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Rocky Mountain News (07/12/2004), Fleetwood Mac relaxed, playful at show < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Rocky Mountain News (07/12/2004), Fleetwood Mac relaxed, playful at show

Rocky Mountain News, July 12, 2004

Fleetwood Mac relaxed, playful at show
Buckingham's guitar leads bandmates in 'dignified goodbye'
by Mark Brown

It's fair to say that Lindsey Buckingham is one of the most underrated guitarists in rock. Perhaps it's because of Fleetwood Mac's image as a soft-ballad '70s band, plus the fact that anytime Buckingham did anything that broke the mold, critics merely wrote it off as "quirky."

The reality is that whether it's raging hard-rock guitar solos (on the Mac classic I'm So Afraid or the new Come) or delicate finger-picking (Landslide or the revamped acoustic version of Big Love), Buckingham has an unmistakable style and a range that is so mind-boggling that you actually have to see it happen in front of you to realize how immensely talented he is.

That's what fans got Sunday night at the second Denver-area Fleetwood Mac appearance in nine months. While the show had most of the same songs as last year's Pepsi Center gig, the band and fans both found new enthusiasm to last through the night.

Not to drive the point into the ground, but every highlight of the show - from big hits like Dreams to an overlooked album track like I Know I'm Not Wrong - hinged on Buckingham's work. Landslide is a particular delicacy this tour; it's singer Stevie Nicks' song, but Buckingham's signature finger-picking guitar work is the perfect complement to her vocals.

To watch him continue that finger-picking melody while simultaneously picking out the guitar solo - on just one guitar, just six strings - moves him into the realm of guitar geniuses like Richard Thompson.

Sunday's show was much like last time's - heavy on big hits from Rumours, Tusk and Fleetwood Mac - with a few key substitutions. Bringing Nicks' rich Tusk ballad Sara back into the fold was a long-overdue no-brainer. But the sluggish parts - Rhiannon in particular - remained sluggish.

The band also tweaked the classics. Dreams was missing drummer Mick Fleetwood's dramatic cymbal crashes; Never Going Back Again was again delivered in the revamped "brushes" version, first released on the Rumours DVD-Audio disc a couple of years back.

But the differences were mainly in attitude. On a perfect summer night with cleaner sound than they can get indoors, the band was relaxed and playful (Nicks gave herself a "Good save!" thumbs-up when she caught her bead-and-ribbon laden microphone stand just before the weight of those baubles brought it to the ground). If it's the last tour for a while, as Buckingham says, it's a dignified goodbye.

Date: 2004-07-12         Number of views: 1626

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