[The Nicks Fix]

Miami Herald
June 9, 2003
Review of the June 7th Fleetwood Mac concert in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at the Office Depot Center.

Fleetwood Mac: They're older and better

BY HOWARD COHEN
hcohen@herald.com

Many moons ago, Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks gave the group the hit, Seven Wonders.

The reinvigorated singer-songwriter may want to update that one. The eighth wonder could be the mere fact that after all the drugs, the sex, the affairs and the public's shifting tastes, Fleetwood Mac is not only still around and capable of filling a large arena like Sunrise's Office Depot Center without its most reliable hit-maker (Christine McVie, who opted for retirement) but that Fleetwood Mac is a better, brawnier, more creative band today than it was when the world turned to Rumours 26-years ago.

Minus McVie's optimistic pop songs, the focus of Saturday night's intense, 2 -hour concert, shifted to the most enticing plotline in the Fleetwood Mac soap opera -- the still passionate relationship between ex-lovers Nicks, 54, and Lindsey Buckingham, 55.

ANGER LEFT

The two may have ended their romance at the time of America's Bicentennial -- Buckingham is a married father of two now -- but there was plenty of anger left in an aggressive Second Hand News in which the pair stared each other down, tearing into the old lyrics with newfound vigor.

But when Buckingham sang his new ode to forgiveness, Say Goodbye (''I let you slip away / There was nothing I could do / That was so long ago / Still I often think of you''), some hearts melted. ``They are still in love!'' a woman on the floor observed.

Fun, but Fleetwood Mac wouldn't resonate nearly so well if the musical chops weren't there. Sure, Nicks twirls less, Rhiannon is tamer now, and her voice has deepened, losing its top range. But her showcases -- Gold Dust Woman and, especially, Stand Back -- were fresh and rocked hard. Nicks also sounded strong on the sorrowful Beautiful Child, a sublime 1979 Tusk track the band had never offered live until this tour.

STANDING OVATIONS

However, Buckingham won -- and deserved -- most of the evening's standing ovations for his distinctive electric guitar playing (using no pick) on scorching songs like the metallic Come, I'm So Afraid and Go Your Own Way. He was matched by the powerful rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood, 55, and John McVie, 57, for a massive Tusk.

The band, which was augmented by additional musicians, performed one Christine McVie tune, Don't Stop. The shuffle's familiar ''Yesterday's gone'' refrain suggested that, far from coasting on nostalgia (Eagles, anyone?), Fleetwood Mac looks ahead, proving there's life left in this act.


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