Home » CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac puts on spirited, energetic show at Air Canada Centre

CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac puts on spirited, energetic show at Air Canada Centre

(Carlos Osorio / Toronto Star)
Fleetwood Mac’s frontwoman Stevie Nicks sings and plays the tambourine at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night. (Carlos Osorio / Toronto Star)

Good to know that Fleetwood Mac is not taking the burden of still being Fleetwood Mac in 2013 lightly.

By Ben Rayner
Toronto Star
April 17, 2013

Old dogs don’t tend to have a lot of new tricks left in ’em.

They’ll leap up at your throat from time to time, though, just to keep your mind on your business and to let you know that they’re still there, lurking beneath the porch. So, hi, Fleetwood Mac. Good to know you’re not taking the burden of still being Fleetwood Mac in 2013 lightly.

Fleetwood Mac easily could, we know. Until Michael Jackson’s Thriller came along, the California combo had bragging rights to the biggest-selling album of all time in the form of 1977’s Rumours, and that album was evidently the lingering, epicentrical source of most of the adulation thrust stageward when Fleetwood Mac as it exists today — drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, inimitable frontwoman Stevie Nicks, three supporting players and two background vocalists — took on a sold-out Toronto crowd at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night.

Rumours is it. So even though there was a lot of water under the Fleetwood Mac bridge before that record came along 11 albums in to its recording career and even more has passed beneath during the 25 years since — the group is currently operating without classic-era fixture Christine McVie and has witnessed the deaths of former members Bob Weston, Bob Brunning and Bob Welch since 2011 — the band diligently hit all the expected Rumours marks in its 2.5-hour ACC set, along with appropriate bookend selections from 1975’s Fleetwood Mac and 1979’s weirdo-reactionary Tusk, without ever really coming across as totally jaded and done-with-it-all.

One new song, an easily digestible and familiar-feeling ditty called “Sad Angel” from an EP — and perhaps a new album featuring, Buckingham claimed, “the best stuff we’ve done in a long time” — appeared near the top of the set. The rest of the time, though, Fleetwood Mac did a more energetic and invested job than most of its contemporaries on the nostalgia circuit doing the same-old, same-old night after night. It even appeared, heaven forbid, to be enjoying itself while it went through considerably more than the anticipated motions.

Rumours standards “The Chain,” “Dreams,” “Never Going Back Again” and an impressively churnin’-’n’-burnin’“Gold Dust Woman” that properly let the witchy, whirling Stevie “mystique” out to breathe burst forth as far more enthusiastic than programmatic, even though Buckingham took pains during the run-up to such comparatively neglected Tusk selections as “Not That Funny,” “Tusk,” “Sisters of the Moon” and “Sara” to point out that that record remains the “line drawn in the sand” that better satisfies Fleetwood Mac’s ambitions towards art over music-industry commerce.

An acoustic interlude featuring a solo Buckingham version of Tango in the Night’s “Big Love,” a tingly reading of Nicks’s golden “Landslide” dedicated to her two 11-year-old Toronto “fairy goddaughters” in the room and a “lost” 1974 tune from the former couple’s Buckingham/Nicks days entitled “Without You” was presented with a generosity of spirit lacking in the syrupy ickiness that typically bedevils arena shows when they go “unplugged.” Buckingham, meanwhile, pulled off the kind of extended, screeching guitar burnout at the end of “I’m So Afraid” — and Mick Fleetwood his own galvanizing, shouty solo sojourn behind the drum kit a few minutes later — that reminded you why everyone let the so-called “excesses” of ’70s rock embodied by Fleetwood Mac run as wild as they did in the first place.

This wasn’t a particularly wild night on the whole, of course, although a late-set “Go Your Own Way” finally did propel the supportive-but-staid crowd of Boomers and wine-slurping young ladies in Stevie drag onto its feet toward an encore that predictably exploded with “Don’t Stop.” It was far from the sleepwalk through the past it could have been, however, and a performance that lent some credence to Buckingham’s claims that there are “still chapters to be written” in the Fleetwood Mac story.



Stevie Nicks

MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO

Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY

JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI

JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

European Tour

JUL 3, 2024
Dublin, Ireland

JUL 6, 2024
OVO Hydro
Glasgow, UK

JUL 9, 2024
Co-op Live
Manchester, UK

JUL 12, 2024
BST Hyde Park
London, UK

JUL 16, 2024
Sportpaleis Antwerpen
Merksem (Antwerpen)

JUL 19, 2024
Ziggo Dome

^ Non-Live Nation show