Review of Say You Will Concert Los Angeles Daily News
HEADLINE: STEVIE-LINDSEY EMBERS STILL GLOW
BYLINE: Evan Henerson, Staff Writer
"We don't talk much up here," Fleetwood Mac lead singer Stevie Nicks said from the stage Friday night, offering a statement of fact rather than an apology. True enough. The Mac bounces from one song to the next with barely a whiff of introduction or introspection. Good thing, too. I don't suspect the much appreciative Staples crowd was looking for insight into the lives and loves of Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.
Or weren't they? The most intriguing aspect of the show - the Mac's first tour in several years - isn't the band's ability to put on a kick-ass show. Even with the core members well into their 50s, with a catalog of hits this extensive and some savvy backup choices, Nicks, Buckingham et al more than gave fans their money's worth Friday. (The band moves to the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim for two shows this week.)
Actually, what's most interesting about what we see on stage is what's left visible but uninterpreted: the interplay between lead singers and former lovers Nicks and Buckingham, who still harmonize grandly - most notably on tracks like "Peacekeeper" off the latest album, "Say you Will."
Even cooler, while buzzing through the tracks with the greatest capacity of heartbreak and bitterness, Nicks and Buckingham are stealing glances or singing directly to each other. The electrical current is most evident on songs like "Say Goodbye" and the heartbreaking but quite angry "Silver Springs." On "Landslide," Nicks tenderly taps out a rhythm on Buckingham's shoulders during his solo. Displays like this may be entirely choreographed and manufactured; here's hoping they're not.
That current aside, things appear to be largely business as usual in Macland. Vocalist/keyboardist Christine McVie is absent this time around (she also begged off the "Say You Will" album), and founding members John McVie and Fleetwood step comfortably out of the spotlight, leaving spectacle duty to the two singers.
And a pair of spectacles they are. Nicks wore a diaphanous black dress Friday, draping it periodically with pinkish shawls or wraps and shaking a ribbon-festooned tambourine that - given the acoustics - only she could possibly hear. And, yes, she does twirl.
Still strong of voice, she picks her belt moments carefully and wisely, and it's clear that her vocal range now reaches a certain peak and ascends no higher. But on signature tracks like "Gypsy" and "Standback," the lady does indeed rock. There's a certain gutsiness to allowing the wave-shape projection drape at the back show a snippet of the "Gypsy" video while the singer, now a couple decades older, performs the same song live.
Buckingham's voice is stronger still, and his guitar work is nothing short of astonishing. And he probably knows it. Big frenzied solos (on "I'm So Afraid," "Go Your Own Way") are concluded with showy self indulgence that makes it look like the man is on the verge of spontaneous combustion. But the crowd loved it.
Perhaps taking a page from Buckingham, Fleetwood saved his blowout number for the encore: a torrid rendition of "World Turning" that saw the white-bearded drummer both at and away from his instrument. While strutting center stage - nice red shoes! - he whipped the crowd's noise level up several notches and banged out a duet with backup percussionist Taku Hiranu.
That came toward the end of the 24-song, 2 1/2-hour set. The rest of the evening was a Stevie/Lindsey show - and a grand time it was.
Evan Henerson, (818) 713-3651
The crowd at the Staples Center on Friday obviously reveled in the fact that Fleetwood Mac was back: from left, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham. The audience got its money's worth.
Evan Yee/Staff Photographer
2003-07-14 Number of views: