Fleetwood Mac kicked off their 50-stop North American tour in Columbus, Ohio last night by delivering a mix of their biggest hits, a few unexpected gems from their decades-spanning career… and an announcement of a forthcoming EP.
Buckingham proved why he’s still one of the most revered guitarists in recent decades as he wailed through their catalog, often while fans in the front row ran their hands along his guitar in almost prayer-like devotion.
Nicks, donning her trademark black outfits and shawls – which came and went in quick on-stage changes – proved why she’s a cultural icon. Sometimes with a tambourine in hand, others while tugging at the black straps hanging from her mic stand, and just a few times while spinning in her trademark circles, she sang flawlessly.
Fleetwood commanded the stage from his enormous, raised kit – grinning maniacally and sporting his elfin getup, complete with a pair of hanging balls. Easily one of the highlights of the show was his lengthy drum solo during “World Turning,” which kicked off their first encore.
McVie hung in the background, quietly holding together the backbone of the group – though shining during such solo moments as the driving bass line in “The Chain.”
Singer/songwriter Christine McVie was notably absent; she retired from the band in the late ’90s, so her songs are mostly absent from the band’s setlist. One exception being “Don’t Stop,” with Nicks taking on her former bandmate’s vocals.
The first surprise in the set list came early on: four songs in, they did a brand new song, “Sad Angel.” Buckingham noted that it is on their new EP, which would be out “in a few days.” Nicks later referred to the EP, calling it their “little baby record.”
About halfway through the main set, the group pulled out a track seldom played since its 1979 release on Tusk, “Sisters of the Moon.”
After dueting on the Rumours track “Never Going Back Again,” they played an unreleased song from their the long-out-of-print Buckingham/Nicks album, recorded before the duo joined Fleetwood Mac. Nicks noted that “Without You” had the nicest lyrics she had ever written about Lindsey – which he was quick to agree with.
Buckingham returned the favor during the second encore, when the pair came out alone to play “Say Goodbye” from the group’s most recent album, 2003’s Say You Will. Buckingham said that he wrote the track to provide closure to his relationship with Stevie, and that today the pair are getting along the best that they have in years.
McVie and Fleetwood joined them on stage for a final bow all together – afterwards Mick ran to the microphone with one final message: take care of yourself, and be kind to each other.
To see the entire setlist, go to WNCX’s website.
– Erin Fox 98.5 WNCX Cleveland