MancesterOnline (12/04/2003), Fleetwood Mac @ MEN Arena
ManchesterOnline, December 4, 2003
Fleetwood Mac @ MEN Arena (4 out of 5 stars)
by Paul Taylor
AS Lindsey Buckingham played his guitar solo on Say You Will - a new Fleetwood Mac song pretty much like the old ones - Stevie Nicks sidled over and rested her forehead against his, nose-to-nose.
When Buckingham picked at his acoustic guitar during Landslide, Nicks stood behind her old lover and hugged his shoulders.
And to the thundering soundtrack of Tusk, the pair squared up to each other like cartoon boxers, then fell into each other's arms and danced in the old-fashioned way - a neat metaphor for the last 25 years of their lives.
If Fleetwood Mac's pinnacle - the Rumours album of 1977 - was about break-ups and love gone wrong, today's incarnation (the Rumours line-up minus Christine McVie) is about friendship and looking back without anger.
While at least one other huge band of their era continues to tour, reaping the nostalgia buck while loathing the very sight of each other, the fiftysomethings of Fleetwood Mac seem to be genuinely enjoying the music and the company.
They are a rum bunch, to be sure. British blues boom survivors, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, grizzled and waistcoated, look like Chas `n' Dave's rhythm section.
Nicks swans around stolidly in Hebden Bridge chic - clompy shoes and black, witchy dress - while Buckingham looks outrageously slim and youthful, playing with a hunger astonishing for one with so little to prove, chucking his guitar down like a young Pete Townshend after a couple of solos during which he seemed positively possessed.
Last night's marathon set - the best part of two-and-a-half hours - reminded us all just how great Fleetwood Mac can be, and how intrinsic Buckingham is to the formula.
Nicks' tragedy-drenched voice sent shivers down our spine on the likes of Rhiannon, Dreams and Gypsy.
But the highlights were Buckingham singing Big Love to a guitar-picking accompaniment which seemed to require 27 fingers, and the interplay between his guitar, his voice and Nicks' on Say Goodbye.
Fleetwood Mac do it once more for old time's sake tonight. Bizarrely, a band which looked to be flogging a dead horse in 1988 seems utterly revitalised in 2003.
2003-12-04 Number of views: