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Chicago Suntimes (11/21/1997), Fleetwood Mac fails to connect < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Chicago Suntimes (11/21/1997), Fleetwood Mac fails to connect
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Chicago Sun-Times 11-21-97

Fleetwood Mac fails to connect

BY BOB KURSON

Fleetwood Mac made it hard on crusty rock critics this summer.

By releasing that rarest of birds -- an energized, interesting reunion album -- the band confounded those elitists who love to whine that if you made good music in the '70s, you should stay dead today.

It aches to say so, but maybe those critics know something we optimists don't. Thursday night's sold-out show at the Rosemont Horizon showered fans with the requisite greatest hits, solid musicianship and seductive tosses of blond hair. But the subtlety in voicing and dynamics that has always distinguished Fleetwood Mac was in rare supply Thursday, replaced by the rumblings of a hurried outfit that sounds ready to wrap up a three-month, 40-city tour.

Led by the throbbing bass beat of powerhouse drummer Mick Fleetwood, the band opened with ``The Chain,'' one of several classics it would sample from the 1977 mega-album, ``Rumours.'' Eyes gleaming and bearded face bobbing, Fleetwood is half Harley roughneck, half gentleman pirate, a monster of a drummer whose constant, surprise-filled smile masks the cauldrons of energy he calls upon to work his kit.

But it is the whirling, siren sexuality of singer Stevie Nicks that envelops every eye. Her blond tresses still look a thousand times brushed and flow seamlessly into the gold shawls she twirls between lyrics. She is femininity embodied, one of rock's enduring sex symbols, but Thursday her voice failed to match her bangled aura. Nicks' pitch was slightly but consistently flat, her instincts conservative in all the wrong places. On ``Dreams,'' she became lazy in interpretation, opting to take the throaty low road when the song's tension begged for her muscular upper register.

Lindsey Buckingham again proved himself an innovative guitarist, but his singing was often overdramatic and histrionic. Keyboardist Christine McVie sang in workmanlike fashion but she, like Nicks, never really reached. Through a set of classics, the crowd thrilled to familiarity, not to the band's interpretation. You might have expected just this kind of set from one of those comeback bands in it for the money. But Fleetwood Mac's recent album and television special were much better and truer than that. Thursday night should have been, too.

Thanks to CLMoon for the submission to the newsgroup.


Date: 1997-11-21         Number of views: 1340

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