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


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

Matt Shoemaker

Matt Shoemaker removed from rotation, fits in with Twins bullpen

The right-hander allowed two ninth-inning runs in a 6-4 loss to Houston.

1200 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 2019

1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting outside funeral in Minneapolis

The funeral was for one of two people killed in the shooting outside a Minneapolis nightclub in May.

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 1.51.13 PM

Darnella Frazier awarded Pulitzer Prize special citation for George Floyd video

She was just 17 when she filmed George Floyd's murder at 38th and Chicago.

MN Food Truck Festival 3 jpg

MN Food Truck Festival returns with events in St. Paul, Anoka

Organizers promise 50-plus food trucks at each festival - including some newcomers.

Brian Mock body cam screengrab from charges - 2021.06.11

Charges: MN man bragged he 'beat the s**t' out of cops in Capitol riot

He was one of two suspects arrested in Minnesota and charged Friday.

Screen Shot 2021-04-01 at 3.30.32 PM

$23 a month for Bally Sports North? It could happen, per report

There is a way to circumnavigate the system already ... but it's kind of naughty.

Keisa Lange

4th suspect arrested in death of woman found along St. Cloud road; 3 others charged

Keisa Lange was found dead on the side of a quiet cul de sac from a gunshot.

Minnesota State Fair

It's official: Minnesota State Fair is on, with no COVID restrictions

Proof of vaccination won't be required, and face masks won't be mandatory.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Boy, 12, killed in ATV crash near Monticello

The boy was driving the ATV on private property.

Go Fund Me - Jupiter Paulsen

Suspect in random attack on girl, 14, in Fargo now charged with murder

The victim died from her injuries earlier this week.


Fleetwood Mac announces return to Twin Cities

They'll play the Xcel Energy Center in October.