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Dallas Morning News (06/17/2004), Fleetwood Mac quenches thirst for classics, adds new tunes < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Dallas Morning News (06/17/2004), Fleetwood Mac quenches thirst for classics, adds new tunes

Dallas Morning News, June 17, 2004

Fleetwood Mac quenches thirst for classics, adds new tunes
by Thor Christensen

One of the stranger moments in Wednesday night's Fleetwood Mac show at Smirnoff Music Centre came during "Sara." As the band sang the old tune, the video screens flickered 1970s concert footage of the group in its thinner, hairier and more photogenic days.

The unspoken message: We may be older, but we sound exactly the same as we did way back then. And that was good enough for the crowd of 12,000 or so – some of whom paid $120 a seat to hear the classic-rock heroes sounding, well, classic.

To Fleetwood Mac's credit, the 2 ½-hour show wasn't just a nostalgia trip. Still touring behind 2003's Say You Will, the band peppered its set with a half-dozen new songs – like Lindsey Buckingham's timely "Peacekeeper," and "Red Rover," an intriguing rock song built on a fragment of a nursery rhyme.

But the Big Mac focused on back catalog – playing two-thirds of Rumours and dusting off a few obscure gems such as the new-wavey "I Know I'm Not Wrong" from Tusk. Not all of the old tunes have aged so well: With Christine McVie no longer in the band, the group pulled out some of Stevie Nicks' lesser tunes, like "Beautiful Child" and "Stand Back," a synth-heavy dance tune that sounds hopelessly dated.

But at least Ms. Nicks was, for the most part, in decent voice. While she had trouble hitting the high notes in "Say You Will" – her two backup singers did the heavy lifting – she was pitch-perfect in "Dreams," "Gold Dust Woman" and, of course, "Landslide."

Mr. Buckingham's tortured tenor was in fine shape as well. Crowing like a deranged bird in "Big Love" and howling at the moon in "Tusk," he conveyed angst and paranoia better than a half-dozen grunge singers combined.

But, alas, his guitar work was hit and miss. He did some brilliant picking on acoustic guitar – especially on "Never Going Back Again" – but his big electric jam in "I'm So Afraid" was all clichιs and redundancies: Bright white lights got the crowd all riled up, but the solo was pure Hard Rock 101.

Some of the show's best moments came when he and his former lover, Ms. Nicks, merged their voices and showed off their playful side – the two slow-danced in "Tusk," and in "Landslide," Ms. Nicks played drums on his shoulders as he soloed. Their nasty breakup was the fuel behind Rumours, but 30 years later, the wounds are obviously healed.

Date: 2004-06-17         Number of views: 1774

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