Tough the romantic aspect of it ended years ago, the relationship
between singer/songwriters Lindsey Buckingham and Valley native Stevie
Nicks is still the heart of Fleetwood Mac.
The former lovers took centerstage at America West Arena on Monday night, harmonizing and gazing deeply into one another's eyes while leading their long-running group through two and a half hours of hits and songs from their latest
album, “Say You Will.”
Anchored by the rhythm section of drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist
John McVie, Fleetwood Mac started their set strong with the driving
rock of “The Chain” and “Dreams.” Five adjunct musicians and two backup
singers beefed up the sound of the core group without drawing undue
attention to themselves.
Sandwiched around “Second Hand News,” the band brought out the
melodious “Peacekeeper” and the title track from their new album, and
the audience responded politely to the new material.
Nicks’ “Rhiannon” and “Gypsy” were early set highlights, with the
black-clad singer playing up her long-standing sorceress image by
dancing with a black veil.
Not to be outdone by the hometown heroine, Buckingham shone brightly on
the frenzied guitar histrionics of the new album's “Come,” but even
more impressively on “Big Love” which he performed alone after the rest
of the band departed. His fingers-only playing style — he uses no pick
— gives the band its signature guitar sound and is marvelous to watch
as well as hear.
Nicks then returned, thanked her hometown for supporting the Arizona
Heart Association (for which the show was a benefit) and dedicated
“Landslide” to her parents. The lilting ballad, for which she was
accompanied by Buckingham on acoustic guitar, was gorgeous.
“It was really beautiful — that song was my favorite part of the show,”
said Shirley Lindersmith, 48, of Chandler.
While the crowd was mostly made up of Baby Boomers, there were some
second-generation fans in the building as well.
“They're one of my favorite bands,” said Tony Lafreniere, 11, of Mesa,
who was attending the show with his father Bill, 40, who noted that his
son has “long aspired to be a drummer like Mick Fleetwood.”
More laden with slow songs, the second half of the set dragged a bit
compared to the first, but the band kicked into the home stretch with
the percussion-heavy “Tusk” and Nicks’ “Stand Back.” They closed the
set with Buckingham's kiss-off rocker “Go Your Own Way” and the
15,000-strong crowd responded with a standing ovation as the band left
For their encore, the group launched into “World Turning” and then left
Fleetwood onstage for an extended drum solo. Ever the dandy in velvet
breeches, black stockings and white shirt, his clothing served as part
of the show as his vest contained electronic drum pads he played with
After the band returned to be introduced by Fleetwood, the group played
“Don't Stop” with NIcks singing the parts once performed by the
now-retired Christine McVie.