide" before her. Nicks said she had cried similarly after hearing how beautifully Buckingham played the guitar portion of the song for the first time after she had written it.

The audience seemed similarly moved as they sang along with the lyrics, creating a kind of duet.

Nicks also recounted the story of being asked to join Buckingham's band nearly two years after the pair had met briefly in a California high school when she was a senior and he was a junior.

"They said, ‘Want to be in the band?' - which of course, I didn't know existed - and I said, ‘Sure ... what type of music is it?' and they told me it was rock and roll, so I said, ‘I can do it!'"

The song "Gypsy" was written about her early years playing with him and later with Fleetwood Mac, which the couple joined in 1975, as the band gained popularity and opened for many big names.

Most fans know that during these years Nick and Buckingham dated, and the turmoil of their eventual break-up inspired many of the songs on their most popular album, 1977's Rumours. At the time, Rumours was the best-selling album in history, with 17 million copies sold.

Buckingham acknowledged the band's previous turbulence, saying, "We've had a fairly complex, convoluted, emotional history ... But in the long run, it's actually worked out in our favor."

Now, about 40 years later, while songs such as "Go Your Own Way" remain just as powerful, the wounds between the two seem to have healed. Throughout the show, he and Nicks repeatedly turned to face each other as they sang, at one point even embracing in front of the crowd.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood seemed similarly excited to be back on stage, smiling manically and at one point, leading the enthusiastic crowd in a round of back and forth gibberish.

Bassist John McVie, however, who was introduced by Fleetwood as the band's "backbone," seemed content to remain outside of the spotlight while playing the songs' catchy basslines.

Missing from the band's long-time line-up was keyboardist Christine McVie, John's ex-wife, who decided to quit touring with the band in the late 1990s. Although rumors swirled that she might be replaced on this tour with singer Sheryl Crow, her vocals were instead sung by Nicks and her keyboard duties were taken up by a man with an ironically similar shag haircut.

But watching Nicks' bewitching performance, one could barely sense the loss of the band's second woman. Nicks floated and fluttered onstage, beating her tambourine and moving her hands as though she were the witch in her song "Rhiannon" casting spells on the audience.

Perhaps one of the most spellbinding moments of the performance, however, took place during a different song. With the light shining down on her as she turned her back to the audience to show her long, flowing golden hair and shawl, Nicks became the physical embodiment of the "Gold Dust Woman" as she sang.

In fact the band's best performances of the night were those that included Nicks singing her own poetic lyrics, while Buckingham accompanied her superbly on his guitar and Fleetwood and McVie creating a stirring backbeat.

Fleetwood Mac seemed so enthralled by the audience that after playing a three-song encore that included Bill Clinton's one-time campaign song, "Don't Stop," the band returned for a second encore to sing a beautiful rendition of "Silver Spring."

The song seemed a fitting way to close out the show, with Nicks belting out, "You'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you."

How lucky we are for that.

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in New York City at Madison Square Garden

Fleetwood Mac Live at Madison Square Garden: 
June 11, 2009

New York Stevie Knicks

Tonight, everybody at MSG tapped into their inner-Stevie. So I broke out my long flowing black dress, healing crystals and yards of excess fabric to be one with Stevie.

Fleetwood Mac is taking their second trip across America this year. They are calling it "The Hits" tour -- meaning they are not going to bore you with new songs. That sounds good enough of a marketing ploy to me. I figured I need to see the legendary band before they needed wheelchairs to get on stage. It also helped that the recession era price was $50 for cheap seats ... which got upgraded to the 100 level because it was undersold. Holla!

With the lack of Christie McVie on this tour, you're not going to "You Make Loving Fun," "Little Lies" or "Hold Me". Man, if they broke out "Edge of Seventeen" the place might have exploded.

Some of my favorite performancesfrom the night included the drum-heavy march of "Tusk". Although to get the full effect, they need to hire a local marching band to recreate the USC marching band power. Loved "Gold Dust Women" with Stevie being Stevie. Then you have Mick Fleetwood's extended drum solo for "World Turning" where he speaks in tongue and chants. As the elder statesmen of the band, he looks like Papa Smurf and Ernest Hemingway

I knew I was going have a good time and I did. The show is straight forward with no surprises or extraneous bells and whistles. The stage set-up was minimalist, with rotating panels hovering over the stage reflecting simple patterns and colors. Even Lindsey Buckingham acknowledged on this tour that theyjust wanted to go out and have fun. The underline to that is "and make some easy money." I can dig it, because the show was great.

