Omaha World Herald, August 22, 1980

"Fleetwood Mac Shows 'Power and Emotion' "

Steve Millburg

Fleetwood Mac hasn't sold 20 million records in the last five years just because singer Stevie Nicks is cute (though she certainly is that).

Fleetwood Mac has sold all those records because it is a great rock band that plays with conviction, power, emotion and humor.

The group demonstrated all that good stuff Thursday night at the City Auditorium Arena.

All 11,300 tickets were sold, according to Box Office Manager Marlene Belik. The last were bought about the time Fleetwood Mac hit the stage for a set that, including a four-minute ovation and an encore, lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours.

Though Miss Nicks is probably the best known member of the group, mostly because of her looks, her bewitching, eerie movements on stage and her flowing costumes (which she designs herself), guitarist Lindsey Buckingham has emerged as the most frequent lead singer as well as the main musical force on stage.

Buckingham, his dark hair cut short, looked almost like a punk rocker. Indeed, his singing and guitar playing often displayed a jagged energy not found in most of Fleetwood Mac's AM radio hits, which tend to be ballads or laid-back rockers.

He had that guitar screaming on "Think About Me." Several other solos, plus his soulful, tortured singing, hinted at dark, turbulent feelings beneath the songs' glossy surfaces.

Miss Nicks still made her presence very much felt. She sang lead on several songs, usually her own compositions, like "Rhiannon." Her husky contralto wasn't exactly ravaged, as rumor has had it for a few years now, but it did show considerable wear around the edges.

Actually, though, that was an advantage, allowing--or forcing--more emotion into her singing.

Christine McVie, in a flowing white dress, also sang several honeyed leads, but she spent more time contributing harmony vocals and keyboard parts.

As usual, bassist John McVie (Christine's ex-husband; Buckingham and Nicks are also an ex-couple) and drummer Mick Fleetwood stayed mostly in the background, churning out muscular rhythm.

Fleetwood did step up front once near the end with a large tom-tom under his arm to do an unconventional but well-received solo.

It was, simply, a great show and the crowd cheered and cheered throughout.

The dramatic lighting, including occasional projections on a screen behind the stage, and the crisp, clear sound helped.

The concert was recorded, which is partly why the sound crew needed so much equipment. It all sat on the main floor near the back, in a 15-foot-square area enclosed by a 3-foot-high chain-link fence.

The opening act, Rocky Burnette, played an uneven but, to my ears, frequently exciting set that also drew excellent crowd response.

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