By Howard Cohen, Knight-Ridder News Service
The Dance, Fleetwood Mac's live reunion CD, concludes with an over-the-top rendition of "Don't Stop," the 1977 hit President Clinton used as his campaign song. Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham belt the familiar lyrics in tandem. Mick Fleetwood and guest drummers pound an African-style coda as 80 members of the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band blast behind them. It's a celebration of survival, triumph and uplift. The feeling you get from this passionate Dance is Rocky beating Apollo Creed all over again.
The Dance, which also includes four new songs is not the Fleetwood Mac casual fans know from its plished studio pop songs. Live, Mac rocks with a blistering intensity and doesn't routinely perform its hits note for note as you'd expect. The arrangements are lively, fresh and vibrant. "Say You Love Me" becomes a bluegrass romp; "Rhiannon" sports theatrical pomp; "Silver Springs" boasts Stevie Nicks' emotional crescendo; "Big Love" is now a fleet fingered solo spotlight for BUckingham on acoustic guitar.
Clearly Buckingham is the musical leader of The Dance, launching guitar fireworks on an agonized "I'm So Afraid," a locomotive "Go Your Own Way," and the punishing tribal march "Tusk."
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