Fleetwood Mac returns with renewed energy
Salt Lake City - June 3
By Pat Reavy
Fleetwood Mac returned to the EnergySolutions Arena Wednesday night for their "Unleashed" tour. The band has no new album to promote and its show is essentially 21/2 hours of greatest hits. The most "recent" song on the set list was released more than two decades ago (1987's "Big Love").
But yet, the Mac on Wednesday brought a passion and enthusiasm to the stage that was lacking during their 2003 stop in Salt Lake City.
This time around, Fleetwood Mac had a renewed energy as they opened the show with the upbeat "Monday Morning" followed by what had been the traditional opener, "The Chain."
"Salt Lake City, we are thankful you came here tonight to be with us," announced vocalist, guitarist and Master of Ceremonies for the evening Lindsey Buckingham.
Buckingham raised the enthusiasm of the crowd by handling the rocker numbers of the evening, including "I Know I'm Not Wrong" and "Tusk," and showcased his brilliant finger-picking guitar style on "Big Love" and "I'm So Afraid."
But the real magic of Fleetwood Mac is still the deep, raspy, golden voice of Stevie Nicks. Nicks, who turned 61 last week, still sings with a power and emotion in each song that most women half her age can't match.
Some of Nicks' numbers, such as "Dreams," "Rhiannon" and a magnificent "Gold Dust Woman," were among the highlights of the entire evening. Nicks, wore her traditional black dress, several different shawls throughout the evening and one black glove for most of the night as the twirled and gripped her microphone stand draped with scarves and chains.
Both Nicks and Buckingham, who walked onto the stage hand-in-hand, took turns sharing stories about the origins of some of the songs. Nicks introduced "Gypsy" as relating to the time she and Buckingham lived in San Francisco and "the most amazing scene" in music and culture between 1965 and 1971. She also talked about her brief time living in Salt Lake City when she was 13 and dedicated "Landslide" to her lifelong friend Karen Thornhill, who still lives in Utah.
Buckingham talked about the band's much publicized relationship history and the making of songs off 1977's "Rumors," one of the biggest selling albums of all time. It was an album about optimism, humor and aggression, and one that band members had to live through a number of "emotional opposites" to record, said Buckingham before launching into "Second Hand News," the first song recorded for the album, and one of eight "Rumors" songs and outtakes performed Wednesday.
Buckingham and Nicks faced each other as they sang "Sara," another song about relationships though not involving Nicks and Buckingham, though the two hugged at the end.
Mick Fleetwood and John McVie provided the backbone rhythm section, as they have for over 40 years.
The only thing that was missing from Wednesday's show was the soulful voice of Christine McVie who retired from touring after the 1997 reunion tour. Her contribution was missed particularly on "Say You Love Me."
Nicks and Buckingham each contributed a song from their solo albums, Buckingham playing "Go Insane," the title track from his 1984 album. And Nicks sang her hit "Stand Back" from 1983's "The Wild Heart."
A pleasant surprise was "Storms" off the "Tusk" album, a song that had never been played live prior to this tour.
Fleetwood Mac ended the night heavy on the "Rumors" album again, including "Go Your Own Way," which found Nicks moving around stage with her tambourine and top hat, and "Don't Stop."
Overall, the Mac proved Wednesday night that they still had a connection with the music that so many fans spent most of their lives listening to, and made one believe they might still be able to this for years to come.