There was a moment where I saw some authenticity. With these veteran acts like The Eagles, Neil Diamond or The Who, each show is carefully choreographed and pre-planned. You're going to see the same set-up in NYC as you would in Atlantic City. So the one moment we got is where Stevie is singing Landslide, one of the most perfect songs ever. She looks over at Lindsey and she raises her eyebrow as if to say "You still with me guy." He looks to her, smiles and shrugs his shoulders. It was a wordless exchange that could say volumes about their 45-year relationship. Eventually, they hugged. Awwwwwww.

During one of Lindsey's speeches, he spoke the band's complicated history, which is the understatement of the year. Their VH1 Behind the Music should have been a 5-hour mini-series. That whole late-60s to mid-70s Laurel Canyon scene must have been wild. They were young, talented, rich, sexy, hairy and had easy access to narcotics. If those coke mirrors could talk. Fleetwood Mac, the latter incarnation when Stevie and Lindsey joined, are the go-to band if you want to find inspiration and clues into writing great songs that come from that scene.

Then there's Miss Nicks, who's looked the same since 1989. Her voice has remained the same for 40 years. She either has good doctors or a good make-up artist -- probably the same one Dolly Parton has. Of course, there is the cult of Stevie and the Night of 1,000 Stevies. I want to start the Cult of Lindsey. I'll call it the Night of a Handful of Lindseys. Anyway, I think she kind of plays up the Stevie Nicks persona with the long dresses and playing with strands of fabric. She goes through all the poses during "Gypsy" and twirls around like a mystic.

That's it on the Mac. I can't tell if they are the same band as they were in the 70s. I think the reason older people go is to relive the show they saw 30 years prior. For me, it was a "why not?" 4 out of 5 members playing classics. I'll take it.

The setlist for a 2 hour, 45 minute show ... damn:

Monday Morning
The Chain
I Know I’m Not Wrong
Go Insane
Second Hand News
Big Love
Never Going Back Again
Say You Love Me
Gold Dust Woman
Oh Well
I’m So Afraid
Stand Back
Go Your Own Way
ENCORE: World Turning
Don’t Stop
SECOND ENCORE: Silver Springs

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac "Gobsmacking two and a half hour set"

FLEETWOOD MAC, Madison Square Garden, New York

"WE wanted to make music again," announces Lindsey Buckingham. "We have no album to promote so we're just going to have fun."

It isn't an idle boast. In a gobsmacking two-and- a-half-hour set, the guitarist leads the Mac - and a team of five backing musicians - through dazzling versions of classics like The Chain, Rhiannon, Big Love and a breathtaking Go Your Own Way.

While Stevie Nicks smiles, sways, twirls and sings like an angel, the rhythm section of John McVie and Mick Fleetwood drive everything along at cracking pace.

Buckingham himself, meanwhile, is on stunning form, letting fly with a silvered solo here, a chunky chord sequence there

One of the highpoints is a rare performance of the Peter Green classic Oh Well but, to be honest, it's hard to pick a standout in a show absolutely packed with them.

They finish with dazzling romps through Don't Stop and Silver Springs. Afterwards, Mick tells A-Listed he hopes to bring this greatest hits tour to Britain later in the year. Make sure you beg, steal or borrow to be there.

News Of The

Monday, March 23, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in NYC "A weekend replete with Fleetwood Mac was exactly what I needed"

Fleetwood Mac Soothe Kim Stolz’s Soul With NYC Gig
by Kim Stolz
MTV Newsroom

A weekend replete with Fleetwood Mac was exactly what I needed to detox from the wrangles and chaos that was MTV Spring Break 2009. Sure, I may have spent a full month’s salary on my ticket, but it was worth every penny. I’ve fallen in love with indie-pop bands over the years like the Knife and Animal Collective, and recently I’ve fallen in a type of lust for hip-hop artists like Drake, Lil Wayne and Charles Hamilton, but my heart undoubtedly beats steady and strong for the classic rock I grew up with — specifically, Fleetwood Mac.

I’ve spent hours watching the video for “Silver Springs” from the Dance Tour, and I am obsessed with any DJ that mixes Fleetwood Mac along with the more “club-worthy” sounds of Kanye, Lady Gaga, Crystal Castles … you get the picture. So, when I found out that Stevie, Lindsey, John and Mick (Christine McVie seldom performs with the band, except for an occasional U.K. appearance) were doing a Hits Tour, I dropped everything and bought tickets to two of their shows in the NY area.

Wearing the first of several scarves that would make appearances throughout the show, Stevie took the stage — along with Lindsey and the rest of the band — and began “Monday Morning.” The set then went on to include “The Chain,” “Sara,” “Rhiannon,” “Tusk” (which was surprisingly sonically satisfying even without horns), “Stand Back” (also surprising but very exciting) and the other likely suspects of a Fleetwood Mac Hits Tour.

