Home » CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac rekindles the classics in Vancouver

CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac rekindles the classics in Vancouver

Fans jumped to their feet to sing along to every song at Rogers Arena

By Stuart Derdeyn / Vancouver Sun (Postmedia News)
Sunday, May 19, 2013

A love-in. That was last night’s Fleetwood Mac concert.

From the moment Mick Fleetwood bounded onstage, dropped his giant, lanky self behind his kit and started the drum roll leading into “Second Hand News,” it was on your feet and sing along to every song at Rogers Arena. On the basis of three albums made in the seventies, the second configuration of what began as a very fine UK blues-rock group has built a timeless legacy.

The sheer number of people at the show who weren’t even born when Rumours ruled the world in 1977 but knew every word was testament to that.

The quartet of Fleetwood (65), bassist John McVie (67), eternally tanned guitarist Lindsey Buckingham (63) and Stevie Nicks (64) still bring it. Sure, it’s a shame that singer/keyboardist Christine McVie (69) is out of the lineup again but the band has plenty of material she wasn’t a key part of.

Some winning material from the recently released iTunes only EP titled, creatively, Extended Play, was thrown into the Fleetwood Mac (1975), Rumours and Tusk (1979) heavy set. “Sad Angel” is certainly the group’s best song in decades so here is hoping the future album contains more of the same.

If not, no matter.

As the fluid-voiced Buckingham, made abundantly clear, songs such as “Not That Funny” and “Tusk” have actually aged extremely well. What was panned critically at the time for failing to match the impossible-to-equal Rumours is a fine album. One that the group still wants to get a fairer shake based on Buckingham’s comments about “taking a good idea and grinding it into the ground before moving on.”

Tusk tunes such as “Sisters of the Moon” and “Sara” certainly gave Nicks, ample opportunity to show that she can still carry the body of the songs. With back up singers to clean up the high notes she can’t reach anymore and provide a tad of the warmth that was occasionally missing, the singer’s haunting way with a lyric rang true.

For his part, Buckingham proved why he has been such a critical component to the band’s success.

His fingerpicking all night was searing and hit show-stealing on his solo acoustic take of “Big Love” from Tango In the Night. It was obvious that Nicks’ tour de force “Landslide” would follow. It did and “Never Going Back Again” rounded out the strumming Buckingham/Nicks portion of the show.

“Without You,” a re-discovered tune from the duo’s pre-Mac days that is also on the new EP brought the full band back. Again, a bit of proof the old dog may have some new(er) tricks left in it.

Frankly, after hearing that heavy version of “Gold Dust Woman” it is hard to believe a Grunge era band didn’t get on the cover wagon. For the bass lines alone, the song burns.

After 20-plus tunes, nobody left last night unsatisfied. Unless, that is, you wanted to hear “Oh Well” or the “Green Manalishi” which this version of the band has probably never played. That was another time and predates the string of near perfect pop songs such as “Go Your Own Way.” But by all means go back and check out earlier ‘Mac too.

Given last night, the next album could prove well worth a listen too.

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