FLEETWOOD MAC LIVE
CHARLOTTE, NC - TIME WARNER CABLE ARENA
JUNE 24, 2013
|Robert Lahser Photo|
CHARLOTTE — More than 20,000 fans gathered in Charlotte’s Time Warner Arena to pay their respects to the mighty Fleetwood Mac – a band notorious for their love-affairs, drug use, and lethal amount of hits over the past four decades.
Although the longevity of the band has never been questioned, it was surprising to see so many 20-something year-olds in the crowd. There were plenty of Stevie Nicks impersonators, of course, draped in their black handkerchief-chiffon dresses and platform boots.
Fleetwood Mac is currently on a world tour, which will hit Australia and New Zealand before the year is over. The Australian leg of the tour sold out in a record breaking fifteen minutes, proving that the Mac still has quite the clout.
The band opened with a menagerie of hits from their landmark record, “Rumours,” which to this day is the third best-selling album in history with sales nearing 25 million. The first two songs, “Second Hand News” and “The Chain,” kept the crowd on their feet and fists pumping in the air, while the band effortlessly glided through hit after hit.
What was the most apparent all throughout the evening was just how hard this band rocks.
A special treat for more seasoned fans was the drop-jaw performance of their new single, “Sad Angel,” which was released a few weeks ago on their new EP, aptly titled, “Extended Play.”
The night became a bit more somber when Nicks introduced her signature song, “Landslide.” The definitive emotional peak of the evening, “Landslide” talks about growing older and coming to terms with both your mortality and the realization that some “mountains” simply cannot be climbed.
While the song has become one of the most-covered tracks in music history, its message remains universal and timeless. Although Nicks’ voice, which was once described as the most famous voice in rock, has taken a beating over the years because of drug use, she still sounds strong and vibrant, even if her vocal range is largely limited. Nonetheless, she definitely lives up to her media-given title, “Queen of Rock.”
After the brief deviation from the more colossal songs, they returned to perform “Gold Dust Woman,” which now feels more like a Broadway number opposed to the gritty original with Nicks acting more like a street urchin than a noble Queen of Rock.
Not to be outdone by Nicks, guitar-god Lindsey Buckingham brought down the house with mind-blowing performances of “I’m So Afraid” and the classic “Never Going Back Again,” the latter which had everyone in the house rocking out.
While Fleetwood Mac remains an iconic classic rock band, the main draw of the event was undoubtedly Nicks. Thousands still show up to see the now 65-year-old twirl and mythicize her songs into little plays and acts. It was interesting to see just how many young people still look up to her, obviously trying to scratch and claw their way to the front rows to catch an up-close glimpse at the rock queen.
The show was amazing, of course. Bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood provide one of the most intense rhythm sections in the world. Recently Rolling Stone Magazine took a poll of its readers and asked them who the most recognizable rhythm section was. Fleetwood Mac topped the list.
Although McVie, who was once married to ex-keyboardist Christine McVie, and Fleetwood remain largely in the background, their presence is instantly and continually detectable.
The show clocked in at two-and-a-half hours, ending at 11 p.m. — quite a feat for an artist in their 20’s, but this is a band whose members are all in the mid to late 60’s.
Many fans were talking about the possibility this may be the last Fleetwood Mac tour, but the band showed nothing could be further from the truth.
I first saw them in 2004 and again in 2009 and I can honestly say that this tour sees the band in unbelievable synchronicity and much more playful than on any previous tour.
Then again, will Fleetwood Mac ever really stop? They’ve been such a huge part of rock music since 1975 that I have a feeling the chain will never really be broken.
And the band played on…