Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fleetwood Mac full of heart, drive in Tampa concert

TAMPA - Stevie Nicks' "Sara" was winding to a close midway through Fleetwood Mac's concert Wednesday night. Nicks strolled from center stage to the microphone of guitarist and ex-lover Lindsey Buckingham. She sang a final line and then embraced Buckingham – still playing the song's guitar figure – before she walked off stage.

It was a small gesture that said a lot, since Fleetwood Mac's intraband romantic tangles are almost as well-known as its songs; and those songs are ingrained in the memories of anyone who had access to a radio in the mid- to late-'70s.

Those hits made up the lion's share of the band's set list before a St. Pete Times Forum crowd of 10,008. However, there were enough surprises in the arrangements and song selection to keep the proceedings from utter predictability.

Buckingham and Nicks shared vocals on departed keyboardist Christine McVie's "Say You Love Me." Buckingham went back to the Mac's first incarnation as a '60s blues band, remaking Peter Green's "Oh Well" into a loose-limbed but fiery jam reminiscent of The Who's take on Mose Allison's "Young Man Blues."

Even a casual fan could have guessed the rest of the tunes, but the performances were full of heart and drive. Drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie have been in the pocket since 1968 and show no signs of leaving. Buckingham is simply an amazing performer, closing "Big Love" with frightening yelps and barks, and playing spectacular guitar throughout. Nicks paced herself, with her finest numbers, "Storms," "Gold Dust Woman" and the show-closing "Silver Springs," coming after midset.

Article by Curtis Ross, The Tampa Tribune (Tampa Bay Online)

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