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Patriot-News (06/14/2004), More Mature Mac Delivers < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Patriot-News (06/14/2004), More Mature Mac Delivers

Patriot-News, June 14, 2004

More mature Mac delivers
Mac's attack ages nicely
by Kira L. Schlechter

Fleetwood Mac has always been as good as the sum of its parts. But many times, those parts are overshadowed by the larger-than-life greatness of the sum.

Saturday night's show at Hersheypark Stadium was a powerful reminder that those parts still function beautifully -- and that the sum is still a force to be reckoned with.

Striding out on stage to the roar of the crowd, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie led the way. Out next was guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, then iconic singer Stevie Nicks.

Rounded out by two extra guitarists, a keyboardist, two backing singers and two other sets of drummers, they began with an elegantly fiery "Chain," then Nicks took over for "Dreams." Her heralded voice has never been better, particularly in her lower register; it's as warm and sweet as whiskey laced with honey.

The band then delved into its latest album, last year's "Say You Will," starting with the pointed, shimmering "Peacekeeper." Buckingham stayed on lead vocals for a playful "Second Hand News," then gave the reins to Nicks for the title song.

It was during that track in which the relationship between Buckingham and Nicks -- while long over in the romantic sense -- began to reassert itself. Later on, it would become intensely visible.

Buckingham did his country-flavored "Rumours" acoustic number "Never Going Back Again," cutting everything down at the end for a nearly a capella take on the last few lines. Nicks then strode regally back on stage for her signature, "Rhiannon." She held court, freely ad-libbing lyrics and playing with rhythms, punctuating the drama with her witchy "Stevie spins." She doesn't just own this song; she grabs it by the throat.

The Mac made like a punk band on Buckingham's eerie new song "Come." The lean, honed guitarist wowed with his unorthodox finger-picking style (must be murder on his fingertips), then went ballistic on his instrument by the end, slapping it fiercely, then swinging it around by its head.

Nicks returned for a haunting "Sara," masterfully building the song's intensity throughout, her voice nigh-on immaculate. Buckingham followed with a solo take on "Big Love."

Buckingham and Nicks dismissed the rest of the band for a sublime "Landslide," which she still does better than anyone. During his solo, she stepped behind him and placed her gloved hands on his shoulders, lightly tapping her fingers to the beat. The depth of their shared feelings blazed forth fully on Buckingham's wonderfully delicate "Say Goodbye" from the new album, a song about severed ties sung directly to each other. "Once you said goodbye to me," he whispered to her, "now I say goodbye to you." It was a heartbreaking moment that some in the too-noisy crowd missed.

The set's power and energy carried through to its closers, a smoking version of Nicks' solo hit "Stand Back" and a soaring "Go Your Own Way," in which Buckingham knelt down and let fans in the front row strum the strings of his guitar before standing on Fleetwood's kit and bashing on a cymbal with his hand.

The encore began with a frenzied "World Turning," highlighted by a maniacal Fleetwood drum solo. The mad jester -- eyes rolling, nonsense syllables spewing from his mouth -- played everything from his kit to a hand-held acoustic drum to his specially-equipped vest (through which he triggered computerized percussion and vocals) with equal fervor.

An upbeat "Don't Stop" followed, then Nicks sent everyone home with her melancholy song "Goodbye Baby."

Both in parts and in sum, it was a magical night. Age and maturity have only made this band better.

Date: 2004-06-14         Number of views: 1446

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