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Toronto Star (09/22/2003), Guitar Wizard Steals the Show < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Toronto Star (09/22/2003), Guitar Wizard Steals the Show

Toronto Star, September 22, 2003

Guitar Wizard Steals the show
by Vic Wagner

If there was an award for best performance by a rock guitar god in Toronto this year, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen and even AC/DC's Angus Young would have to settle for honorary mentions.

Surpassing them all was Lindsey Buckingham, whose blistering displays of wizardry turned what might otherwise have been a solid but unexceptional Fleetwood Mac reunion show at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night into a memorable occasion.

When Californians Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in the mid-'70s, they transformed what was then a respected English blues band into a chart-topping juggernaut.

More than a quarter of a century later, Buckingham is as pivotal as ever.

"As most people know, it's been a difficult and sometimes strange trip," said Buckingham, in reference to Fleetwood Mac's on-again but mostly off-again history since he first quit the band in the late '80s.

"But the point is, we're here now."

In a set that stretched well over two hours, the regrouped outfit including Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie and seven accompanists, but minus singer/keyboardist Christine McVie balanced material from its current disc, Say You Will, with a large helping of hits from its heyday. The albums Fleetwood Mac (1975), Rumours (1977) and Tusk (1979) all figured prominently on a set list that did not stint on predictable fan favourites such as "Dreams," "Rhiannon" and "Don't Stop."

Buckingham didn't entirely steal the show. Nicks had several opportunities to shine, most notably on the rarely performed "Beautiful Child." And Fleetwood turned the first encore number, "World Turning," into an exhausting exhibition of drumming and percussive effects.

Even Fleetwood, bug-eyed and grinning maniacally, could not match Buckingham's frenzy. Initially setting the pace with dazzling but comparatively restrained dexterity, Buckingham became completely unhinged on "Come," slinging the guitar in all directions and slapping the strings with both hands at once. Less manic but no less intense was his solo, Spanish-style rendition of "Big Love."

It's a rare thing when a performer can stop the show while remaining its main source of momentum.

Date: 2003-09-22         Number of views: 1372

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