Buffalo Evening News, May 20, 1980

"Fans Forgive Flubs as Fleetwood Mac Pours on Romance"

Dale Anderson

The spotlight picks Christine McVie's blonde head out of the darkness and 14,000 voices cheer wildly in Memorial Auditorium Monday night as Fleetwood Mac begins the show with one of McVie's best romantic visions, "Say You Love Me."

It's a fine night for romance. Look at all those couples in this home-from-college crowd. Fleetwood Mac is playing their songs--songs that have been part and parcel of young love for the past five years.

Those same five years have seen the couples within Fleetwood Mac go their own way, to paraphrase one of their songs, but their collective partnership holds fast. At the close of the night, they're actually hugging each other in congratulation.

The concert succeeds on the strength of that feeling. McVie melts the heart with her clear soprano and her comforting sentiments. Then Stevie Nicks brings fantasies to a boil in her flowing shawls, prancing across the edge of the stage and singing about the supernatural.

Nicks retires from the all-black stage when the focus passes to McVie or to guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, a twitchy, stick-like figure, shirtless under his white suit. His mission is to make this mellow band raucous.

His plan includes an old blues Peter Green did with the group a decade ago, the bashing "Not That Funny" from the "Tusk" album, boisterous harmonies and an endless series of urgent guitar phrasings.

Nevertheless, the songs seem to deliver more thrill in recognition than in execution. Till the crowd rises to applaud the first notes of "Tusk," the mid-section of the show lags. And the instrumental breaks lack definition.

Other shortcomings include the sound mix, which is overwhelmed by Buckingham's guitar and Mick Fleetwood's drums, and Nicks' alterations to "Rhiannon" and "Sisters of the Moon," which are less charming than the original melodies.

But none of this is serious enough to alienate the crowd's affections, as McVie finds out when she flubs a piano chord in the middle of her ballad "Songbird," which closes the two-song encore.

"We all make mistakes," she says between verses. But she needn't apologize. At this celebration of love, you don't have to say you're sorry. You're only sorry when it ends.

"If we could stay here," Nicks says, lingering, "we'd stay." She hugs the "Happy Birthday, Stevie" sign fans have handed her.

Opening was Christopher Cross, a tall drink of water from Texas who hit it big with his very first single, "Ride Like the Wind." The crowd clapped along with the hit--ah, the power of radio--but beyond that Cross' modest talents seem to have been outdistanced by his sudden success.

Thanks to David for posting this to the Ledge and to Anusha for formatting and sending it to us.