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Posted: September 29, 1997

 

 

 

Fleetwood Mac Still Has Freshness For '70s Crowd

 

Loathe your Southern California '70s rock or love it, there's no denying the Fleetwood Mac reunion has far more going for it than your run-of-the-mill nostalgia tour.

That the Mac still boasts uncommon commercial clout is evident in everything from the popularity of the new live album The Dance to the highways jammed with Volvos and BMWs making their way to the sold-out Waterfront Entertainment Centre in Camden on Friday.

Of course, the convening of the lineup responsible for 1975's Fleetwood Mac, 1977's Rumours and 1979's Tusk - drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, keyboardist Christine McVie, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and vocalist Stevie Nicks - for the first time since 1987 is enough to send a generation on a sentimental journey.

But though the clean-cut crowd dotted with blonde Stevie-wannabes might have been happy to simply hear an FM hit parade, the band never settled for pandering. Staples from each of the three songwriters were heard -- Nicks' wifty ``Rhiannon,'' Christine McVie's jaunty ``You Make Loving Fun,'' Buckingham's 1992 Clinton campaign anthem, ``Don't Stop'' - but the 2 1/2-hour show mixed de rigueur fare with riskier moves.

McVie's ``Say You Love Me'' was redressed with banjo and accordion. Buckingham's solo hit ``Go Insane'' received an acoustic overhaul. None of the new songs came off as throwaways. And hardcore fans were rewarded with obscurities like Nicks' pointed ``Silver Spring'' (``You'll never get away from the woman who loves you,'' she sang, looking ex-boyfriend Buckingham in the eye) and the Beach Boys' ``Farmer's Daughter.''

McVie's warm low vocals and Nicks' raspy wail were in excellent form, and Buckingham's tightly wound presence and wiry guitar work gave the easy-listening evening a much-needed edge. (Nothing however, could save ``Tusk,'' which sounded lost without the USC marching band.)

But - besides the many costume changes employed by Sally Struthers lookalike Nicks - what gave the show a poignancy was that songs about disintegrating relationships like Nicks' ``Dreams'' and Buckingham's ``Go Your Own Way'' that were the self-obsessed band's '70s trademark were revisited with verve, as if they really meant something to the five dysfunctional friends on stage. And as a result, for one night at least, those old hits sounded fresh.