Live Last Night: Fleetwood Mac

Tuesday night at the Verizon Center, Fleetwood Mac surveyed 40 years of its turbulent career, including material written by members past and present. But the concert was dominated by singer-guitarist Lindsay Buckingham, whether the quartet was excavating its origins as a late-'60s blues band or playing hits from "Rumours,'' its 30-million-selling 1977 zenith.

(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)

"Rumours'' connected to so many listeners because its raw emotions neatly contrasted the band's '70s update of California folk-rock, and because the group had three equally matched songwriters. One of them, Christine McVie, left the band in 1998, but the Mac could hardly play more than two hours without doing a couple of hers: "Say You Love Me'' arrived about two-thirds through the show, and onetime Clinton anthem "Don't Stop'' was among the encores.

Since there's "no new album... yet,'' as Buckingham announced to cheers, the group was free to mix longtime favorites with a few lesser-known numbers. Both Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks performed tunes from their solo albums, although only the former got the stage to himself. But then Buckingham held the spotlight even when the full band (plus five backing musicians) was present. While much of his guitar work was folk-style finger-picking, he strutted as an electric-blues axe hero during "Oh, Well (Part 1)'' -- a song recorded years before Buckingham joined the group.

With Mick Fleetwood's drums heavily overamplified and as many as seven voices belting the choruses, the delicacy of the group's sound was sometimes at risk. But the melodies held up just fine, Buckingham led as deftly on stage as in the studio and Nicks showed she still knows how to really work a shawl.

-- MARK JENKINS

By J. Freedom du Lac |  March 11, 2009; 12:45 PM ET Live Last Night
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-does anybody know if "Don't Stop" was the last song played in the encore? we unfortunately had to leave at the tail end of the song. grrr. Thanks!

Posted by: dmsgov | March 11, 2009 2:07 PM

Last song was "Silver Springs".

The show was advertised as a greatest hits tour and it certainly was, they played six songs off Fleetwood Mac, eight songs off Rumours, and four songs off Tusk. That made the crowd pretty pleased, but I was hoping for a couple songs more recent than 1987. I would have preferred to hear "Seven Wonders" instead of "Big Love" from Tango in the Night, and "Say You Will", "Peacekeeper", "Steal Your Heart Away" or "Bleed to Love Her" from Say You Will, although hearing "I Know I'm Not Wrong", "Storms" and "Oh Well" for the first time was a treat.

I was particularly surprised that Lindsey with two solo albums since the Mac's last tour chose to keep doing "Go Insane" as his solo song - I would have loved to hear "Did You Miss Me" or "The Right Place to Fade" off Gift Of Screws. Still, even a predictable setlist was a good night of music, and we headed home happy.

Posted by: Hemisphire | March 11, 2009 2:26 PM

I loved the concert. I thought FM sounded great and they played a lot of my favorite songs. All in all, a great evening.

Posted by: andrewgerst@hotmail.com | March 11, 2009 4:33 PM

"With Mick Fleetwood's drums heavily overamplified and as many as seven voices belting the choruses, the delicacy of the group's sound was sometimes at risk."

I didn't see the show, but overly amplified drums and bass is a frequent problem that lesson the concert experience. I am happy to see a convert reviewer call out the problem. What is the point if you can't hear the singer or the melody?

This a big problem when your hearing a song you have never heard before. If you have heard a song before, your brain can focus in on sounds that aren't as loud as they should be. But your brain can't do that on songs it hasn't heard.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | March 11, 2009 5:41 PM

Wow!...What an incredible show! They played a lot of the good stuff like Sarah, Monday Morning, Ladslide, Rihannon, and Say that You Love Me. It would have been great if Christine Mcvie were there to sing on that one. I left during Don't Stop, although I would have been curious as too what song they would have doone like You Make Loving Fun.

Posted by: clsjr | March 11, 2009 8:03 PM

What a great show! They played a lot of the good songs.

Posted by: clsjr | March 11, 2009 8:06 PM

Even though it was in the middle of the work week, nothing beats listening to Fleetwood Mac live to break the monotony of just another Tuesday night. It was disappointing not to see Mick mesmerize the crowd by getting out from behind the drums and tap his 'talking' vest as in previous concerts during "World Turning". Another surprise was the lack of a percussion backup for Mick. It was a 'lean' Mac last night but superb nonetheless.

Posted by: willg | March 11, 2009 9:35 PM

What a pathetic excuse for a review.
1. Nice photo of the group... from 2004.
2. Why not give Stevie Nicks the credit she deserves instead of the annoying 'shawl' comment? Her singing was spectacular and her songs have proven to be timeless.

Posted by: stellagranos | March 11, 2009 11:13 PM

SHAME ON THIS "PROFESSIONAL REVIEW". BUCKINGHAM WOULD BE PERFORMING INFRONT OF AN EMPTY STADIUM WITH OUT STEVIE NICKS, YES HE SOUNDED GREAT, BUT PLEASE GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE.

Posted by: siorkin | March 12, 2009 3:26 PM

Anybody who understands what made Stevie special for so long gets why her shawl-working is really about the most that can be said for her stage abilities these days. She will remain one of my and my husband's favorite singer-songwriters of all time, but it's time for that girl to hang up the dresses, capes, top hats, and yes, even the shawls. It's really sad, because not only does she sound terrible (weak, flat, dispassionate and completely unconvincing), but she corrupts her and the Mac's legacy by going on. Next time FM tours, the band would do well to find a replacement for Stevie -- maybe Pink, Anastacia, or Amanda Overmeyer (raspy powerhouse from last season's American Idol) could fill in. Stevie might be a good fit for choreography or stage design. People who say Stevie has never sounded better do not know a thing about Stevie's voice, are tone-deaf, or are being put up to such absurd comments. The woman simply does not have enough left in the vocal tank to entertain. And the theatrics on stage (clothing, dancing, grandstanding, etc.) create an expectation that falls flat when the voice does not deliver and turns what used to be a sublime experience into a joke. Wake up, people, and stop insulting our intelligence! Let's demand much more for our entertainment dollars.

Posted by: sit123 | March 13, 2009 4:09 PM

Overall I thought the sound quality was horrible, way too loud. The subtle harmonies were lost in many of the songs. At times it felt like it was the "Lindsay Buckingham Show" instead of Fleetwood Mac. As for Stevie Nicks, I thought she looked and sounded great, no, her voice does not sound exactly like it did in the 70's, but I think she sounds better now than she did 5 or 10 years ago.

Posted by: ange11296 | March 14, 2009 10:30 AM

Every member of Fleetwood Mac has such a rare and overwhelming range of unmatched talent. An unforgettable(gift)performance that CAN stand the test of time! The only way the concert could have been better is if Christine were back! Perhaps, just as Stevie sang about her getting older, look at yourself... after all, I noticed many people holding there ears when the group was ROCKING! Poet, never stop...

Posted by: TDpoet526 | March 14, 2009 6:14 PM

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