With reunited member Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac begins a new chapter in their career. On Saturday, they performed a near-soldout show at the XL Center in Hartford
HARTFORD _ On tour with core member Christine McVie for the first time in 16 years, classic rock group Fleetwood Mac performed at the XL Center on Saturday night, offering up a two-and-a-half hour, 24 song set.
While the show didn’t appear to be a complete sell-out, there were scattered empty seats here and there, it was a representative and re-energized crowd that came to view the first leg of the legendary group’s “On with the Show” tour.
The inclusion of McVie adds another vocal and a few more songs to the set list but her real value is giving the band another reason to tour and motivation for the audience to come out for another go around.
Every brand needs a story and this time out for the Fleetwood Mac brand the best and only new story to tell is the reunion with the popular McVie.
With a dramatic flair, the group opened with “The Chain,” a relationship song that served as an affirmation of the reunited parts with the refrain “chain, keep us together.” McVie chimed in next with “You Make Lovin’ Fun,” and the narrative began to unfold.
Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham said the return of McVie solidified this highly dysfunctional group of former lovers, bandmates, and friends as not only survivors, but as an entity that will continue to thrive and grow.
“Her return begins a brand new chapter for us,” he said. “One that will be both profound and prolific.”
Musically the show was a series of highlights with only a handful of misses. “Dreams” came off as tired while songs like “Sisters of the Moon,” and “I’m So Afraid” could have been left off the set list.
The band, backed by an extra drummer, guitarist, keyboard player, and three vocalists, breathed life into songs like “Second Hand News,” Seven Wonders,” and “Gold Dust Woman.”
The centerpiece of the performance kicked off with Lindsey Buckingham’s solo acoustic version of “Big Love,” with the guitarist picking and strumming up an orchestral mix with his guitar while adding some vocal effects to create a full band sound.
He was joined by Stevie Nicks for “Landslide” and an even more poignant version of “Never Going Back,” delivered as a plaintive ballad.
The duet was a strong point of the performance and it’s not too far-fetched to think a Buckingham-Nicks tour would be the natural follow-up story to tell once this tour is complete.
Nicks got completely untracked while trying to introduce “Gypsy,” the only speed bump on the road to a strong finish that featured the hit “Go Your Own Way.”
The double encore included the obligatory Mick Fleetwood percussion solo, the hit “Silver Spring,” and McVie’s piano-laden “Songbird.”
Donnie Moorhouse / The Republican / November 2, 2014