Around 11,000 fans showed up for Fleetwood Mac, the legendary Anglo-American band almost as famous for their internal romantic strife as for their 40-million-selling 1977 album, Rumours, as well as other multi-platinum records in their extensive career. The promoter expected a sellout, but at nearly $200 a ticket, prices may have been a deterrent, especially in a year in which the concert market in Winnipeg has been over-saturated with shows. Seats in the first two rows on the floor were still available just days beforehand, for example.
The focal points of the group are still Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, who completely revitalized the Mac's career in the '70s. They walked out hand in hand, reminding everyone of the tumultuous love affair that almost broke up the band but which also yielded some fantastic music along the way. Joining them on stage were drummer Mick Fleetwood (who bashed out a drum solo near the end and was mostly unintelligible whenever he spoke), docile bassist John McVie (who never cracked a smile), a keyboardist, a second guitarist and three back-up vocalists. The performance — which included no opening act — lasted around two and a half hours.
Despite being billed as a greatest hits tour, the show was aimed at long-time fans as it featured — almost exclusively — '70's material. I was hoping to hear tracks from their smash "comeback" album, 1987's Tango In The Night, but all that was played was a fiery, acoustic version of "Big Love." They performed nothing from their four '90s albums.
Buckingham proved every bit the showman, blasting out his signature guitar style with tremendous speed. At times, he would lean over the edge of the stage on bended knee while soloing and allowed fans to touch their fingers on the fret board. Once in while, after intensely performing a song, he would stomp on the stage and yell out "Yeah!" as if to prove to himself that he still had it in him. He clearly carried the band on his back with his performance, both visually and musically.
Stevie Nicks had earlier on began teasing us with her outstretched arms, grasping her shawl as if she was about to twirl around and around; she finally did so towards the latter part of the show. Whenever she and Buckingham walked on the stage, they did so hand in hand with gentle kisses of goodbye to each other before making their way to their respective microphone stands.
Her distinctively warm and husky vocals were clearly worn down. She didn't sound as clear on some lines and not as intense as Buckingham. While Buckingham was busy discharging massive amounts of adrenalin through his finger and feet, Nicks seemed to conserve her energy. Still, fans were going all out with digital cameras and cell phones to capture the photogenic duo.