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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fleetwood Mac Delivers Arena Rock Thrills Without the Frills

Concert Review

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 10:32 AM

click to enlarge JOE KLEON
  • Joe Kleon
When Fleetwood Mac reunited back in 2013 and launched what would become a very successful (and very long) world tour, the band sounded a bit rusty as it played its first show in three years in Columbus. But the group eventually warmed up and delivered a solid performance. Last night at Quicken Loans Arena, where the band played a two-plus hour show before a capacity crowd, it didn’t need any time to warm up. You can see a slideshow from the concert here

Right from the set’s start, which began with the moody “The Chain,” the band hummed on all cylinders. Singer Stevie Nicks said the band had played fiftysomething shows on the current leg, so that must’ve had something to do with it. But it’s also the band’s method of operation. Each player in the group is a phenomenal musician in his or her own right. While many of today's arena rock tours rely on theatrics, Fleetwood Mac deserves credit for putting the emphasis on the music. Other than using the occasional video treatment, the band didn't rely on any gimmicks. 

The early part of the set featured some of the band’s biggest hits. Songs such as “You Make Loving Fun,” a tune the band has started playing again now that singer-keyboardist Christine McVie is back with the group, “Dreams,” “Second Hand News” and “Rhiannon,” which concluded with a vigorous jam, all sounded sharp. While McVie tunes such as “You Make Loving Fun” and “Everywhere” lack intense lyrics for which Fleetwood Mac songs are known, McVie delivered them perfectly and her voice even sounded a bit more soulful usual on “You Make Loving Fun.”

Heavy percussion made the introduction to “Tusk” more ominous than usual and the band seamlessly included footage of the marching band that played on the studio verison of the song. Acoustic renditions of “Landslide” and “Never Going Back Again” allowed singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and Nicks to show how well they could harmonize and Nicks, who wore a loose fitting black lace dress, gave “Gold Dust Woman” her all, hovering over the microphone at song’s end to sing the song’s final lines “pale shadow of a woman” over and over again.

The first of two encores featured “World Turning” and “Don’t Stop” before the band delivered the somber ballad “Silver Springs,” perhaps one of the greatest break-up songs of all time. In the middle of the set, Buckingham admitted that the band had been through its “ups and downs” throughout the years. “But that’s what makes us who we are,” he said matter-of-factly. He might have added that the band is currently experiencing a definite “up.” 


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