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Chicago Tribune (11/21/1997), Rock Review, Fleetwood Mac < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Chicago Tribune (11/21/1997), Rock Review, Fleetwood Mac
Penguin

Chicago Tribune 11-21-97

Rock review, Fleetwood Mac

By Greg Kot

The members of Fleetwood Mac, the kings and queens of '70s pop, had been playing for more then two hours Thursday at the Rosemont Horizon when they encored with ``Don't Stop.'' It's a song that advises, ``Don't you look back,'' but nobody paid attention. The Mac and a willing audience plunged back 20 years into an era when the quintet's songs about coke spoons, Welsh witches and romantic betrayal dominated rock radio and the conscience of a generation.

In performing slightly more than two-dozen songs, the band introduced only four new compositions and pulled no less than eight from its 1977 landmark ``Rumours.'' But like the band members themselves, who showed up in fighting trim and strong of voice, the vintage tunes have aged well.

Though Fleetwood Mac has never officially dissolved -- its namesake rhythm section of drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie has remained intact since 1967 -- it has gone through numerous incarnations. The most famous was the lineup that ruled the charts with 17 top-40 hits from 1975 to '87, which included Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.

It was this configuration that has reunited for a two-month tour, a decade after an acrimonious break-up when Buckingham walked out on the band before a national tour. ``I know I'm a different man than I was then,'' Buckingham said, as if to explain that no, it wasn't just the promise of a big payday that lured him back into the fold. And Christine McVie offered a bright new song that could be interpreted as the band's current state-of-the-union anthem: ``The sea that divides us is a temporary one/And the bridge will bring us back together.''

Whatever merchandising opportunities motivated the rebuilding of that bridge, it was difficult not to admire its design: three distinctive voices supported by a remarkable rhythm section delivering pop songs that, if anything, have grown richer in meaning. From the rueful, apocalyptic opening, ``The Chain,'' the set sounded like a running commentary on opportunities lost and regained, with former lovers and collaborators Buckingham and Nicks playing the lead roles.

Their microphones set up several feet apart, the two singers stood facing in opposite directions for a half-dozen songs, but were drawn inexorably together for a devastating acoustic duet on her tale of regret, ``Landslide.'' Even more potent was ``Silver Springs' '-- in which a spurned lover vows to haunt her intended to the grave -- with Buckingham echoing Nicks' lead vocal until they stood head to head.

Nicks, spinning in shawls that hung from her arms like Gothic drapery, remained the band's quasi-mystical visual focus, offset by Christine McVie's dusky dignity and Buckingham's blue-flame intensity, particularly on a solo acoustic ``Big Love.'' His finger-picking solos on ``I'm So Afraid'' and ``Go Your Own Way'' were etched by a guitarist who, even at this late date, played like his band's towering songbook deserved every ounce of his conviction.

Thanks to CLMoon for the submission to the newsgroup.


Date: 1997-11-21         Number of views: 1403

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