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St. Paul Pioneer Press (10/09/1997), Fleetwood Mac a class rock act < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

St. Paul Pioneer Press (10/09/1997), Fleetwood Mac a class rock act

St. Paul Pioneer Press 10-9-97

Fleetwood Mac a class rock act

By Vickie Gilmer

Fleetwood Mac was always meant to be huge -- not just huge in a popular sense, but huge in the sense that it was always meant to be an arena band.

Since its mid-'60s formation, the Mac constantly refitted and reconfigured itself, moving from the old-school blues that marked its early work, to its popular, melodic rock of the early '80s, and finally to the up-tempo pop of its latest work that shows up on the new album, ``The Dance.''

As the Mac sought to define itself, it not only ushered in a slew of players (Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Bob Welch, Billy Burnett and Bekka Bramlett have performed with the group), but the British group also latched on to two kids from California -- Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks -- and in turn the outfit ushered in an entirely new era of rock.

By the time Fleetwood Mac had finally finessed its vision, it hit a nerve with the heart and soul of America: FM radio was in its heyday but rock music also needed a good, clean infusion of new blood, as its '60s workhorses had given all they had. And it all made perfect sense: Here was a group that not only showcased two beautiful songbirds with Nicks and Christine McVie, but also had the studious, smooth chops to move between a variety of styles with grace and elan.

They could out-perform any of their peers in the studio or on stage. Better yet, they coined lyrics that tapped into a sexual mystique and an emotional plane that remained fluid and understandable -- in other words, you could sing along to it.

And though the group has never ``officially'' disbanded (McVie said she was done in '94; Buckingham left in '87 and Nicks left in '93, after releasing anumber of solo albums), Fleetwood Mac remains much the same as it always was: a powerful band that wins on its musical dexterity.

In front of a sold-out crowd at the Target Center Wednesday evening, the Mac played for more than two hours, bringing out a bevy of its chestnuts (``The Chain,'' ``Don't Stop,'' ``Dreams,'' ``Gold Dust Woman,'' ``Gypsy,'' ``Go Your Own Way'') and some of its stellar work from ``Tusk,'' including ``Not That Funny'' and ``I'm So Afraid.''

Each member ably showed what it was he or she brought to the group and how each role is integral to making the Mac the supergroup that it is. Both Nicks and McVie are talented singers, with Nicks' husky tones and petal-soft whispers affecting an intriguing and seductive style while McVie sings with a clarity on songs like ``Songbird'' and ``Oh Daddy'' that resonates with a subtle suppleness that is a fine art.

Bassist John McVie holds a steady rhythm anchor, revealing not only his blues inclinations but also his abilities in keeping everything neatly pinned down and in line. Drummer Mick Fleetwood is a top-notch master of time and rhythm, keeping his method clean and sharp yet also pouring in a bit of his own soul.

With an extended solo closing out ``Not That Funny,'' Fleetwood moved about the stage with his body loaded with triggers, hitting them in time as percussionist Lenny Castro fueled the groove. Fleetwood revealed his predilection for breaking up the routine, something that has obviously served the group well throughout its career.

But without Lindsay Buckingham, Fleetwood Mac would not be where it is today. One of the best pop guitarists alive, Buckingham's dense, well-conceived and well-executed songs reveal a mastery that would make any picker's mouth water. With one of the cleanest styles around, Buckingham's solo deservedly garnered him standing ovations from the crowd.

While each of the members of Mac is an individualist who possesses a mountain of talent and style, what was most apparent at the end of the evening was that without each of them working together, creating their unique synergy, the Mac would not be able to carry on as it has all these years.

Thanks to CL Moon for posting this to the newsgroup.

Date: 1997-10-09         Number of views: 1329

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