Soundstage Dance Review, Hollywood Reporter
HEADLINE: Fleetwood Mac
Warner Bros. sound stage
Friday, May 23
BYLINE: Darryl Morden
"Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow/Don't stop/It'll soon be here."
Tomorrow is here and the Big Mac is back, their classic California pop-rock sounding fresh again.
Though Fleetwood Mac has undergone several permutations since its formation as a British blues band in the late 1960s, the group's most successful lineup came in 1975 when the romantic duo of singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks joined singer-keyboardist Christine McVie, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood.
Two years later, following a romantic debacle involving the band's two couples, the group recorded "Rumours," one of the biggest-selling albums in history at 18 million-plus.
By the mid-1980s, both Buckingham and Nicks had left for solo careers. Mac continued, though never as commercially gigantic or artistically rich. Now with the 20th anniversary of "Rumours," the band's most popular incarnation reunited for the taping Thursday and Friday of two concerts for an MTV special to be aired this summer.
Friday's show brought out Cindy Crawford and Courtney Love, among others in the audience, as the group performed a near-flawless set, all three lead voices sounding full and blending with the harmonic magic of the past, albeit assisted by a couple of female backup singers.
Nicks especially looked delighted to be up there conjuring once again, swathed in wispy black. Buckingham was the most chatty between songs, sharing his feelings like an 1980s EST seminar, Christine McVie was the voice of perfect pop reason and melody, while the rhythm team was unerring, McVie anchoring with his bass, Fleetwood ever the bug-eyed loon with a beat.
Seven of the night's songs were drawn from "Rumours," along with a scattering of songs from other albums and new material. Set highlights included a bouncy, unplugged style version of "Say You'll Love," a bright, hit-worthy new McVie number, "Temporary One," and the great lost B-side from the "Go Your Own Way" single, "Silver Springs," in which tension alternated with the smiles and knowing glances shared by Nicks and Buckingham.
In a grander than grand finale, the USC Marching Band swarmed the stage like an army of ants, joining in for "Tusk," and "Don't Stop," the anthem of positive thinking adopted by President Clinton during his first election bid in 1992. McVie returned to her keyboard, solo, for the plaintive "Songbird," followed by a few retakes for technical reasons.
As a concert, there was a sense of wistful nostalgia for some and perhaps discovery for the younger folk in the audience, toddlers during Fleetwood Mac's heyday two decades back. On TV it should play out with the same celebratory welcome.
LOAD-DATE: May 27, 1997
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