Iconic rockers Fleetwood Mac brought its On With the Show tour to an energized, sold out Philips Arena Wednesday night. (Photo: Robb D. Cohen)
Home » REVIEW: Fresh, fun Fleetwood Mac dazzles Atlanta

REVIEW: Fresh, fun Fleetwood Mac dazzles Atlanta

Fleetwood Mac has never been considered a “fun” band.

Between the tempestuous relationships among its members and the differing opinions about musical direction over the decades, the collective of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham was never the cheeriest bunch.

Christine McVie (Photo: Robb Cohen)
Christine McVie (Photo: Robb Cohen)

But wow, did that drama make for some amazing music.

The band returned to the road in October after taking some off late last year for John McVie to combat cancer, and this time they had a secret weapon that has elevated Fleetwood Mac to a new level of vitality – Christine McVie.

Back with the gang after a 16-year gap, McVie, an unbelievable-looking 71, injected a palpable energy into the band, both by allowing them to further open their songbook and by providing Nicks with her perfect female vocal foil.

Lindsey Buckingham (Photo: Robb Cohen)
Lindsey Buckingham (Photo: Robb Cohen)

When was the last time you heard Nicks girlishly squeal, as she did when welcoming McVie with an enthusiastic, “She’s baaaaaack!”? For that matter, when was the last time Mac fans heard “You Make Loving Fun” and “Everywhere” played live (OK, it was 1997’s “The Dance” tour, but you get the point)?

From the moment part-time artist Fleetwood ushered in the band’s standard opener “The Chain” with his heartbeat bass drum, to more than 2 ½-hours later when McVie closed the show with her tingly “Songbird,” the show felt fresh and alive and yes…fun.

The sold-out crowd at Philips Arena Wednesday night erupted into cheers for McVie before the complete opening phrase of “You Make Loving Fun” – “Sweet wonderful you” – exited her mouth, setting the appreciative tone of the night.

John McVie (Photo: Robb Cohen)
John McVie (Photo: Robb Cohen)

Of course, the other major benefit of McVie’s return is her contributions as a vocalist. She added another layer of harmony to the silky “Dreams,” steered the sunshiny “Everywhere” and helped “Rihannon” breathe as Nicks donned a black shawl to drape over her jagged-edge black dress as she sang an invigorated version of the song.

While the female energy on stage resounded mightily, that isn’t to diminish the continued awesomeness of the band’s tortured musical genius, Buckingham.

Whether bouncing on the balls of his feet during “Second Hand News” or unleashing primal yells during “Tusk” – the band’s most polarizing song that was balanced by Fleetwood’s unrelenting beat and Christine McVie on accordion – the Twizzler-thin Buckingham was a riveting presence who sounded robust after shaking off some initial hoarseness.

Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham (Photo: Robb Cohen)
Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham (Photo: Robb Cohen)

And what a hoot that at 65, he still has groupies who basked in his aura at the front of the stage and even requested a couple of his onstage towels.

By giving fans a well-paced, 24-song set, Fleetwood Mac was able to liberate its extensive catalog and demonstrate the differing tones each member brings to the forefront.

McVie’s sweet pop tendencies soared on “Say You Love Me,” Buckingham tore off a finger-blistering solo during “Big Love” that almost sounded symphonic and Nicks twirled and grinned during her ethereal “Gypsy,” after sharing a lengthy – yet interesting – story about its origin.

For a certain generation of Fleetwood Mac fans, the moments between Buckingham and Nicks prompt the greatest pangs of wistfulness. The twosome didn’t disappoint as they stood alone on stage for “Landslide,” with Nicks’ warble sounding poetically perfect and Buckingham’s gentle guitar strains lovely as always; the pair then stayed together for a hushed duet on “Never Going Back Again.”

Stevie Nicks (Photo: Robb Cohen)
Stevie Nicks (Photo: Robb Cohen)

With the full band back onstage (not that Buckingham ever leaves it), the easy-going, hip-shaking “Little Lies” led to Nicks’ defining moment of the show. She absolutely smoldered with sensuality as she snaked through “Gold Dust Woman,” saturating the song with an intensity not heard from her in years (the band’s 2013 appearance at Philips featured some fantastic moments, but none compared to this).

Eternal fan favorites “Go Your Own Way” – featuring Nicks in her traditional black top hat – and “Don’t Stop,” their anthem of cheerful optimism, provided the show with a final jolt, as did Fleetwood’s fluid drum solo in the middle of “World Turning.”

It’s almost a relief to know that Fleetwood Mac will be back at Philips Arena in March, because who wouldn’t want to see one of – if not the – best concert of the year one more time?

Yep, yesterday’s gone indeed and a new Mac has been born.

Melissa Ruggieri / Atlanta Journal Constitution / Thursday, December 18, 2014

 

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LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

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FEB 10, 2024
Mark G Etess Arena
Atlantic City, NJ

FEB 14, 2024
UBS Arena
Belmont Park, NY

FEB 17, 2024
CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore, MD

FEB 21, 2024
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Greenville, SC

FEB 24, 2024
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood, FL

FEB 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA
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MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE
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MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR
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MAR 9, 2024
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
Billy Joel
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MAY 3, 2024 – MAY 5, 2024
Lovin’ Life Fest
Charlotte, NC
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MAY 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO
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MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK
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MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
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MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX
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MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA
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MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA
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MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT
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MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO
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JUN 4
Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN
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JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT
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JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
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London, England
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Previous 2023 dates

March 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
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SoFi Stadium

March 15, 2023
Seattle, WA
Climate Pledge Arena

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
Kansas City, MO
Arrowhead Stadium

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
Enmarket Arena

November 4, 2023
Allentown, PA
PPL Center

November 7, 2023
Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Arena

November 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Bank Stadium

November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

December 5, 2023
Palm Desert, CA
Acisure Arena

December  8, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Phoenix, AZ
Chase Field

December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
Golden 1 Center

December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
Chase Center



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
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October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
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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