Home » CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac steamrolls Viejas Arena

CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac steamrolls Viejas Arena

Fleetwood Mac electrified the fans at their sold out show at San Diego’s Viejas Arena on July 5.

(Arlene Ibarra / U-T San Diego)
(Arlene Ibarra / U-T San Diego)

Concert reviews generally don’t write themselves. But what better time to let go of the wheel than a surefire, fired-up, three-hour detonation from a group of million-record-selling, Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famers?

But the problem with any spontaneously combusted recap of Fleetwood Mac’s July 5 Viejas Arena show is that it would focus entirely on the band’s earth-shaping popular music — Stevie Nicks’ whimsically whisky-voiced rendering of their “all-world” chart-topper, “Dreams,” or her equally splendid delivery of the spellbindingly lyrical “Gypsy” for instance.

Oh, it might mention the full-throated, 13,000-member backing choir that the Mac brought with them to sing every word on Lindsey Buckingham’s crackling masterpiece “Go Your Own Way” and the musical equivalent of the optimist’s creed, “Don’t Stop.”

But it would probably neglect to mention the band’s remarkable performance of several “semi-precious” tunes — songs that may not have sold a bazillion copies but are every bit as golden. It would miss Buckingham leading the charge on a spirited “Second Hand News” to light the concert’s fuse — or a compellingly stoic John McVie and an impishly elated Mick Fleetwood pounding the rock legends through a hypnotically angry “World Turning.”

Of course it would overlook the hauntingly melodic “So Afraid,” highlighted by Buckingham’s confusingly underappreciated guitar brilliance. And as long as we’re discussing Buckingham’s mind-numbing talent, that self-generating review wouldn’t say a thing about the astoundingly frenetic 25-year-old fretwork from his 63-year-old fingers on “Big Love.”

A self-written review would likely disregard the splendidly peaceful, easy Buckingham/Nicks acoustic interlude on “Landslide” — leaving the masses to wonder why the Dixie Chicks would have even considered remaking an already perfect tune.

It would most definitely have ignored the foursome’s four-song mini-set of tunes — “Not That Funny,” “Sara,” “Sisters Of The Moon,” and the title cut — from the band’s artistically fulfilling, record company disappointment of a follow-up to Rumours, the elephantine Tusk.

Of course that omission might make sense given that even Buckingham confessed during the show that the commercially disappointing album was a “violation” of the record industry’s “golden rule” — namely that “if it works, run it into the ground.”

And if it wouldn’t mention one of the band’s critically panned efforts it probably wouldn’t have said anything about the two impressive songs from the Mac’s new self-titled EP, “Sad Angel” and “Without You” — a tune that B/N “lost” almost 40 years ago only to have it resurface in 2010 on YouTube of all places.

So what are the chances that the review would comment that after thousands of fans had blissfully absorbed three hours of Fleetwood Mac’s best, the band closed the exceptional show with the charmingly obscure — and affectingly moving — lyrical message from Buckingham to Nicks, “Say Goodbye”?

Nicks stayed on stage to thank the fans for treating the music like they were “hearing it for the first time,” even after close to 40 years. But only “experienced” music fans like this one would know that the band sounds even better today than it did almost four decades ago.

On second thought, maybe I’d better grab the wheel…

Here’s the complete set list:

1. “Second Hand News”

2. “The Chain”

3. “Dreams”

4. “Sad Angel” (new song)

5. “Rhiannon”

6. “Not That Funny”

7. “Tusk”

8. “Sisters of the Moon”

9. “Sara”

10. “Big Love”

11. “Landslide”

12. “Never Going Back Again”

13. “Without You” (lost Buckingham/Nicks track released on new album)

14. “Gypsy”

15. “Eyes of the World”

16. “Gold Dust Woman”

17. “I’m So Afraid”

18. “Stand Back” (Stevie Nicks solo song)

19. “Go Your Own Way”


20. “World Turning”

21. “Don’t Stop”

Second encore

22. “Silver Springs”

23. “Say Goodbye”

Kevin Yeanoplos / Examiner / Sunday, July 7, 2013



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