Fleetwood Mac Honda Center 12/7/14
If there's one nostalgic rock band the world needed to see reunite this year, it was Fleetwood Mac. And more specifically, it's millenials who seemed to need them the most. Aside from their noted influence on artists of the last decade, they've become one of the top rediscovered acts among the bohemian hipster set over the last couple years. Add that to the sheer brilliance of their performance as the band's immortal members hit the back end of their 60s, and you have a recipe for an amazing show at the Honda Center last night.
The show was a veritable kaleidoscope of entertainment. It consisted of a great set, terrific performances, a narrative thread of song introductions, a very impressive backing film, and the homecoming of Christine McVie. McVie's rejoining of bandmates Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Stevie Nicks, after a 16 year absence, provided the centerpiece of the show's nostalgic feeling.
The band's introductions for some of the songs acknowledged the ways in which Fleetwood Mac music has become interwoven with current pop culture. For example, Stevie Nicks expressed her appreciation for the way in which the television series American Horror Story has featured some of Mac's songs (one of the characters in the show is obsessed with Nicks). However, the inspirational dedication Nicks provided for the song "Landslide" won the award for best introduction of the evening. The song was dedicated to local teen Cecilia Bellissimo, whom Nicks explained had fought long and hard to defeat overwhelming odds and survive cancer. Bellissimo was in attendance.
"Landslide" was part of a mid-show mini-set of minimalist performances by Buckingham and Nicks. This mini-set also included a phenomenal performance of "Never Going Back Again." This number was a showstopper. While performing the beautiful, fingerpicked, acoustic melody, Buckingham's singing became so delicate and breathy that it eclipsed and silenced the guitar's voice for several bars throughout the song only to increase in tempo and strength for a triumphant chorus which was sang with Nicks harmonizing.
The introduction and backing film for "Gypsy" provided the most bohemian flavors of the evening. Nicks introduced it as a song about visiting an elegant rock and roll clothing store, called the Velvet Underground, promising herself that she would return when she'd accomplished her dream of making it big with Fleetwood Mac. Once she had succeeded, she was able to afford the store's clothes, and, naturally, she went back. The very romantic black and white backing film for this song was reminiscent of the visual style of Robert Rodriguez's film Sin City, and it concluded with a live video feed of Nicks twirling on the stage, rendered in black and white with added rain effects.
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Of course, a rock show that is drenched in eclecticism must also feature some hard-rocking, and when Buckingham wasn't demonstrating his prowess on classical guitars, he was tearing it up on his Rick Turner Model 1. His solos on the guitar showpiece "I'm So Afraid" were simply amazing.
For a band with so much history and so many ups and downs, the members of Fleetwood Mac performed as a perfect ensemble -- each of the members supporting one another during their various spotlight moments. Furthermore, the sentiments that were most prominent throughout most of the performing and banter were that they were glad to be whole again, and that they hoped they would stay that way for a long time.