With the epic and tragic — but also media-friendly — tale that was the love story of Lindsey and Stevie, it’s hard to decipher how much of their onstage tension and affection is genuine and how much is part of the show. Fleetwood Mac and “Silver Springs”-obsessed, I have to believe that it’s real and crave even the shortest glance between them. In the beginning of the show, Lindsey spoke about their decades-long affair and “emotional and tumultuous history,” adding that “each time we come together, it’s always different. … We’re always moving in a forward motion and we decided that this time, we’re just going to have fun.” Still, though, in the moments where they sang the most heart-wrenching of lyrics — written for each other — you could see a certain look in their eyes, which, to me, was a clear example of the years of practice in keeping their lives separate and, in a sense, an attempt to hide the residual feelings, which never seemed to vanish.

During “Go Insane,” it dawned on me that — more so than the Fleetwood Mac concerts I’d watched on television — this particular set could almost be classified as “The Lindsey Show.” Of course, the vast majority of the audience kept their eyes on Stevie as she twirled around, creating a hypnotizing silhouette, leaving the stage and coming back from time to time with different scarves. Although she displayed different emotions — another sign that perhaps her fight to close off the feelings for Lindsey is still in full force — Lindsey did most of the speaking, and his songs and guitar solos were a major focus of the show.

Their second encore began with “Don’t Stop,” and as the rest of the audience swelled with joy and sang every lyric, my heart sank a little bit, fearing that “Silver Springs” would be left out of the Hits Tour. But a few minutes later, the chimes that commence the track echoed in the arena and, holding hands, Stevie and Lindsey began the song, seemingly symbolizing an emerging friendship between the two. However, as the painful and extremely personal lyrics continued, Lindsey and Stevie barely looked at each other — when Lindsey gave his famous side-glance in Stevie’s direction, her eyes remained fixed on the crowd, almost emotionless at times, and when she turned her head toward him, it was clear she was staring just past him rather than in his eyes.

As far as looking forward, Stevie Nicks has announced a “Live in Chicago” DVD, to be released on April 1. And during the set last night, Lindsey told the audience, “We don’t have a new album to promote … yet!” Before walking off stage for the last time, he thanked the crowd for coming and quelled our panic at the potential for this being their last tour, saying, “We’ll see you next time!” I took a deep breath and immediately updated my Twitter with the good news.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham Still Snorting Lines of Something... Fleetwood Mac Live in NYC

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
by Jonah Weiner
(4 Stars)

When Fleetwood Mac calls a tour “Unleashed: The Hits,” it prompts two questions: No. 1. Will I go to the bathroom during “Dreams?” “Go Your Own Way?” “Tusk?” “Say You Love Me?” The only answer is, I will not go to the bathroom at all, or I will go to the bathroom during my pants. This is the band that put out Rumours, after all – the Thriller of dentist’s waiting rooms! (That is meant as a very big compliment). Question No. 2. “Unleashed?” What leash are they referring to? Mick Fleetwood’s crisp, clockwork drumming? Christine McVie’s airy, lovely, shmaltz, absent this go-round? The need to promote a new album and thus fill a set list with the new, unfamiliar, and unwelcome?

There is no new album on the way, which means they started last night’s Madison Square Garden set with “Monday Morning,” closed it with “Silver Springs,” and played nary a whatsit in between.

