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1970s band shake ‘soft rock’ image

Review
Brendan Crossan
10/12/03

FLEETWOOD MAC

The Odyssey Arena

Belfast

FOR a reviewer that was familiar with one – maybe two – songs from 1970s band Fleet-wood Mac, I journeyed to the Odyssey Arena with

low expectations.

For some unfathomable reason, I regarded the American band as a soft rock, oh so middle-of-the-road band that had some demented appeal to the 40-something era. And of course they do.

After their two-and-three-quarter-hour set on Monday night, I fully understood their fanatical appeal to my elders.

Stevie Nicks and Lyndsay Buckingham may be ageing a little but they certainly rocked the house with a stupendous perfor-mance. Soft rock? They weren’t. Rough-edged? Most definitely.

It was the band’s penultimate UK concert date touring with the new album Say You Will – a brilliant bag of goodies for their loyal fans.

The material they played from the album had strong hooklines and was well received.

One of the best new songs they performed was Peacekeeper, which was thought-provokingly introduced to the Belfast crowd by Buckingham thus: “If there’s no love, there’s always justice and where there’s no justice, there’s always force.”

But it was the old favourites the packed Odyssey crowd came to hear – and they didn’t have to wait long. ’Mac opened with their all-time classic Listen to the Wind Blow before im-pressing the audience with a host of new songs.

Buckingham dazzled the crowd with some brilliant solo guitar sections and gave a beautiful acoustic rendition of Never Going Back Again. The gypsy-like Nicks surprised her fans with 1979 hit Beautiful Child before both she and Buckingham belt-ed out Looking Out For Love and Don’t Stop.

There were some lulls midway through the show but there were some perfect moments too. Perfect, perfect...