By Chad Hobbs
Friday, April 5, 2013
Fleetwood Mac returned to the stage for the first time in over three years at Columbus’ Nationwide Arena tonight. The quartet, having long lost fifth member Christine McVie to retirement, looked and sounded as good as ever as they played 23 songs over two and a half hours which included two encores. Celebrating their landmark album, Rumours, the band highlighted the set list with 7 tracks from the record. Tusk and the self titled album were both well represented also.
Adding to the set list were some new music, a Stevie Nicks solo hit, and a few songs from the Mirage and the Tango in the Night albums. Lindsey Buckingham easily highlighted the show with his ridiculous and underrated ability to play the guitar with songs such as “Big Love” and the chilling “I’m So Afraid.” Not only is he vastly underrated, but the passion and energy that he pours into his music is more apparent than most other artists could even aspire to portray. Stevie Nicks dazzled as well with her timeless voice and iconic stage presence; especially on songs like “Rhiannon”; “Gold Dust Woman”; “Landslide”; and “Silver Springs.”
Not to be forgotten, the thumping backbeat provided by founding members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are the heart and soul of the band. McVie’s legendary bass riff leading into the guitar solo in “The Chain” is easily one of my most anticipated parts of any song I’ve ever heard. Fleetwood’s work behind the kit also might tend to get lost with the spotlight out front on Nicks and Buckingham but with a closer listen you can’t help but notice the seriousness and heavy hitting going on in songs like “Tusk” and how, in perfect harmony with the bass lines, it compliments Buckingham and Nicks’ work up front.
Having never seen Fleetwood Mac, I had been anticipating this moment for well over a decade, probably since my dad first introduced me to the The Dance live album and I first heard “I’m So Afraid”. While the band members are well into their sixties now, you couldn’t tell that by the sound coming from the stage tonight, as Fleetwood Mac brought it, just as I knew they would. Supremely confident, yet professionally humble; the band delighted the 16,000 or so in attendance on the opening night of a tour that is going to hit over sixty cities worldwide.