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Fleetwood Mac rocks the 'Peake and brings back good memories for young and old

Marie Mentesana / Red Dirt Report
Christine McVie takes the lead on "Everywhere," during Friday night's Fleetwood Mac concert at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – What was truly remarkable about last night’s Fleetwood Mac concert at the Chesapeake Energy Arena regarded the sheer energy and musicianship offered on stage by the classic, 70’s/80’s lineup including drummer Mick Fleetwood, singer Stevie Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, bassist John McVie and singer/keyboardist Christine McVie.

It was that last band member – Christine McVie – who really charged up both the band and the crowd, considering this tour – the 2014/15 “On With the Show Tour” – is the first time in 16 years that she was back with the Mac.

And hearing Christine’s vocals on “You Make Loving Fun,” “Say You Love Me,” “Everywhere,” “Over My Head” and “Don’t Stop,” - which was performed during a rousing encore, which also included “World Turning” (Fleetwood’s drum solo was insane!) and “Silver Springs,” a song that became a hit in 1997 and was a song about the ending of her relationship with Buckingham - was a treat!

She looked great and later Nicks talked about how she called her to rejoin the band in 2013, which led to the current world tour that concludes in Auckland, New Zealand this fall. Nicks added that she encouraged McVie to get a trainer and work out in preparation for the energy required for lengthy shows each night. She did just that.

And I think every band member – particularly Buckingham and Fleetwood – are keeping a steady exercise regimen, particularly after the way the lovable Fleetwood, who still dresses like its 1815 rather than 2015, kept time and the way the trim Buckingham ran around the stage with vim and vigor as he did in 1977.

And speaking of Buckingham, he proceeded to introduce “Big Love,” the first single off of 1987’s Tango in the Night, as a song that was part of a difficult recording process, particularly as the band was coming down a bit from the heady, post-Rumours years. In fact, "Little Lies" is a song I always associate with a trip I made to Portugal back in '87. Always some good memories associated with the Mac.

So, just armed with his voice and his six-sting guitar, Buckingham breaks into “Big Love” and during the guitar solo – fingers flying – he breaks a string. He leaves the stage and then returns with another guitar and tells the audience that had not ever happened during this tour, which began last fall. He started over from the beginning and just wailed on the song, one of his best, well, that and a fiery “I’m So Afraid.”

And looking at the band up there on stage – 40 years of “ups and downs,” as Buckingham put it – you were seeing a bit of rock history, particularly after so many line-up changes with the band over the years. But here was the classic five, who kicked off the show with the popular “The Chain.”

Nicks, of course, nailed it with dreamy, witchy “Dreams, “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy,” and the more obscure 1979 song “Sisters of the Moon.” She and Buckingham – who’ve had a long history together, something she openly talked about on stage – stood together on stage for the beautiful, acoustic “Landslide,” which was clearly a crowd favorite.

“Tusk” was particularly powerful, with some cool footage in the back, including the old USC Trojan Marching Band playing along with the thunderous track. It’s funny, because I thought of “Tusk” a few days earlier after seeing a car in front of me with a license plate frame saying “USC Trojan Marching Band Alumni.” Perhaps the driver appeared on the song?

Oklahoma City was clearly excited in seeing and hearing the band that – from the look of the gray haired folks around me – they had enjoyed in their younger days. Just seeing the cheering crowd scream in ecstasy over “Go Your Own Way” … well, you know what I mean.

As for me, when I was a teen in the 1980’s, I had been a babysitter for a family who had an amazing collection of LP’s, including a lot of more obscure, late 60’s and early 70’s blues-rock Fleetwood Mac albums like 1972’s Bare Trees and 1973’s Mystery to Me. Yes, this was pre-Nicks and Buckingham, but the guitar of guys like Peter Green, Bob Welch and Danny Kirwan are not to be overlooked. Of course I can understand why we weren’t treated to more obscure faves like 1968’s oceanic instrumental “Albatross” (which inspired The Beatles’ “Sun King”) and 1973’s spooky, jazzy “Hypnotized.” That Bob Welch song is my favorite pre-Stevie and Lindsey Fleetwood Mac song.

Anyway, this was clearly a run through the hits. Not unlike the sort of show you might get from a state-fair-staple like a Styx or a Journey or an REO Speedwagon … except that this was Fleetwood Mac! One of the top selling bands in the world. Not some has-been group where you’re not even sure who is singing lead anymore.

It was great having Fleetwood Mac in town and from what I understand, a new album is in the works – with Christine McVie! Color me excited!

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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