Some revelations:
  • The band is loud. Surprisingly, rockingly, putting-peers-half-their-age-to-shame-ingly loud.
  • Since the mid-‘70s arrival of Cali songbirds Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks propelled the group from Brit bluesoid also-rans to superstars, you don’t appreciate quite so vividly on record that Mick Fleetwood is the band’s secret weapon. Last night he was great at putting the downbeat where you weren’t expecting it, and whacking his sticks with a hungry clobber without losing the in-the-pocket snap he’s famous for.
  • He was also wearing the weird testicle-ball thingies he wears on the cover of Rumours. And sans culottes. Made out of velvet.
  • Buckingham has probably quit cocaine by this point in his life. Yet he is still very thin, and ridiculously energized: Every other band member took a break but him. He howled when it wasn’t entirely appropriate, sometimes nowhere near a mic. He is clearly still snorting lines of something. We are guessing crushed wheatgrass.
  • Stevie Nicks still twirls across a stage with a lace shawl draped around her shoulders better than anyone else in the business.
  • The whole “I’m getting older, too” refrain from “Landslide” gained a new power now that Stevie is thirty-odd years older than when she first sang it. She delivered it with a moving, impossible combination of verve and woundedness – it was one of the night’s biggest applause lines.
  • John McVie, stoic in a black-vest-and-white-button-down combo, said not a word, hardly looked up. This is only fair, since your average rhythm section has room for only one extrovert with eyes the size of emu eggs and a penchant for skipping around the stage and cackling.
  • Kirsten Dunst and someone we are pretty sure was an Olsen sister, both in attendance, are big Fleetwood Mac fans. Including your Blender correspondent, that made three people in the building who weren’t in college when, like, Millard Fillmore was president. That was so long ago, I’m not even sure Millard Fillmore is actually the name of a president.
  • They didn’t play “Beautiful Child.” Sniff.
  • Roving merch people were actually selling little tambourines with a sticker of the four current touring Mac members – for $40. Meaning if you bought one and two of the good-seats tickets (see pic right), you were shelling out well over $400 for the evening. (And that assumes you skipped the $13 sushi rolls for sale at concession stands).
Let’s make sure you got that: Next to hot dogs and Bud Light, MSG was selling Sushi. We did not try it, because, ew.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Tamed by Time: 
Ex-Lovers, Hit Songs
NY TIMES March 20, 2009

House lights still dimmed, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks came out onto the Madison Square Garden stage on Thursday night holding hands, then took their positions at opposite sides of the stage and got into character: Ms. Nicks the romantic mystic, Mr. Buckingham the petulant cad. At points over the next two hours Ms. Nicks would cede the stage to her former lover, disappearing backstage as if she couldn’t bear to watch, or couldn’t be bothered. Probably the latter.

This is Fleetwood Mac, the golden years, catering to two different constituencies. Mr. Buckingham, with his extravagant gestures, indulgent guitar playing and general air of preening, was trying very hard to keep a flickering flame alive — a panting salesman. Ms. Nicks, on the other hand, appeared content with laurel-resting, coasting along on the familiar: the shawls, the twirls, the fringe dangling from her microphone and, occasionally, the piercingly cloying vocals. A screen with scrolling words — lyrics, presumably — sat at her feet.

As ever, the rhythm section — the drummer Mick Fleetwood and the bass player John McVie, for whom, together, the band is named — soldiered on like exceedingly tolerant parents. Mr. Fleetwood, ponytail intact and wearing short pants that brought to mind plus fours, played with force, if not grace, and Mr. McVie succeeded by not drawing notice to himself. In a band so obsessed with role-playing, such restraint qualifies as innovation.

“There is no new album to promote — yet,” Mr. Buckingham teased early in the night. But even the most rabid Fleetwood Mac fans probably don’t crave the distraction of new songs and were perfectly content with this show, designed as a hits revue and sticking closely to the band’s self-titled 1975 album and its follow-up two years later, the tragicomic “Rumours,” one of the biggest-selling albums ever. (These were the first with the band’s essential lineup, which included the Buckingham-Nicks combo and Christine McVie, who no longer tours with the band.) Here, particularly on the breakup songs from “Rumours,” Ms. Nicks and Mr. Buckingham still had a touch of zest, making for rare moments of lightness. (Mr. Buckingham also shined on a theatrically unhinged version of “Go Insane,” from his solo album of the same name.)

Mostly, though, the band sounded desiccated. On “I’m So Afraid,” Mr. Buckingham’s guitar solo, which he accompanied with hoots and hollers, was excruciatingly long, and excruciatingly dull. On “World Turning,” Mr. Fleetwood saw him, but thankfully did not raise him, with his own numbing solo.

And just as it did 30 years ago, the band succumbed to an obstacle of its own creation, and its name was “Tusk.” That 1979 album, driven by Mr. Buckingham’s experimental impulses, was an overreach, burdensome and needlessly decadent. Here, after the band played the title track and “Sara” midset, it never fully recovered. Introducing “Storms,” from that album, Ms. Nicks said the band chose it for this tour because they had never played it live before, though the turgid rendition that followed made it clear why that had been the case.

Unexpectedly, the night’s most invigorating moments came when the band stepped out from its own long shadow. “I Know I’m Not Wrong,” a song from “Tusk” played early in the night, sounded like the Replacements, as if the band had just discovered punk. And “Oh Well,” an electric blues from before Mr. Buckingham and Ms. Nicks joined the group, was a welcome nod to the band’s early history as a tribute to something bigger than itself.

