How do you not attend a show where two of the five members of the iconic Fleetwood Mac lineup show up at the Hard Rock Live venue?
I know, right?
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, quickly becoming the elder statesmen of How-To-Do-It-Right Rock and Roll, brought their act in support of their album aptly titled Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie to a sold-out crowd of mostly ’70s acolytes looking to get a little of that Carter-era groove back.
After coming off the massively successful Fleetwood Mac On With The Show tour a few years ago the duo decided to see if they had anything left to say. Conversing back and forth “across the pond,” McVie lives in London and Buckingham in SoCal, they embarked on a crusade which would become their new record. McVie left FM amiably in 1998 to live in semi-retirement but re-joined the outfit in early 2014. Still wanting to express herself in a more intimate way, she and Buckingham put together a new album full of dynamic tunes, some reminiscent of the FM style of songwriting and playing, but definitely empowered by a twenty-first century attitude and sound. You can almost put their new effort into the Fleetwood Mac canon; both Mick Fleetwood and John McVie joined them in the studio when the album was cut. Stevie Nicks, doing her own solo project, is the only iconic member of the lineup to have sat this album out.
Taking the stage precisely at 8:00, the band lit into Buckingham’s 1981 hit “Trouble.” As the evening continued the duo would play a remarkable eight cuts from their new record, offering only a handful of classics from their more famous ensemble. The backing band, Federico Pol on bass duties, Sideshow Bob-frizzed hair Jimmy Paxson behind the kit, Neale Haywood on rhythm guitar, and Brett Tuggle pulling double duty on both keys and axe, was tight and subbed very respectably for their MIA Mac bandmates.
Offering up a handful of Mac daddies, the evening really came to life with a rousing version of “Tusk.” I don’t know if I’ve covered a show yet this year, and I’ve seen 94 acts in 2017, where a crowd sprung to life as they did during “Tusk.” I’ll bet you could’ve powered a small town with the energy created during those five-or-so minutes.
McVie took the reins on “Little Lies” and showed the crowd that old rockers are the best rockers. At 73, she’s a powerhouse behind the keys; although she appeared shy and let Buckingham do most of the talking for the two of them, she sprang to life when it was her turn behind the mic.
Her turn on “You Make Loving Fun” took us all back to Rumours; the crowd ate it up.
The new tunes, such as the effervescent “In My World” and “Feel About You,” were pop microcosmic wafers, showcasing the songwriting talents of the pair. While not as everlasting as the FM canon, they were still gobstoppers, lodging themselves in your head for a long while after the pair had left the building. “Feel About You” had a Beatles-feel to it as well; the light confections of the tune had toes tapping and heads bobbing throughout it’s four minute runtime.
Mac standards such as “Wish You Were Here” and “Everywhere” were punctuated by a foot-tapping “Go Your Own Way,” which closed out the set. People may have come to hear a retinue of Mac tunes but were given so much more from the duo. The band is considering a 2018 farewell tour; all five members are going to give us one last go ’round as Fleetwood Mac. Here’s hoping, if that’s the case, that we’ll see Buckingham and McVie continue to tour as a duet.
Judging from this last album, I’d say they have a lot more to say.