Sioux City Journal (07/14/2004), Fleetwood Mac hasn't lost its beat
Sioux City Journal (Online Edition), July 14, 2004
Fleetwood Mac hasn't lost its beat
by Jesse Claeys
Christine McVie who?
Sad to say, but McVie, one of the five "classic" members of Fleetwood Mac, was not missed when the band played Tuesday night at the Tyson Events Center.
Why? Well, for starters, the band still has front-man Lindsay Buckingham.
Buckingham blew away the band's image as soft-ballad '70s rockers whenever possible, hammering on a red electric guitar with his unique finger-picking style. At one point he was so exhausted at the end of a solo he hurled his guitar off stage and bent over in exhaustion, white collared shirt wet with sweat and unbuttoned to the lower chest.
But Buckingham could also drop a delicate note when necessary, most notably during "Landslide," when he was joined by the blond-haired, black-clothed Stevie Nicks, making the former lovers the only ones on stage.
Yes, Nicks was in the building. Rumors of Nicks not playing the Sioux City gig swirled prior to the performance, but when the band hit the stage to the opening notes of "The Chain," everyone knew the mic stand decorated with scarves, beads, and a cluster of flowers was meant for one person only.
Nicks voice has remained impressively strong over the years. Although some of the higher notes now elude her, Nicks needn't be worried with that, after all, she can get a Sioux City crowd to clap for her by just twirling in a circle a few times.
Fleetwood Mac is a band whose history is the stuff of great soap operas. Nicks, who has had relationships with Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood, made the events center crowd wonder if she was possibly reunited with Buckingham, especially during a hand holding session during "The Chain" and a couple of hugs and pecks the duo exchanged here and there.
The band's performance was nicely balanced. Slower ballads like "Rhiannon" and "Sara" were mixed with more energetic tunes like "Stand Back" and "Go Your Own Way."
At one point the stage supported 11 musicians, as the four members of the Rumors-era band were supported by a backing band that included two other drummers and two back-up singers, making it hard to figure out who was making what sound.
The musicians rotated on and off stage, a musical chairs if you will, keeping the show lively and varied. A high point was when Buckingham stood alone at center stage and ripped through an almost sorrowful acoustic "Big Love."
"As most of you know it's been a long strange trip for the four of us," Buckingham said to the nearly packed events center, "but the point is we are here."
Yes they were, and not just going through the motions, but delivering an energetic and intriguing performance of a band half their age.
Two musicians who did act their age for the majority of the performance where John McVie and Fleetwood. McVie didn't dazzle much, and it seemed Fleetwood was going to leave town without any type of drum solo, but that changed when encore time came around.
Starting at his kit, alone on stage, Fleetwood ripped into a 10-minute-plus solo that took him out from behind the kit, into a bongo solo, and then into a solo he played on what apparently was a electronic drum kit built into his black vest.
And by the way, Nicks changed her cloak/shawl/robe at least five times, to the delight of many a middle-aged man in attendance.