Brandon Marshall / Westword
Home » REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac remains strange, potent musical family

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac remains strange, potent musical family

Powerhouse band returns to Denver’s Pepsi Center, where Lindsey Buckingham steals the show.

Photos by Brandon Marshall
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The Pepsi Center was moving and shaking on Wednesday evening to the smoky sounds of the infamous Fleetwood Mac. The night was filled with velvet-draped microphone stands, beards, vests and the crackle of big personalities.

Although the group seemed to be in high spirits, there was a suggestive tinge of emotion drifting between the bandmates throughout the show. Christine McVie, once married to bassist John McVie, has not been a part of the band for over sixteen years, but she began touring with it again in September. The event mainly focused on Christine McVie and her return — something Stevie Nicks seems to have had enough of.

Nicks began by saying that McVie had been gone for a decent amount of time, but now Denver was their 73rd show together. “I can safely say she’s back.”

The rockers’ dynamic was a little off-putting throughout the evening. But the group began their set with “The Chain,” and continued to give the audience what it was looking for. It is absolutely astonishing how many hits Fleetwood Mac has made over the years. This band is a powerhouse. The band, whose members range in age from the late sixties to early seventies, played for over two and a half hours, fully engaged in the crowd and musicianship.

The first half of their set was more rock-oriented. By the middle of the set, the band exited the stage — eveyone except Lindsey Buckingham, who stood front and center with an acoustic guitar.

Beforehand, Buckingham had given a little history behind the song “Big Love” — the first single off of Fleetwood Mac’s Tango in the Night. He explained the history of the time when he wrote it and what it has meant to him over the years. “To me, it is a mantra; it’s the power and importance of change,” explained Buckingham. He then played a solo version of “Big Love,” giving the song a more backwoods, folky feel, compared to the 1980s hard-grooving rock tune that was recorded on the album.

Thereafter, Nicks joined Buckingham on stage, and they performed “Landslide.” This was a very powerful moment. “Landslide” has so much emotion and ghosts permeating it, and it let off energy blasts between Nicks and Buckingham. By the end, the two were holding hands.

The rest of the bandmembers resurfaced, and Mick Fleetwood was positioned center stage with a smaller drum kit than his extensive main one to perform “Gypsy,” which led into “Little Lies.”

As I said, every one of these musicians are at the top of their game. Fleetwood Mac 2015 sounded as good as Fleetwood Mac 1968, but Lindsey Buckingham stole a good majority of the show with his incredible guitar playing, accompanied by some signature moves as well as some borrowed over the years, such as the classic Chuck Berry duck walk.

The band closed the evening with some encores, among them “World Turning.”

The members gave this time to the youthful Mick Fleetwood, once again all of them leaving the stage, diffusing the electric chemistry that encases them when all founding members are together. Mick Fleetwood led the crowd through a tribal call-and-response drum solo, keeping perfect time and shouting out emotional cries for the crowd to repeat.

Fleetwood Mac is not just a band that has created multiple hits throughout its career. When you experience its live act, you find a feeling of family and relationship. You experience the love and heartache between five individuals who have shared their lives with each other for nearly fifty years.

Alex Warzel / Westword / Thursday, April 2, 2015

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