Fleetwood Mac - US Airways Center - 5/30/2013
All photos by Melissa Fossum.
US Airways Center See the full slideshow of the concert
May 30, 2013
It would be challenging, at best, to attempt to write an objective concert review about a band that your love for borders on obsession, so I'm not going to try.
Fleetwood Mac's show at US Airways Arena Thursday night, was, well, it was fine. It was what one could reasonably expect from a band at this stage in its career, a career that began well over 40 years ago. They played the familiar hits, minus the Christine McVie (who stopped touring with the band in 1998) selections, which meant no "Say You Love Me," no "Over My Head," no "You Make Loving Fun," no "Songbird," no "Think About," no "Little Lies."
Her noticeable absence left the band less like the Fleetwood Mac that we all know and love, and more like the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks show, with John McVie and Mick Fleetwood serving as a backing band. Much of the banter centered around the (to say the least) well-documented drama between former lovers Buckingham and Nicks. We all know the story.
The actual members of Fleetwood Mac were the minority on stage. A second guitarist, a keyboardist, two female backing vocalists, and a second drummer were curiously hidden behind Buckingham's wall of amplifiers and augmented the band as they lumbered through opener "Second Hand News," and on through "The Chain" and "Dreams."
And then something beautiful happened. Buckingham mentioned that they had been recording new material, some of which appears on their new EP, the awkwardly titled Extended Play and introduced one of those selections, the excellent "Sad Angel." I cannot, off the top of my head, think of any other band that has been around as long as they have that has issued a song so fantastic. I'm serious. It's really good. The entire band, Mick Fleetwood especially, seemed to light up with the opportunity to play great new material.
The band followed up with Nick's witchy crowd pleaser "Rhiannon," and though her voice has changed over the years, she still has "it." There is something very Billie Holiday about her, although her range in her 60s far exceeds Holidays at 20. Her youthful range has been replaced by a depth that can only come from a lifetime of being Stevie Nicks.
After "Rhiannon," Nicks left the stage, leaving Buckingham to talk about the creative versus commercial challenge they faced after the blockbuster Rumours album, and the follow up, Tusk -- a sprawling and uneven double album that has become the stuff of legend, and a musicians' favorite (see notes below.)