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Calgary Herald (07/08/2004), The Mac is back: '70s classic rock band brings down the Dome < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Calgary Herald (07/08/2004), The Mac is back: '70s classic rock band brings down the Dome

Calgary Herald, July 8, 2004

The Mac is back: '70s classic rock band brings down the Dome
by Heath McCoy

Fleetwood Mac performed a sold out show Wednesday at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Attendance 14,000

Tall, gangly and wild-eyed, looking quite like a crazy pirate, 56-year-old drummer Mick Fleetwood stepped onstage first, kicking into the opening groove of The Chain.

He was followed closely by Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Stevie Nicks, whom, as per her image, seemed incredibly gypsy-like with her long blond locks and darkly flowing dress. Even her tambourine was adorned with colourful tassels.

Their take on the classic Fleetwood Mac song was sufficiently hot. Then McVie's rumbling bass line crept to the forefront for the tune's climax and things really began to smolder.

Don't write Fleetwood Mac off as a tired baby boomer band just yet.

That was clear after Wednesday night's gig at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Yes, the band is past its phenomenal peak. Yes, the classic unit is one key member short, with Christine McVie and her pristine folk-pop contributions, choosing to pass on this tour.

But the band is alive and well. And its not limited to regurgitating the chart toppers of its past either.

Hearing Buckingham and Nicks duet on the song Peacekeeper, off Mac's latest album Say You Will, was invigorating.

That album's richly melodic title track was also pulled off wonderfully.

And when Buckingham tore into the structured rock jam, Come, he offered one of the night's most exciting moments.

Riffing wildly with style and spunk, he brought the house down. Not an easy feat with a tune that most of the crowd was, undoubtedly, unfamiliar with. Especially considering the fact that this sold out classic rock loving audience was mostly hungry for the hits.

Indeed, Buckingham stole the show, oozing energy, raw talent and inspiration throughout the gig.

He drove the band through the bluegrassy pop bounce of Second Hand News and the folky Never Going Back Again. When he tackled Big Love, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, he strummed so hard one almost expected the six string to burst into flames.

Nicks's deep, sultry voice however, ran hot and sometimes lukewarm Wednesday.

She was lackluster leading the band through pop epics like Dreams and Rhiannon, but then she'd surprise everybody with an excellent run-through of Gold Dust Woman or Landslide.

The latter in particular was beautiful. It was especially tender when Nicks stood behind Buckingham, a former flame, and rubbed his shoulders as he picked his acoustic guitar through the tune.

As for the rhythm section, Mick Fleetwood was a force to be reckoned with, his grooves charging the band all night long. And McVie, who lurked in the background, looking like he just stepped out of some high brow pub on the English countryside was rock solid.

Other highlights as of press time included Tusk with its pulsing tribal groove, and the rock radio staple Go Your Own Way, which lived up to its legend in every way. The entire band caught fire on this one, Nicks flailing her arms around like she was summoning up ancient spirits, Fleetwood hammering away like a madman; and Buckingham helping him, crashing the cymbals with his guitar in between licks.

It was an impressive spectacle full of rich, finely crafted pop. Say what you will about classic rock and the way the same songs oversaturate the airwaves every minute of every day (which is a very legitimate gripe). This was one helluva rock 'n' roll show.

Date: 2004-07-08         Number of views: 1698

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