The Seattle Post Intelligencer
July 28, 2003
The following is a review of the July 26 Fleetwood Mac concert in the White River Amphitheater in Seattle.
Weekend Music: Fleetwood Mac relives '70s, and then goes its own way
By GENE STOUT
Though longtime singer-pianist Christine McVie has retired to her castle in England, the surviving members of Fleetwood Mac are still performing with the energy and mystique that made them stars in the 1970s.
Singer Stevie Nicks still enchants concertgoers with her haunting, slightly raspy vocals and bewitching beauty. Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham plays guitar so well that it's a wonder he isn't more widely acknowledged for his talents. And drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie -- the band's founders -- continue to anchor the group's powerful sound.
Performing Saturday at the White River Amphitheatre, Fleetwood Mac also demonstrated its ability to bring out the kid in many middle-aged fans. Concertgoers who have followed the group since its heyday cheered, clapped and sang along to hit songs that are now classics, some getting loose on the juice that flowed from the venue's beer taps. The crowd also enjoyed flawless summer weather and the clearest views of nearby Mount Rainier since the new amphitheater opened in June.
Backed by two additional guitarists, an organist, two percussionists and two background singers, the foursome opened with "The Chain," a booming rocker that set the tone for the two-hour-plus concert. Another old favorite, "Dreams," preceded the first new song of the night, "Peacekeeper," which contained the line, "Everyone will suffer the fire we've made."
Buckingham introduced the song with a story about joining the band, along with former romantic partner Nicks, in the mid-'70s. The crowd cheered when he said, "It's been a pretty strange trip. We are still here."
Nicks, who wore a long, flowing gown, traded vocals throughout the show with Buckingham, but kept her whirling dance moves to a minimum. Together, they sang the title song of the new album, "Say You Will." But it was a pair of classics, the haunting "Rhiannon" and "Gypsy," that brought the crowd to its feet.
As the sunshine began to wane, the two giant video screens flanking the stage flickered on, showing close-ups of band members. Light panels above the stage provided additional illumination.
Nicks dedicated the classic "Landslide," also a recent hit for the Dixie Chicks, to local fans as well a favorite uncle ("The love of my life," she said) living in the Seattle area. The lyrics "I'm getting older, too," brought cheers from the crowd, which ranged from teens to middle-aged fans.
Another new song, the soft, melodic "Say Goodbye," drew a mixed response from concertgoers. More rousing was "What's the World Coming To," also from "Say You Will."
From "Tusk," Nicks sang the 1979 tune "Beautiful Child," a song she has been performing on tour for the first time this year. Nicks' vocals were strong from the start of the concert and only got better through the night.
"Gold Dust Woman," another crowd pleaser, featured Nicks in a gold-speckled shawl.
"Silver Springs" preceded a winning, house-rocking version of "Tusk" that featured Fleetwood's thundering drums, as well as videos of a marching band on the screens. Concertgoers went berserk for the closing song of the main set, "Go Your Own Way," during which Buckingham played guitar at the edge of the stage and engaged in his most theatrical playing of the evening.
After the band left the stage, concertgoers in the reserved sections paddled the backs of their plastic seats in anticipation of the first encore.
The band quickly returned for "World Turning," featuring a flamboyant drum solo by Fleetwood, who showed fans his wild-eyed comic side and played drums by remote control by slapping at electronic activators on his vest.
The show concluded shortly before 11 p.m. with a rousing "Don't Stop," followed by a final encore of the tender new song "Goodbye Baby."