Nov 26, 2003
Review of the November 25 Fleetwood Mac concert in Birmingham, UK at the NEC Arena.
Dinosaurs rock the NEC
By Andrew Davies
Rock's longest running soap opera and many-headed rock dinosaur Fleetwood Mac rolled into the NEC last night and the packed-to-the-gunnels stadium greeted them with a rapturous reception.
The Mac came pretty close to rock’s big stadium in the sky many times in the past 40-odd years but in April a new album Say You Will hit the shelves completely out of the blue. The line that brought us Rumours was back minus vocalist and keyboard player Christine McVie but with a shed-load of great new songs.
And in a mammoth 21/2 hour show last night Fleetwood Mac mixed old favourites like Go Your Own Way and Dreams with less familiar tracks from Say You Will including Peacekeeper and What’s The World Coming To which nevertheless held their own against the classics.
Founders Mick Fleetwood on drums and bassist John McVie are now so grey of beard they wouldn’t look out of place as Lord of The Rings wizards but still managed to hold their own.
Lindsey Buckingham however, looked and sounded unexpectedly useful and every inch the ruling rock god.
A highly underrated and extremely versatile lead guitarist, Buckingham swung his act on classics like I’m So Afraid and Go Your Own Way but could mellow the pace with acoustic guitar numbers like Never Going Back Again.
There was great chemistry with fellow lead vocalist Stevie Nicks, who was also on good form with more than the required number of floaty dresses and gipsy shawls matched with that trademark voice a honeyed mix of unexpected power, vulnerability and gruffness.
Most would agree her recent songwriting has been patchy but performance-wise she’s still a force to contend with.
OK we missed Chris McVie’s catchy pop numbers and smoky soft vocals but with Buckingham and Nicks splitting the spotlight two ways now and both so obviously returned to the peak of their powers, I’m glad dinosaurs still roam the earth.