[The Nicks Fix]

New York Post
Oct 2, 2003

The following is a review of the September 30th Fleetwood Mac concert in New York City at Madison Square Gardens.



October 2, 2003 -- DYING pretty isn't in the cards for Fleetwood Mac, among the most ancient geezer-driven bands in rock 'n' roll, but at Madison Square Garden Tuesday, all you had to do was close your eyes and open your ears to hear how the quartet has defied time musically. With no opening act, the Mac attack was a solid, hit-packed, 21/2-hour performance that avoided turning into a tired oldies show.

The program wasn't a true career-spanning retrospective, since the group didn't dip all the way back to its early '60s blues roots.

Instead, the performance celebrated the outfit from the time English rhythm kings John McVie and Mick Fleetwood recruited California melody makers Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

While most everyone has a favorite old Mac song, some of the most powerful moments of the early concert happened, surprisingly, when the band worked new songs like "Peacekeeper," the title tune to its recent "Say You Will" record.

"Peacekeeper," which featured nice vocal jousting between Nicks and Buckingham, set the dynamic for much of what followed. As if singing were a race between equally gifted runners, Buckingham and Nicks would move in and out of the lead vocal position, finally finishing the song together at the line.

At first, in her low cigarettes 'n' whiskey register, Nicks was a little croaky, especially during her signature song, "Rhiannon." As the show unwound, the workout of the concert was all the oil Nicks' pipes needed to eventually find the flow.

Buckingham was razor-sharp from the start - both vocally and in his guitar work. He's an underrated axman, never mentioned when people tally up the guitar greats of rock.

At this show, his fleet, finger-pick style made tunes such as "Landslide" showstoppers. In fact, after hearing his near-acoustic treatment of "Landslide" at this gig, the Dixie Chicks' popular bluegrass cover now seems much less inventive.

There was no question where the merry oldsters of the beat were best. Fleetwood and McVie found their groove on "Tusk" and "World Turning."

The "Tusk" stomp-a-thon was made even more notable by a little canned brass, courtesy of the University of Southern California Trojans and a dandy kaleidoscopic video of that marching band projected on a sloping screen.

Some bands get quieter as they get older, but even after all these years, Fleetwood Mac is still able to crank the volume and deliver a credible concert, even in a hall as large as the Garden.

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