Fleetwood Mac's classics please the masses in Vancouver

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      At Rogers Arena on Sunday, May 19

      "I don't believe Fleetwood Mac will ever tour again," drummer Mick Fleetwood told Playboy last year, dashing the concert hopes of diehard '70s soft-rock fans everywhere. But as seen at Rogers Arena last night, you can't believe everything you read in a girlie magazine.

      Fleetwood took the stage—along with the current Fleetwood Mac lineup of singer Stevie Nicks, guitarist-vocalist Lindsay Buckingham, and bassist John McVie—and proceeded to show that a capering 65-year-old codger can still be a force of nature behind the kit. The foursome was supplemented by a second guitarist-vocalist, a keyboard-vocalist, and two backup vocalists, so there was plenty of younger vocal cords on hand to help Nicks (64) and Buckingham (63) hit those high notes.

      The show kicked off with "Second Hand News", the perky opening track from the 1977 Rumours album, which has so far sold a paltry 45-million copies worldwide. That song is noted for containing some of the most memorable gibberish lyrics ever, which are tricky to decipher, but go something like: "Bow-bow-bow-bow/da-bas-bow-bow-bow-bow/da-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-da-bam-bam-bam-bam/do-doodle-doo."

      After a couple more Rumours gems, "The Chain" and "Dreams", the band pulled out a new composition from Extended Play, the four-song EP it released on iTunes a few weeks back. "Sad Angel" is a jangly rocker slightly reminiscent of "Go Your Own Way", sans its melodic allure.

      The group would showcase one other new tune, "Without You", a rerecording of a pre-Mac, Buckingham/Nicks demo that, as Nicks explained in a rambling introduction, resurfaced on YouTube recently. Unfortunately the song—based on a poem she wrote for Buckingham early on in their relationship—came off a little on the humdrum side.

      Apart from the two middling new tunes, it was golden oldies all the way, which was what everyone had come for anyway. The band performed seven of Rumours' 11 deathless tracks, and four each from the 1975 Fleetwood Mac and '79 Tusk albums. Three tracks from the eighties went over extremely well, including the Nicks-sung "Gypsy" (from 1982's Mirage) and "Stand Back" (from her '83 solo album The Wild Heart). One of the night's biggest highlights was "Big Love", a track from 1987's Tango in the Night that boasted ace fingerpicking from Buckingham.

      As crowdpleasing as the setlist was, it would have been nice if it had touched ever-so-briefly on the band's history prior to its multiplatinum success. It would have been cool to hear Fleetwood snapping off that triple-time intro to 1973's dreamy "Hypnotized" as an homage to former member Bob Welch, who died last summer.

      Even better, they could have selected one tune from the group's late-'60s blues-rock era, when guitar legend Peter Green was in the fold. I can totally picture Buckingham singing lines like: "I can't help about the shape I'm in/I can't sing, I ain't pretty and my legs are thin/But don't ask me what I think of you/I might not give the answer that you want me to."

      Oh well.




      May 20, 2013 at 7:53am

      The person writing this sounds very young and although possessing some musical knowledge about this band that anyone can find online seems out of touch with the real spirit of this band and their music.


      May 20, 2013 at 8:01am

      I'm sure the reviewer misses Acid Man cartoons in the Straight too - jackass.


      May 20, 2013 at 9:38am

      This reviewer clearly left before Stevie Nicks' gaffe at the end.

      Old fan

      May 20, 2013 at 9:51am

      Concert was pretty good, but ended on a bad note when Stevie Nicks said how much she loved our beautiful city of Toronto. TORONTO?? Sorry Stevie, but you were in Vancouver last night. Must have been a few too many funny cigarettes lit up near the stage last night.


      May 20, 2013 at 10:50am

      Loved the concert ...could have done without the idiots who were smoking dope.great performance by Fleetwood mac....


      May 20, 2013 at 11:13am

      no all of the masses in Vancouver

      Den Tures

      May 20, 2013 at 11:45am

      They escaped again from the old-age home to pad their bank accounts.

      Steve Newton

      May 20, 2013 at 1:04pm

      What are you doing reading Playboy Steve? love Dawn


      May 20, 2013 at 1:07pm

      Worst crowd at a concert ever.Felt like I was at a bible reading,STAND UP people,!!!!

      Martin Dunphy

      May 20, 2013 at 1:59pm

      Lie, Steve. Say you read it for the centrefolds.