Fleetwood Mac >> came back to Phoenix last night for the first time in AZ since 2009. It was a long-awaited return for many and for me it was my entire life. Their performance was definitely one for the ages and beyond. Sheer brilliance is the best way to describe the show though it is quite the understatement.
The bank of countless musical gems that Fleetwood Mac has shared with the world spans more than 5 decades and based on the fellow attendees I saw at US Airways Center, the love for their music transcends even more generations - unlike the Neil Diamond show last year where everyone else was about 50 years my senior.
The legendary, Phoenix-born Stevie Nicks entered stage right with epic guitarist Lindsey Buckingham on the opposite end. Co-founding member and drummer Mic Fleetwood was already sitting behind his drum set and in front of a huge Zildjian gong he would bang the shit out of later.
They opened with 'Second Hand News' and wasted no time following with my favorite song 'The Chain'. The jam at the end of that song fueled by Buckingham's mean guitar solo is the entire reason I have become such a fan since my youth. He had a few other phenomenal solos too and later performed 'Big Love' completely on his own.
Some other favorites of mine followed thereafter in 'Dreams' and 'Rhiannon' then 'Tusk'. TUSK! I recently became a huge fan of this song because of an intense opening scene in the pilot episode of The Americans [watch this show if you haven't already]. During the driving horn section of this song Stevie twirled a baton in front the big screen showing vintage clips of the USC marching band who performed with Fleetwood Mac on this song on a live album way back when. That would have been mad cool to have the ASU marching band do something like that for the Phoenix show, right?
Anyway, I was only 12 rows up from the floor and about a full court press from the stage but from there and backed up by a few video screens it looked like Stevie Nicks had been cryogenically frozen for 30 years and thawed just for this show. She definitely does not look 60-something and she looked even younger whilst energetically spinning about during musical breaks. She was dressed like a young gypsy witch in all black and switched up shawls every 3rd song or so with the finale one speckled in gold, making her a true 'Gold Dust Woman'. This is when Mr. Fleetwood got the gong going and even worked some cowbell into the beats.
The band closed with 'Go Your Own Way' with the entire downtown arena singing along. Then they came back out for a 2-song encore finishing with 'Don't Stop'. The standing ovation was even louder this time around and did not cease. Fleetwood Mac came back out for another encore starting with 'Silver Springs' and finally wrapping up with a song I've never heard fittingly titled 'Say Goodbye'.
I normally don't like too much chatter between songs but I really enjoyed hearing the stories told by Stevie and Lindsey throughout the evening. The best was about a poem Stevie wrote about Lindsey when they were together and before the band came to be that eventually turned into the song 'Without You'. It was recorded in 1974, mysteriously disappeared thereafter and completely forgotten for nearly 30 years then resurfaced on YouTube in 2011. That seemingly reignited another profound life into the band and apparently they love playing this song at almost every show these days.
I feel pretty pleased I have gotten to see Fleetwood Mac, Prince and Neil Diamond in this past year. What other bucket-list-busters does 2013 have in store? The Cure at Lollapalooza? Still debating. Depeche Mode at Desert Sky Pavilion this October? Sold.
Setlist: Second Hand News * The Chain * Dreams * Sad Angel * Rhiannon * Not That Funny * Tusk * Sisters of the Moon * Sara * Big Love * Landslide * Never Going Back Again * Without You * Gypsy * Eyes of the World * Gold Dust Woman * I'm So Afraid * Stand Back * Go Your Own Way * ENCORE: World Turning * Don't Stop * 2ND ENCORE: Silver Springs * Say Goodbye