Fleetwood Mac Live in New Jersey: Stevie Nicks Shines, Egos Clash

A look at the classic rockers' eagerly awaited comeback tour

Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, rolling stone archive, old, photo, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie
Kevin Winter/Getty
Fleetwood Mac with Stevie Nicks performs on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on April 23rd, 2003 in Burbank, California.
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Fleetwood Mac
Continental Airlines Arena
East Rutherford, New Jersey
May 25th, 2003

At a Fleetwood Mac concert, there's nothing quite like the spectacle of an ego on parade. Just as Stevie Nicks was communing her legendary vibrato to "Dreams," a jarring rrrrip intruded from the side of the stage; it was Lindsey Buckingham, adding a few too-loud guitar notes. During "Come," an Eighties-metal workout from the band's new CD, Say You Will, Buckingham's flailing actually drowned out founding rhythm players Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. For "Big Love," a gigantic screen unfurled, while Buckingham towered above the crowd, projected in stately black and white, a god. So that's what happened to the balance of power now that Christine McVie is gone.

The 2003 Mac suffered from stimulation overload: In addition to the four core members, there were two extra guitarists, a keyboardist, a percussionist and two background singers. At times the choruses seemed so stacked with vocals that they wobbled.

Thankfully, Nicks carried the show. With just one or two instruments surrounding her, she had the space to deliver affectless, commanding performances on ballads such as "Silver Springs" and "Beautiful Child." But she slid too early into the last verse of "Landslide," forgetting Buckingham's guitar solo. He horned right in there - Nicks stepped back and smiled sweetly, letting him play.

This story is from the June 26, 2003 issue of Rolling Stone.

From The Archives Issue 925: June 26, 2003