[The Nicks Fix]

Daily Telegraph
Nov 21, 2003
This is a review of the Fleetwood Mac concert on Nov 20 in Dublin, Ireland.

Addicted to rock and roll

Lynsey Hanley reviews Fleetwood Mac at The Point, Dublin

If divorces, squabbles, cocaine addiction and power struggles are the stuff on which bands thrive, it's no wonder that Fleetwood Mac arrived on stage looking healthier and more unified than ever.

Having survived nearly 30 years of the above, the overwhelming theme of the show was reconciliation, augmented by regular group hugs and, lest things got too happy-clappy, lashings of brilliantly performed rock and roll.

Yes, rock and roll. It's not a phrase normally associated with Fleetwood Mac, a band who, with their 25-million-selling classic LP Rumours (1977) and its follow-up Tusk (1979), invented then redefined the underrated genre of adult-orientated rock. Even from the days of their instrumental hit Albatross, before Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were joined by McVie's wife Christine and Los Angeles-based Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, theirs was a name associated with tasteful musicianship and a florid, faintly mystical approach to songwriting.

But, with a reinvigorated, ridiculously youthful-looking Buckingham standing at the mic in tight jeans and legs wide apart in the patented rock monster pose, they raised the roof from the moment McVie turned his bass up to distortion level for his legendary solo (for years the theme to BBC TV's Grand Prix coverage) on The Chain.

He and Fleetwood - who did his best to prove that he was the inspiration for crazed drummer Animal in The Muppet Show - kept things tight at the back, while Buckingham hammered at his guitar, repeatedly threatening to smash it on the floor as though convinced he'd joined the Who.

Stevie Nicks, resplendent in a succession of black shawls, floaty dresses and crepe soles, was the keeper of the melodic Fleetwood Mac flame. Her strength and voice have returned after the dark days of drug addiction, which she proved on an astounding Dreams and Rhiannon, her tribute to the wispy, wild female spirits with whom she so identifies. She and Buckingham harmonised with what seemed like telepathic precision, performing Landslide and tracks from their newest album, Say You Will, with only his acoustic guitar for accompaniment.

After nearly two-and-a-half hours of spellbinding music, performed with genuine glee and passion by four people who've been to hell and back with - and for - each other, Fleetwood, a big, friendly giant in red pixie shoes and a waistcoat containing hidden drum-pads, led the ecstatic crowd into a Pied Piper chant that led into their irrepressible hymn to positivity, Don't Stop.

Let's hope they never do.

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