Print E-mail

Posted, by David 

Winterland
San Francisco
November 28-29, 1975

The group gave an electrifying performance Nov. 29 to a wildly cheering sellout crowd in San Francisco, a town where they have always been loved. The previous evening's performance had also gone clean.

Fleetwood Mac is a band that has suffered numerous personnel changes over the years as well as a legal battle to stop a bogus Mac from using its name, but it seems to have emerged all the stronger for it. This band, in fact, seems to actualize everything that was always potential in Fleetwood Mac; this is the Fleetwood Mac one always knew was possible.

This is due in no small part to the services of the two new members of the group, female vocalist Stevie Nicks & guitarist Lindsay [sic] Buckingham, who had worked together before joining Fleetwood.

Nicks, a newly born rock 'n' roll queen swirling in black around the stage, has a belty voice that belies her size & she provides an excellent front focus for the band. Buckingham is a smashingly good guitarist, & in other ways is a pleasing replacement for Bob Welch. Buckingham almost sounded at times like two players, unleashing solos & fills that drew continual applause. The three older members of the band---John & Christine McVie & Mick Fleetwood---are as solid as ever. Fleetwood's drumming remains among the most visceral & bone-straightening in rock.

Another equally important part of the Mac image is the perfect male-female balance that probably accounts for the band being both so melodic & so tough. Christine McVie, because of the smoothness of her voice, the sweetness of her songs, & her longevity with the band, exerts a creatively calming influence that is almost tangible.

The band did the best songs from the most recent LP (Nicks' delivery of "Rhiannon" was a high point) plus some tunes slated to appear on its forthcoming album ("You Can Go Your Own Way"), & threw in for balance classics like "The Green Manalishi," "Oh Well" & "Spare Me a Little." Rhythm pattern changes within songs were very effective & the tempo on many of the songs had been stepped up. The live versions of songs like "Station Man" & "Blue Letter" (the set closer) made the recorded versions seem pale.

Brian Auger & the Oblivion Express (reviewed Nov. 1) were moderately pleasing in opening the show.

--Jack McDonough
Billboard Magazine
12-20-75