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

Winter scene snow storm snowfall highway driving traffic - Joe Nelson Feb 2022 4

Winter storm warning for Twin Cities: 6+ inches possible

The heaviest snow could move through the Twin Cities.

police lights

Carver man charged after standoff with police in Prior Lake

The man had been fleeing from police when he allegedly broke into a home and the standoff ensued.


41-year-old Sherburne County man killed after crashing car into ditch

The crash occurred Sunday night in Palmer Township.

Screen Shot 2022-11-28 at 4.01.10 PM

Around 200 rescued after ice breaks free on Upper Red Lake

Red Lake — both Upper and Lower — is the largest freshwater lake in the state.

Screen Shot 2022-11-28 at 9.38.30 AM

St. Paul featured on Hallmark Channel's 'Christmas Cam' livestream

Downtown's dazzling display can be viewed from anywhere in the world.


Charges: Drunk driver almost struck Bemidji parade spectators

The man told police he was trying to attend the parade himself.


The SCHEELS Experience

Whether looking for reliable hunting and fishing gear or new clothing and shoes, Eden Prairie SCHEELS is a one-stop shopping experience for the whole family.


Charges: Man fatally shot ex's new partner as he dined at Bloomington restaurant

Criminal charges filed Monday detail an alleged motive in the shooting.


Metallica to perform 2 nights in Minneapolis on 2023-24 World Tour

The heavy metal rock band returns to the state for the first time since 2018.

snow, plow

Tuesday storm to dump plowable snow in Minnesota

Snow should reach the Twin Cities Tuesday morning and fall throughout the day.