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Daily Camera (10/12/2003), Fleetwood Mac delivers hits in Denver < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Daily Camera (10/12/2003), Fleetwood Mac delivers hits in Denver

Daily Camera (Boulder, CO), October 12, 2003

Fleetwood Mac delivers hits in Denver

But band took chances, too, during Pepsi Center show
By Michael Cote, Camera Staff Writer

DENVER — Fleetwood Mac opened its Pepsi Center show Saturday with "The Chain," the only song co-written by every member of the group.

But on this tour, keyboard player and singer Christine McVie has been the chain's missing link. That's good news for fans of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, who split the singing and songwriting duties on the band's comeback disc, Say You Will, and have been doing the same in concert.

McVie wrote many of the band's biggest hits, including the tour's encore staple "Don't Stop," but she's always been the group's mainstream pop anchor. Without her, Fleetwood Mac becomes a tale of two extremes, with Nicks' New Age witch goddess sparring with Buckingham's finger-picking guitar hero.

Despite their Spy vs. Spy outfits, however —Nicks in a black-lace dress, Buckingham in a white button-down shirt and blue jeans — these are two people who have healed the wounds of their long-ago romance. During Nicks' "Dreams," they turned to face each other, now singing the heartbreak song as friends. Later they embraced and danced together during "Tusk."

"As everybody knows, this has been a difficult trip at times and a strange trip," Buckingham told the audience afterward. "But the point is, here we are."

Like their contemporaries, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac travels with hired help these days. A keyboard player, two guitarists, a pair of background singers and a percussionist joined the quartet of Nicks, Buckingham and drummer Mick Fleetwood and bass player John McVie, helping the band recreate its slick studio sound.

But some of the most resounding applause came when the band sent the extras off the stage, especially when the quartet performed Buckingham's acoustic guitar showpiece, "Never Going Back Again," and when Nicks and Buckingham presented "Landslide." Buckingham took the stage alone for an acoustic take of "Big Love," spotlighting his classical-tinged guitar work.

The band delivered many of the hits but took chances, mainly with Buckingham's songs. His contributions to Say You Will originally were intended for a solo album. The guitarist has conceded he needs the power of the Fleetwood brand to sell his quirky pop experiments.

But that compromise means Buckingham's new songs, like the single "Peacekeeper" and the heavy-metal workout "Come," were fueled by one of the best rhythm sections in rock history. On the latter song, Buckingham had to work to win over the audience, which reacted to it as if a giant "Please sit down" message had been flashed on the monitors. But after a ripping guitar solo in which he did everything but smash his guitar, Buckingham had fans back on their feet.

At press time, Buckingham was leading the band through "Go Your Own Way," stepping into the audience to play his solo. It could have just as easily been Fleetwood Mac's'70s heyday. Still a lot of strength in this chain.

Date: 2003-10-12         Number of views: 1271

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