Home » REVIEW: A songbird returns, Fleetwood Mac thrills

REVIEW: A songbird returns, Fleetwood Mac thrills

It’s a time-honored tradition that touring musicians will mangle the pronunciation of “Des Moines.” Those Ses throw everyone off. Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena it was Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie who got tripped up. To be fair, she had a good excuse.

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“It’s been many a year since I’ve been in the city,” McVie said after making a small error she was probably unaware of. While Fleetwood Mac last played Des Moines less than two years ago, McVie hasn’t been a regular part of the band in 17 years.

The crowd got a heaping helping of McVie during the show. After starting the show with the group effort “The Chain,” McVie launched into “You Make Loving Fun,” a song long absent from Fleetwood Mac sets.

“Tonight’s our 54th show,” singer Stevie Nicks said of the current tour. “In the beginning of our 54 shows, at this point in the show I would say ‘Welcome Des Moines’ and ‘Welcome Back, Christine.’ Now that we’re on our 54th show, we can just proceed with ‘She’s back!’ Let’s get this party started!”

Fleetwood Mac stuck closely to its classic material, following the first two songs with two more from Rumours, “Dreams” and “Second Hand News,” which gave Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham a shot at lead vocals. From there the band went back a little further, to 1975’s self-titled album with Nicks singing “Rhiannon.”

The newest material came from 1987’s Tango in the Night, with “Everywhere,” “Big Love” and “Seven Wonders” getting play. “Seven Wonders” got some added attention last year in the finale of the series American Horror Story and Nicks gave the show a shout out after finishing.

“I found out Des Moines means city of monks,” Nicks told the crowd. “No, river of monks. Since I don’t know anyone here, I’m dedicating this next song to the river of monks.”

Well, she pronounced it right. And she followed that with “Landslide,” accompanied by only Buckingham. From there Nicks left the spotlight, with Buckingham remaining to start “Never Going Back Again” solo, with Nicks eventually rejoining him on backing vocals.

I can’t compare the show to 2013’s performance, but the crowd at Wells Fargo Arena was enraptured. The cheers after certain songs probably would have gone on indefinitely if Fleetwood Mac didn’t start another song.

It was largely a mellow night of music, with Buckingham occasionally living things up a bit with songs like “I Know I’m Not Wrong” and “Tusk.” Some of the highs aren’t as high as they were 40 years ago, but the voices of McVie, Nicks and Buckingham have held up surprisingly well over the years.

There were a few rambling stories told by Nicks and Buckingham, which chances are doubled as resting periods for the other members, but the audience never seemed to get restless.

During “Gypsy,” the band gathered around Nicks, including drummer Mick Fleetwood, who moved up to a smaller drum set. At the song’s end she gave the crowd one of her signature twirls, showing off her signature layered look. From there Fleetwood returned to his main drum set and McVie, Nicks and Buckingham belted out “Little Lies,” giving the show another upswing of energy.

Toward the end of the main set, the band started jamming out a bit with “Gold Dust Woman” and “I’m So Afraid.” Before leaving the stage they closed things out with the crowd pleasing “Go Your Own Way.”

Fleetwood Mac returned from a brief break to take the stage with “World Turning,” broken up by a drum solo along with some “woos” and “Yeahs” from Fleetwood. The band got the crowd on its feet with “Don’t Stop,” before closing out the first encore with “Silver Springs.”

“Thank you very much, that means more than you could ever know to me,” Nicks said after finishing.”

When introducing the band and backing musicians during the first encore, Fleetwood singled out McVie with “Our songbird has returned!” So it seems fitting that the show would close out with McVie taking the stage solo to perform “Songbird” before being joined by Buckingham.

In my review of The Eagles, I pointed out that I was never really a fan of the band, and despite the fact that it was a quality show they didn’t pull me into the fan category. Similarly, I didn’t grow up listening to Fleetwood Mac. During a rebellious teenager phase I even proclaimed to friends that I disliked the band. I was wrong, I’m pretty sure I’m a fan now. Wednesday’s show was the straw that broke the critic’s indifferent back.

Despite almost all the songs being more than 30 years old, the show didn’t feel like a band that was just trotting out the old hits. McVie’s return last year seems to have re-energized the band. If this was Fleetwood Mac’s last Des Moines show, they went out on a high note, even the singers voices couldn’t hit all the high notes they used to.

Joe Lawler / Juice Magazine / Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Joe Lawler Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at jo*@dm*****.com or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler



Stevie Nicks

MAY 3, 2024 – MAY 5, 2024
Lovin’ Life Fest
Charlotte, NC

MAY 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO

MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK

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 (with Billy Joel)
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

JUL 12, 2024
BST Hyde Park
London, England

^ Non-Live Nation show

Previous 2023 dates

March 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Los Angeles, CA
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

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

MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE

MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR

MAR 9, 2024
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
Billy Joel


2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

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

Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

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


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

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