Birmingham News (Alabama) Say You Will Concert Review
HEADLINE: SOME FLEETWOOD MAGIC MISSING
BYLINE: MARY COLURSO News staff writer
Christine McVie, you were missed Thursday night at Birmingham's BJCC Arena.
Fleetwood Mac just isn't the same without you, even though four-fifths of the band is touring in your absence, filling the void with two backup singers and a five-member group of sidemen.
If the 8:20 p.m. show here is any indication, the reunited Fleetwood Mac - that 1970s pop-rock powerhouse - seems more like a reconstruction of Buckingham Nicks, and a lukewarm alliance it is.
Oh, the famed Fleetwood Mac elements were more or less in place at the BJCC, including the founding rhythm section, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood.
Most of the hits were played, it's true, and greeted with big, big love from the nostalgia-smitten audience.
The set list included lots of songs from the blockbuster albums "Fleetwood Mac" and "Rumours," with "Rhiannon," "Landslide," "Go Your Own Way," "The Chain," "Second Hand News" and "Gold Dust Woman" among them.
Stevie Nicks' voice sounded throaty and strong; Lindsey Buckingham bristled with nervous energy and displayed impressive guitar skills.
The band performed for two hours, plus encores, and its technical crew coped well enough with the lousy BJCC acoustics.
But some essential magic was missing from Mac.
McVie's absence meant the band couldn't perform "Over My Head," "Say You Love Me," "You Make Loving Fun," or other tunes featuring her crystalline lead vocals.
With the exception of Buckingham, the principals gave off a vibe that was sedately professional, not jazzed or intensely engaged.
The handful of new songs on the agenda? "Peacekeeper," "Say You Will" and "What's the World Coming To" are nicely crafted, but can't compare to Fleetwood's finest.
Buckingham, while refreshingly plugged in, tended to grandstand too much and clearly would prefer to be a solo artist.
Nicks kept fairly still on stage, except to perform a few of her trademark twirls with various shawls, beads and ribbons. Unfortunately, those "witchy woman" moves seemed quite dated.
One happy moment: Nicks displayed real warmth when she thanked Birmingham for packing a crucial show in 1975 that allowed Buckingham Nicks, on the verge of joining Fleetwood Mac, a glimpse of what its future stardom might be like.
But some stars lose their wattage, no matter how fondly we remember the past glories.
** 1/2 FLEETWOOD MAC BJCC Arena Thursday night
2003-06-07 Number of views: