Storm, Nicks steal Fleetwood show

Though they traded in their bongs for babies ages ago, the baby boomers who filled Blossom Music Center for Fleetwood Mac’s Sunday night performance proved that not even a torrential thunderstorm could keep many of them from their polished pop/rock roots.

As the original lineup sans Christine McVie took to the stage for the group’s monolithic two-hour performance, the boomers stood to salute Mick Fleetwood’s crazy eyes as they appeared on the stage’s jumbo screen.

The group, backed by an extensive musical entourage that included two guitarists, a keyboardist, an extra drummer, and two backup singers, started off strong with a Rumours double shot of “The Chain” and “Dreams.”

While John McVie and Fleetwood quietly kept the rhythm going in their matching black-and-white British blues get-ups, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham commanded the audience with the well-aged tension of their whimsical harmonizing.

The group presented a well-rounded set of their extensive discography, including everything from Tusk’s “Sara” and “Beautiful Child” to tracks from their 2003 effort Say You Will.

As frequent lightning threatened a downpour, Nicks served up the show’s highlights. While “Second Hand News” had everyone on their feet, her commanding performance of “Landslide,” backed by Buckingham on acoustic guitar, had everyone soulfully chanting “I’m getting older, too.”

During their performance of “Sara,” vintage concert footage of the band appeared on the jumbo screen, and the dichotomy between past and present proved that the outfit really hasn’t changed that much, with the exception of a few gray hairs and abandoned cocaine habits.

Nicks was still decked out in her flowy gypsy dress and stringy shawls, hand-miming her lyrics and twirling around the stage, while Buckingham exuded his vulnerable bravado and hung onto every note while he convulsed through numerous guitar solos.

However, by 9:30 p.m., the sky’s balmy warning signs turned into an incredible storm. As some on the lawn moved to the pavilion, others filed out while the group performed “Gold Dust Woman.” For those who could find a dry seat, the thunder simply complemented the incredible tension still imbued in the Buckingham/Nicks duet during “You Can Go Your Own Way.”

Though the entire show maintained Fleetwood Mac’s knack for drama, nothing was too showy or over the top, with the exception of Fleetwood’s questionable sanity, exposed as he challenged the sky to a thunderous duel with a manic drum solo, only finally to reveal electronic drum pads inside his vest like some Mad Professor contraption.

All in all, it wasn’t the band’s stellar performance that disappointed, it was the horrible weather, which simply made Nicks’ and Buckingham’s point that “thunder only happens when it’s raining,” just a tad ironic.

Denise Grollmus / Beacon Journal / Monday, June 14, 2004

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Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation

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