Fleetwood Mac performs on Saturday at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac at MSG in New York City

Fleetwood Mac
Madison Square Garden
The Village Voice
by Chris Ryan
photo by David Atlas

It was sometime during Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham's delicate duet performance of the lullabye-like "Never Going Back Again" at last night's Madison Square Garden Fleetwood Mac show when someone behind me opined, "They shouldn't even be allowed to fucking play these hallowed fuckin' halls."

This self-appointed curator of Madison Square Garden, a man who could be best described as what would've happened to Turtle from Entourage had he never gotten out of Queens, was dismayed at the similarity of last night's set to previous Mac gigs he had seen. And while I wouldn't exactly put it the same way, you could empathize with his frustration.

Tonight's most recent incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, a Stevie-John-Mick-Lindsey-and-five-dudes-playing-backup-in-the-shadows set-up, was, according to ticket stubs, on the Unleashed: The Hits 2009 Tour. But despite a set list of nothing but straight-'70s-FM-God-Body-Heat-Rocks this wasn't easy listening.

Fleetwood Mac's well-known extra-musical narrative is about the strong personalities, big demons and contentious conflicts that haunted the band. And their records, especially the classic run from Fleetwood Mac through Tango In The Night, are testaments to the band members' collective ability to overcome their egos and all the upheaval in their lives and make a seamless, often beautiful, sound together. They really were a collective; imbuing any song--be it a Stevie, Lindsey, or Christine--with a sound only the group could produce.

So it was kind of sad watching them balkanize their set in such a decided way: making their performances celebrations of individual achievement rather than group harmony, pummeling the real trophywives of the NYC in the audience with drum and guitar solos, and badly misjudging the pacing and momentum of the set.

The early part of the night peaked with the band's most unselfconscious performance: a blinding take on "I Know I'm Not Wrong" from Tusk that had motorik and sounded more like The Clean than anything else. After a marching-band-free "Tusk," the band went all an-intimate-evening-with... and played a sleepy stretch of quiet jams: "Sara," "Landslide," and the rarely-played-out "Storms."

After a punishing Turkish prison sentence of the Peter-Green-era blues explosion, "Oh Well," and some Mick Fleetwood drum-solo/scream therapy (enlivened only by a great version of Nicks' solo new-wave classic "Stand Back"), the group came into the home stretch: "Go Your Own Way," then break, then "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow." As people started to file out, Turtle piped up, "They got one more; they're gonna do 'Silver Springs.'" And, like clockwork, the band filed out to play the gorgeous mid-tempo break-up song, originally left off Rumors. On this very last song, Fleetwood Mac, playing a tune about tearing yourself apart, actually sounded the most together they had all evening. And despite knowing what was coming all night long, even the self-appointed guardians of these hallowed halls--as they tipped back their white Yankees hats and teared up a little--seemed to finally feel like they got what they paid for.

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden Unleashed Tour

Fleetwood Mac's Golden Oldies are Aging Just Fine

New York Daily News
Photo: Loud/Getty

Family dynamics never cease to fascinate us - especially ones with histories as incestuous as Fleetwood Mac's.

It should surprise no one, then, that the band's show at Madison Square Garden last night proved as musically vital, and as alive with subtext, as ever. This, despite the fact that the band had no new music to play, instead drawing most of the material from wells filled more than 30 years ago.

Opening with 1975's jubilant "Monday Morning," the band's remaining four main members wove through a two hour and 20 minute set that functioned as a nearly unbroken greatest hits medley.

The current "Unleashed" tour represents the band's second since singer/songwriter Christine McVie bailed. So, naturally, the defection has thrown a harder light on the complex interplay between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

Their songs threaded in and out of each other at last night's show just as the lives of these former lovers have. "Gypsy," Nicks' tale of emotional independence, played off Buckingham's admission of neurotic excess, "Go Insane" - together serving as an on-going public confession of their mutual needs and deficiencies.

In "The Chain," the two harmonized about family bonds in a way that communicated less loyalty than threat. "You'll never break the chain," they brayed at each other. Consider these guys the original "reality show."

The loss of McVie has robbed the group - which also features John McVie and Mick Fleetwood - of its most diplomatic voice. And she was missed on the few numbers that originally featured her, like "Say You Love Me."

But as a happy consequence, the band rocked harder and found more room for Buckingham's fiendish guitar work. His obsessive arpeggios gave a richly tactile feel to "Big Love," while in "I'm So Afraid," he mined deep blues hues.

The group kept things frisky by tweaking the arrangements and the harmonies in many songs.
Buckingham delivered some with newly emphatic inflections.

But the night's emotional highlight struck a tender note. When Nicks sang her song of age and humility, "Landslide," she read the line "I'm getting older, too," with an acceptance that showed not an ounce of regret.

Some families, it seems, only grow more sure with age.