Home » CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac brings landslide of hits to Rexall

CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac brings landslide of hits to Rexall

 

By Sandra Sperounes / Edmonton Journal
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review: Fleetwood Mac

When: Wednesday night

Where: Rexall Place

EDMONTON – Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies about Fleetwood Mac’s sold-out show at Edmonton’s soon-to-be-secondary hockey arena.

OK … how ’bout the foursome’s rendition of “Little Lies” felt like the sonic equivalent of hugging a pack of angels?

It didn’t, of course, because Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie didn’t play the tune during Wednesday night’s concert. (Christine McVie sings lead on the 1987 hit — and she no longer tours with the band, preferring to hang out at home in England.)

Truth be told, Little Lies aren’t necessary — in their set list or about Fleetwood Mac’s show. The rockers, fronted by ex-lovers and hand-holders Buckingham and Nicks, took fans on an enchanting stroll through the ’70s and ’80s — filled with chimes, visuals of suns, stars and exploding glitter, and songs about love, poets, and gypsies.

The foursome, with at least four backup musicians, started their 2-1/2-hour set with a triple whammy of tunes from one of the biggest albums of the ’70s, Rumours — “Second Hand News,” “The Chain” and “Dreams.” These were soon followed by four songs from Fleetwood Mac’s difficult followup album, Tusk, which Buckingham described as their attempt to subvert the axiom of “If it works, run it into ground and move on” — using more words than he usually does in one of Saturday Night Live’s ongoing gags.

“Not That Funny” felt like a reworked Sex Pistols tune backed by a piano. The title track lurched like a drunk and giddy parade of elephants, complete with invisible horns. (You couldn’t see them, but they sounded real — so perhaps their players were hidden behind a wall of speakers, much like the band’s second drummer.) Then came two of Nicks’s bewitching numbers, “Sisters of the Moon” and “Sara,” which she sang as she gently swayed, playing with the layers of her black skirt or the ribbons dangling from her microphone stand.

Buckingham and his bandmates managed to squeeze in two new songs, “Sad Angel” and “Without You,” from Fleetwood Mac’s four-song EP, Extended Play, released with little fanfare on iTunes at the end of April. (And, most likely, the precursor to more material, according to the tanned frontman.)

“Sad Angel” was one of the night’s fastest and most straightforward rock tunes, while “Without You,” a lost song from the ’70s, featured Nicks and Buckingham singing about their first experiences in Los Angeles. Neither are examples of their best work as tunesmiths, but at least they didn’t sound out of place in the set list.

While Nicks can’t quite hit the high and sighing notes, her remaining range still sounds powerful, deftly cutting through the cacophony of her bandmates. If she sounded a wee bit dodgy on “Dreams,” she more than made up for it on “Landslide,” as Buckingham stood at her side, playing acoustic guitar. Cue the flood of tears, goosebumps, Bic lighters and a spontaneous choir of baby-boomers, their not-so-young children and a few grandkids.

Buckingham was the real star of the night. His voice is still supple — whooping on “Tusk,” spitting with punk rage on “Not That Funny,” screeching on “Big Love” — and he plays guitar like no one else. His fingers rippled like a waterfall over the strings of his acoustic guitar as he played a more delicate version of “Big Love,” “Landslide” and “Never Going Back Again.” So effortless, so understated, so humble.

May Fleetwood Mac come back … again and again. Next time, they’ll need to bring a unicorn (or winged horse) — and Christine.

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Twitter.com/Sperounes

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