Home » CONCERT REVIEW: Phoenix concert celebrates Rumours

CONCERT REVIEW: Phoenix concert celebrates Rumours

By Ed Masley / Arizona Republic
Friday, May 31, 2013

It’s been 35 years since Fleetwood Mac released the soft-rock masterpiece that even now remains their calling card, the 11-times-platinum “Rumours.” And with four-fifths of the classic “Rumours” lineup — Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and John McVie – back together again, they weren’t shy about blowing the dust off a good portion of that album Thursday night at US Airways Center, setting the tone with a spirited “Second Hand News” and then following through with “The Chain” and the chart-topping “Dreams.”

If Buckingham’s electrifying presence on guitar and vocals made it hard to believe you were watching a man who’d aged 35 years since releasing those songs, Nicks’ vocal on “Dreams” made it clear that the passage of time had not affected everyone in Fleetwood Mac the same. And it’s not that her vocal was off. It’s just that she’d rewritten the entire melody to suit the lower range her voice has settled into in her 60s, which detracted from a number of essential hooks ingrained in every Fleetwood Mac fan’s head. “Rhiannon” also found her backing down from the challenging notes, although delivered with real urgency. But Nicks, who told the crowd “It means a lot to be here; I was born here,” had redeemed herself and then some by the time the night was through, with her charisma and her vocals, really shining on an understated “Landslide,” which may have taken on an even more reflective tone with age.

It wasn’t all nostalgia, either. After three shots of “Rumours,” they tested the waters with “Sad Angel,” a new rocker driven by Buckingham’s chugging guitar. And later in the set, they treated the fans to the newly recorded soft-rock gem “Without You,” a Buckingham-Nicks song that went missing in the ’70s only to resurface in 2010 on YouTube, of all places.

Buckingham set up a showcase of “Tusk” with a speech that began with “There is a rule of thumb — I guess you could call it an axiom — in the music business. If it works, run it into the ground and move on.” It’s with great pride that Buckingham looks back on “Tusk” as the artistic left-field triumph no one, least of all the label, wanted after “Rumours.” Now, of course, it’s revered as one of rock’s most enduring misunderstood classics. And the first two songs they played from “Tusk” — “Not That Funny” and “Tusk” — have certainly retained their offbeat charm, while the Nicks songs that followed, “Sisters of the Moon” and “Sara,” served as a haunting reminder that “Tusk” had more to offer than Buckingham pushing the envelope into artier waters.

Buckingham followed the tribute to “Tusk” with a solo acoustic rendition of 1987’s “Big Love,” which showcased his skills on acoustic guitar with urgent vocals driving home the chorus hook. That led to a breathtaking version of “Landslide” with just Buckingham and Nicks on stage, the former couple holding hands in one dramatic pause while Nicks made the most of the poignant potential in the line “I’m getting older, too.”

From there, they dove back into “Rumours” with the slowed-down country blues of “Never Going Back Again.”

Nicks set the tone for “Without You” with a charming trip down memory lane and followed through with “Gypsy,” an early ’80s hit from “Mirage” that featured one of Nicks’ strongest vocals of the night and some of Buckingham’s flashiest guitar work. They stayed on “Mirage” for the spirited roots-rock abandon of “Eyes of the World” before another of Nicks’ most compelling showcases, the “Rumours” highlight “Gold Dust Woman.”

Next, Buckingham managed to bring in one of Thursday’s most enthusiastic crowd responses for a song that was neither a single nor a track from “Rumours.” A rarely heard highlight of Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album, their first with Buckingham and Nicks on board, “I’m So Afraid” brought nearly every audience member to his or her feet with a jaw-dropping blend of musicianship and showmanship. He tore it up convincingly enough to win the adulation he deserved for that performance.

Nicks’ solo hit “Stand Back” kept the audience happy but the concert may have peaked with the set-closing “Go Your Own Way,” a rousing “Rumours” highlight that featured Nicks in a little black top hat and Buckingham squeezing out another flashy solo.

The encore got off to an odd start when Mick Fleetwood interrupted “World Turning” with a lengthy solo and then followed with the worst momentum killer in the history of rock and roll, introducing the band. You could feel the energy that peaked with “Go Your Own Way” dissipating by the second. But they made it worth the wait with yet another “Rumours” highlight, “Don’t Stop” — as in thinking about tomorrow. There was probably something ironic in seeing them close that particular show singing “Yesterday’s gone,” but here’s the thing: The highlights of that concert, of which there were many, served as a rousing reminder that maybe sometimes it’s cool to stop thinking about tomorrow and give yesterday another try, especially if you can make it feel as relevant as this show’s most compelling moments.

Reach the reporter at ed*******@ar*************.com or 602-444-4495. Twitter.com/EdMasley

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LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

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AT&T Stadium
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MAY 3, 2024 – MAY 5, 2024
Lovin’ Life Fest
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Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO
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MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK
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Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
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San Antonio, TX
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Highland, CA
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Napa, CA
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Salt Lake City, UT
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SoFi Stadium

March 15, 2023
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March 18, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
T-Mobile Arena

May 12, 2023
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

May 16, 2023
Knoxville, TN
Thompson-Boling Arena

May 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Nashville, TN
Nissan Stadium

May 22, 2023
Atlanta, GA
State Farm Arena

May 25, 2023
Orlando, FL
Amway Center

June 16, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Philadelphia, PA
Lincoln Financial Field

June 20, 2023
Toronto, ON (Canada)
Scotiabank Arena

June 23, 2023
Chicago, IL
United Center

June 27, 2023
Louisville, KY
KFC Yum! Center

August 5, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Columbus, OH
Ohio Stadium

August 8, 2023
Milwaukee, WI
Fiserv Forum

August 12, 2023
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

August 15, 2023
Austin, TX
Moody Center

August 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
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September 23, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Foxborough, MA
Gillette Stadium

September 27, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
PPG Paints Arena

October 1, 2023
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden

October 4, 2023
Buffalo, NY
KeyBank Center

October 7, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Baltimore, MD 
M&T Bank Stadium

October 28, 2023
Memphis, TN
FedEx Forum

November 1, 2023
Savannah, GA
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Allentown, PA
PPL Center

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Inglewood, CA
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Palm Desert, CA
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Phoenix, AZ
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December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
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2022 Tour

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Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
September 8, 2022
September 10, 2022

Pine Knob Music Theatre
Clarkston, MI
September 13, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Xfinity Center
Mansfield, MA
September 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Bangor, ME
September 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sound on Sound Festival
Bridgeport, CT
September 24-25, 2022

Ohana Festival
Dana Point, CA
September 30, 2022

Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
October 3, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Woodlands, TX
October 9, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Alpharetta, GA
October 12, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ascend Amphitheater
Nashville, TN
October 16, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Credit One Stadium
Charleston, SC
October 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

PNC Music Pavilion
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
October 28, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Orion Amphitheatre
Huntsville, AL
October 31, 2022

RESCHEDULED SHOWS

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands, TX
November 2, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
November 5, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton