Fleetwood Mac kicked off their 50-stop North American tour in Columbus, Ohio last night by delivering to a packed crowd a mix of their biggest hits and a few unexpected gems from their decade-spanning career.
Though it had been three years since Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie took the stage together, to the fans inside the walls of Nationwide Arena it was as if no time had passed at all.
This is probably due to the fact that over the years Fleetwood Mac have stayed incredibly consistent. Lindsey, proving why he’s still one of the greatest guitarists in rock history, wailed through their catalog with amazing talent – many times while fans in the front row ran their hands along his guitar in almost prayer-like devotion.
Stevie, donning her trademark black outfits and shawls – which came and went in quick on-stage changes – proved why she’s, well – Stevie Nicks. Sometimes with a tambourine in hand, others while tugging at the black straps hanging from her mic stand, and just a few times while spinning in her trademark circles, she sang flawlessly.
Mick commanded the stage from his enormous, raised kit – grinning maniacally and sporting his elfin getup, complete with a pair of hanging balls. Easily one of the highlights of the show was his lengthy drum solo during “World Turning”, which kicked off their first encore.
McVie hung in the background, quietly holding together the backbone of the group – though shining during such solo moments as the driving bass line in “The Chain.”
Blaringly absent from the performance was Christine McVie, who allegedly has opted out of touring due to her fear of flying. Out of the respect the group strayed from playing any of her songs – the only time her vocals were replaced by Stevie’s was during her verse in “Don’t Stop.”
Along with the majority of their greatest hits, they pulled out a few surprises for the crowd. The first came early in the set when Lindsey announced that before heading out on tour the group went into the studio and put together an EP of new music, which would be out “in a few days.” Before launching into one of those new songs, “Sad Angel”, he admitted that this was the best material they had done together in years. Stevie also referred to the EP later in the show calling it their “little, baby record.”
After dueting on the Rumours track “Never Going Back Again”, Stevie announced that they would play a special track – an unreleased demo from their Buckingham Nicks days that the pair had discovered recently on youtube. She said the track, “Without You” had the nicest lyrics she had ever written about Lindsey – which he was quick to agree with.
Lindsey returned the favor during the second encore, when the pair came out alone to play “Say Goodbye” from Say You Will – one that Stevie called “beautiful.” Buckingham admitted that the track was written ten years prior to give him closure about his relationship with Stevie, and that today the pair are getting along the best that they have in years.
McVie and Fleetwood joined them on stage for a final bow all together – afterwards Mick ran to the microphone with one final message: take care of yourself, and be kind to each other.
Second Hand News (Rumours, 1977)
The Chain (Rumours, 1977)
Dreams (Rumours, 1977)
Sad Angel (New song)
Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Not That Funny (Tusk, 1979)
Tusk (Tusk, 1979)
Sisters of the Moon (Tusk, 1979)
Sara (Tusk, 1979)
Big Love (Tango in the Night, 1987)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Never Going Back Again (Rumours, 1977)
Without You (Unreleased Buckingham Nicks song, 1969)
Gypsy (Mirage, 1982)
Eyes of the World (Mirage, 1982)
Gold Dust Woman (Rumours, 1977)
I’m So Afraid (Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Stand Back (Stevie Nicks’ album The Wild Heart, 1983)
Go Your Own Way (Rumours, 1977)
World Turning (Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Don’t Stop (Rumours, 1977)
Silver Springs (b-side of single Go Your Own Way, 1977)
Say Goodbye (Say You Will, 2003)
– Erin Fox / 98.5 WNCX