Nov 20, 2003
This is a review of the Fleetwood Mac concert on Nov 20 in Dublin Ireland.
Thursday November 20, 2003
If anyone ever makes a film about Fleetwood Mac it could be dismissed on the grounds of implausibility. Formed in the 1967 British blues boom by Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, they lost two guitarists to mental institutions and another to a religious cult. When the band regrouped around Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, they endured all sorts of destructive in-band relationships, took world record quantities of drugs and somehow made 1977's Rumours, the second biggest selling album ever made.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the Rumours line-up are touring for the first time since 1988, minus Christine McVie, who is preferring retirement to touring with her ex-husband.
Quite where the Mac fit in in the days of Britney and Christina is anyone's guess, but they've always been a law unto themselves.
Their curious edge lies in the emotional turbulence of these songs. Even now, the chemistry between former lovers Buckingham and Nicks almost visibly causes fur to fly, while madcap drummer Mick Fleetwood (another of Nick's exes) is too busy perfecting a gurning Albert Steptoe impression to bat even an eyelid.
Rumours forms the axis around which this extravaganza revolves, although new songs, especially Say You Will, hold their own with showstoppers like Landslide and Tusk. Fleetwood and McVie could be the most underrated rhythm section in rock history. However, the key to Fleetwood Mac's endurance lies in the untamed spirit of Stevie Nicks. Now 56, recovered from cocaine and tranquilliser addiction, she's slimmer and still ethereally beautiful in that ever so slightly damaged way, meaning lines like "Back to the gypsy that I was" arrive loaded with significance.
When she dedicates Beautiful Child to her father, there isn't a dry eye in the house. Nobody could punish themselves as much as Fleetwood Mac without suffering. However, there are moments - the spine-tingling rapture that greets an immortal Rhiannon, an absolutely mesmeric Dreams - where this feels like a once in a lifetime event.