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Columbus Dispatch (05/08/2003), New Songs Deserved Better Effort < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Columbus Dispatch (05/08/2003), New Songs Deserved Better Effort

Columbus Dispatch, Thursday, May 8, 2003


by Curtis Schieber

Oh, if Fleetwood Mac could only erase the past . . .

The four remaining members of the musical dynasty -- Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Stevie Nicks -- could go on tour to support the group's newest album with the attention it deserves.

Without the help of longtime singer-songwriter Christine McVie, the quartet has produced its best record in more than two decades with the new Say You Will.

But 36 years of history haunts the trademark. And wiping it away would have meant that the band wouldn't have played to nearly 14,000 fans in Value City Arena last night, augmented by seven additional musicians.

The group began as a blues band sporting three lead guitarists. The addition of Buckingham and Nicks for the 1975 self-titled restart made the band platinum-value musical currency. The current reunion album began as a Buckingham solo until the record company balked at the brilliant pop tunesmith's lack of marketability on his own. The collection was finished with Stevie Nicks songs, and it was credited to Fleetwood Mac. The tour ensued.

Last night's set list encompassed the hit-making legacy. Given that the two most marketable personalities were there, it wasn't difficult. But the absence of McVie left a lack of balance on the well-known tunes and shortchanged the newer material.

That's not to say that some of the old tunes weren't memorable. The over-exposed Rhiannon sounded welcome, as it rode a thundering beat and one of Nicks' warmest leads. And Landslide, delivered just by Buckingham on acoustic guitar and Nicks on vocals, was lovely and delicate.

But too many of the old hits were muddied and indistinct: Nicks singing hers with lack of animation and Buckingham too intent on proving his prowess as a rock god.

Worse, songs from the new album such as Running Through the Garden and Peacekeeper were folded into the bland delivery.

Still, at its best, the concert reinforced the strength of the new album. Buckingham's Say Goodbye was delicate; Nicks' Say You Will lost only some of its sparkle in the translation; and What's The World Coming To was nearly as hypnotic as on the album.

There are nearly a half-dozen more songs on the recording that could make for memorable moments in concert -- if it weren't for the past 36 years.

Thanks to Eric for posting this to the Ledge.

Date: 2003-05-08         Number of views: 1174

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