Skip to main content

Fleetwood Mac concert reviews: Critics divided over Buckingham, Nicks at Xcel

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Fleetwood Mac played to a sold out crowd of 16,000 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Sunday night, and two local critics are at odds whether guitarist-singer Lindsey Buckingham or singer Stevie Nick gave the bigger performance.

The band is on the road in celebration of the 35th anniversary of their landmark album "Rumors," featuring four core members: Buckingham, his former lover and frequent song muse Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie.

Jon Bream in his Star Tribune review says Buckingham "gave one of the most impassioned performances ever in a Twin Cities arena, this side of Bruce Springsteen." He also called the 63-year-old musician "a live-wire ringmaster, a guitar monster, a heartfelt singer, a hammy performer and, as Mick Fleetwood put it, 'our inspiration.'"

Nicks, on the other hand, "needed a good half of Sunday’s 2 1/2-hour show to warm up her voice," Bream added.

Although Nicks, 64, eventually found bits of inspiration in songs like "Landslide," "Gold Dust Woman" and "Gypsy," Bream says "her versions of 'Rhiannon' and 'Sara' were so croaky and lifeless that she couldn’t have placed in the top 5 in a Stevie Nicks sound-alike contest."

Despite his mixed performance, Bream says Nicks "clearly was a favorite" of the fans.

Russ Raihala's review of the show in the Pioneer Press was also mixed, but unlike Bream, he was much higher on Nicks.

In comparison to the band's 2009 appearance at Xcel, "Stevie Nicks was much more present and didn't let her energetic frenemy Lindsey Buckingham steal the spotlight quite as much," Raihala wrote.

Raihala says while Nicks' "voice has lost much of its power," but "she still looks terrific and she seemed to be enjoying herself much more Sunday night than four years back."

Apart from an energized Nicks, Raihala said the setlist was a virtual repeat of the 2009 show.

"This wasn't just hearing the same old numbers four years later, but hearing them largely in the same sequence," Raihala wrote.

Raihala also lamented over keyboardist Christine McVie's vital contributions and the big hole she left in the group when she retired in 1998.

"While she was always a distant third behind Buckingham and Nicks, her softer, more romantic songs lent the band a certain humanity they've been lacking in the years since," the critic says.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 7.04.37 PM

LIVE UPDATES: Tracking dangerous storms moving towards Twin Cities

We'll have live updates as the storms move through the metro.


Tornado watch issued in Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

The watch will remain in place until midnight.

Wild fox.

Wild fox in Minnesota tests positive for highly contagious avian flu

This is the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a wild mammal in the state, the Department of Natural Resources said.

New COVID-19 testing site in Midway neighborhood.

New COVID-19 testing site in St. Paul; 3 others to close as cases rise

Testing sites in Stillwater, Hutchinson, and St. Paul are closing as part of moves to adjust testing resources.

Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 4.47.49 PM

St. Joseph man dies in motorcycle crash

The 27-year-old motorcyclist struck a curb, causing him to lose control before he crashed.


Downtown bike day—city biking at its best!

Move Minneapolis and ABC Ramps Mobility invite you to come along for the ride at Target Plaza on June 1, 2022

Anthony Skelley

Charges: South St. Paul teen killed during apparent marijuana sale

The individual accused of killing Skelley is a 17-year-old from St. Paul.

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards among NBA stars in Adam Sandler's Netflix film, 'Hustle'

The Timberwolves point guard stars alongside other NBA players LeBron James, Trae Young, Juancho Hernangomez and more.

police lights

Armed man found barricaded inside Brooklyn Park home, negotiators on scene

An active police presence remains in the area as negotiators speak with the suspect.

Anthony Skelley

17-year-old South St. Paul homicide victim is identified

The medical examiner determined that Skelley died of multiple gunshot wounds.

tornado, severe weather

Tornado watch issued in Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska

Severe storms are expected to push into southwest Minnesota this afternoon.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 9.08.37 AM

Korean chicken chain Bonchon's 6th MN location set to open

The South Korean-based franchise has steadily increased its presence across the country.