Sunday, March 22, 2009

NJ Review: Fleetwood Mac explores its past

At Fleetwood Mac's Saturday night Izod Center concert, singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham talked about getting together in January, after several years apart, to rehearse for the current tour. Band members told each other "Let's just have fun," he said.

At the Meadowlands, Buckingham, seemed to be doing just that, belting out songs, taking long, flamboyant guitar solos and stomping around the stage. Drummer Mick Fleetwood also seemed to be enjoying himself immensely -- every time the video camera caught his face in a closeup, he was smiling like a mischievous schoolboy who just got away with an outrageous prank. Bassist John McVie didn't seem to be having fun, or experiencing much emotion of any kind. Then again, he's been a stoic figure throughout his 40-plus years with the band, so it would have been foolish to expect anything else of him.

The biggest problem with the show was that singer Stevie Nicks, who co-fronts the band with Buckingham, didn't seem to get the fun memo. Granted, most of the songs she sang, such as "Dreams," "Sara," "Gypsy" and "Rhiannon," are low-key affairs, powered by subtle hooks and an air of mystery. But she sang them so half-heartedly they didn't exert their usual charm. It wasn't until the second half of the show, on songs like "Stand Back" and "Gold Dust Woman," that she seemed fully engaged.

Nicks' diffidence didn't kill the show: the repertoire the band has assembled over the years is too indestructible for that. But it kept a solid show from becoming transcendent.

The band's history goes back to the British blues-rock explosion of the '60s, But it wasn't until the mid-'70s, when the lineup settled on Fleetwood, McVie, Buckingham, Nicks and McVie's then-wife Christine McVie, that Fleetwood Mac became a hit-making machine. This is the band's second tour without Christine McVie, who retired from touring in 1998.

Read the rest of this review over at

No comments:

Post a Comment