[The Nicks Fix]

Fleetwood Mac Kick Off Reunion With L.A. Concerts
Saturday May 24 2:23 PM EDT
By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuter) - The best-known incarnation of Fleetwood Mac has just embarked on the comeback trail by playing its first full-length concerts since 1982.

Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine and John McVie and Mick Fleetwood performed most of their classics as well as a smattering of new songs for an invited audience at a Warner Bros. studio soundstage Thursday and Friday nights. An MTV special and album will be culled from the performances before the band kicks off a U.S. tour in September.

In many ways, at Friday's taping, the group seemed to pick up from where the late 1970s left off: drummer Fleetwood wore his customary breeches with golden ping-pong balls dangling between his legs, while Nicks twirled around the stage in her multi-layered skirts and veils.

The only things that seemed to be missing were the enmity and internal drama that fueled the 1977 album "Rumours" and led to the lineup's demise several years later: Nicks ogled former boyfriend Buckingham throughout the set; Christine McVie proudly introduced ex-husband, John, before launching into "Say That You Love Me," and the lofty Fleetwood could be seen kissing Buckingham on the top of his head as they walked off the stage. The group also joined the audience in singing "Happy Birthday" to Nicks, who turns 49 on Monday.

Buckingham earned several extended standing ovations as he performed solo acoustic versions of such songs as "Big Love" and "Go Insane." He brought in two new tunes, "Bleed To Love Her" and "My Little Demon," while Christine McVie unveiled "Temporary One" and Nicks "Sweet Girl."

The climax of the 22-song set list was a version of the 1979 song "Tusk," for which the entire University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band trooped onto the stage to reprise its performance on the single. The band also accompanied Fleetwood Mac on "Don't Stop."

Guests in Friday's audiences included model Cindy Crawford, actress Winona Ryder, Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum and singers Meredith Brooks and Courtney Love, who was accompanied by her boyfriend, actor Edward Norton. "It was very punk," Love told Reuters afterwards.

Backstage, Buckingham said the reunion took place on April 1 after much negotiation involving the musicians, their managers, attorneys and Warner Bros. Records. The catalyst was his work on a long-in-progress solo album for which he brought in John McVie and Fleetwood. One thing led to another, and the five found themselves contemplating the inevitable.

The band is scheduled to play 40 dates in the U.S., and Buckingham said it could easily turn into a world tour - a prospect that leaves him with mixed emotions, since he would like to return to work on his solo album.

"Once this thing is over though, it probably won't happen again," he told Reuters. "I don't think this is going to lead to, say, us going into a studio and making a studio album."

However Fleetwood, in a separate interview said the band "absolutely" had the potential to "go forward" into new areas: "It feels very alive to me; the band is way connected musically and spiritually that we can go and do whatever we want to do, and that's our prerogative. A celebration."

Thanks to Ann Sissom for notifying The Nicks Fix of this article.
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