Fleetwood Mac At The Forum: Please “Don’t Stop”

Author: Bill Dudley

Fleetwood Mac is a family. They fight, they marry, they divorce, they quit the band, then rejoin. They are just like real people. Fleetwood Mac is special to so many of us, not just because of their 40 years of great and varied musical styles, but because the group has always been a reflection of our own families too.

The three Brits and two Americans have woven an essential blend of enduring music for the world since 1975.  Drummer Mick Fleetwood and Bassist John McVie originally formed the group in the late 1960s as a heavy rock and blues band. John’s then wife Christine joined in 1970, staying until 1998. After a 16 year absence, keyboardist Christine McVie has rejoined the group. Over the weekend, the reunited band brought their ‘On With The Show’ tour for the first two of three nights at The Forum in Los Angeles to sold out audiences.

I attended their concert last year, and enjoyed it very much, but something was missing. It was Christine. This is forgotten by many, but it was her soothing vocals that created the very first Fleetwood Mac hit  “Over My Head” back in 1976. Christine’s “Say You love Me,” “You Make Lovin’ Fun,” “Everywhere” and “Little Lies” add a softer pop mix to the hard driving guitar and energetic vocals of Lindsey Buckingham on “Tusk,” “Second Hand News,” and “Big Love.”

Buckingham and ex-wife Stevie Nicks are clearly the upfront stars of Fleetwood Mac, as the group hung around for almost a decade without much success prior to them joining the band in 1975. However, it takes all five members to totally create the Fleetwood Mac sound, and they all know it. This is quite evident on the opening number “The Chain,” the only song written by all 5 members on their historic Rumours album. “Don’t Stop” and “Go Your Own Way” are also a strong group effort.

One down, two to go! #FleetwoodForum #FabulousForum @fleetwoodmac @StevieNicks (Photo: Paul A. Hebert) pic.twitter.com/fM9CKQxWUb

— The Forum (@theforum) November 29, 2014

Stevie Nicks reclaimed her title as a true “Rock Goddess” with  her stirring performances of “Gold Dust Woman,” “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Sisters Of The Moon,” and “Landslide.” Leading into “Gypsy,” she also told a gripping story of being a broke teenager in San Francisco in the mid 1960s, and not being able to afford clothes at a store called The Velvet Underground. A few years later her first band was opening for Janis Joplin, Grace Slick and other greats of that era.

The one & only, @StevieNicks. #FleetwoodForum @fleetwoodmac (Photo: Paul A. Hebert) pic.twitter.com/CWH84NAFa3 — The Forum (@theforum) November 29, 2014

Make no mistake, Mick Fleetwood is still one of the very best drummers in the business. Mick pounds out the percussion during all of the show, staying somewhat low key by letting Stevie, Lindsey, and Christine have the spotlight, but wails on for a long drum solo on “World Turning” towards the end.

All five members of this diverse lineup are visibly emotional about the longevity and top notch  performances they still have the energy to give, and are genuinely thankful for the opportunity to do so. This is not a bunch of “has been” artists grinding it out years after they have peaked. Fleetwood Mac is still a very evolving, creative band, and a damn good one.

Mick Fleetwood concludes every show by introducing John McVie as his “lifelong best friend.” Unlike many groups, it is very evident that they still love and respect each other very much. Even more remarkable as all of them are creating music with their ex husbands & wives etc. The well crafted background video adds a lot to the vibe of the show, and the sound of The Forum is excellent.

Night 2 with @fleetwoodmac. #FleetwoodForum @StevieNicks (Photo: Paul A. Hebert) pic.twitter.com/G6ULgo9H2y

— The Forum (@theforum) November 30, 2014

The Fleetwood Mac “On With The Show Tour” will be at The Forum again this Saturday night and at The Honda Center Sunday night. Two shows are also scheduled for San Diego this week. For more show details and tickets, visit www.fleetwoodmac.com.

Fleetwood Mac at The Forum setlist (via The Hollywood Reporter):

The Chain
You Make Loving Fun
Dreams
Second Hand News
Rhiannon
Everywhere
I Know I’m Not Wrong
Tusk
Sisters of the Moon
Say You Love Me
Seven Wonders
Big Love
Landslide
Never Going Back Again
Over My Head
Gypsy
Little Lies
Gold Dust Woman
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way

Encore:

World Turning
Don’t Stop
Silver Springs

Encore 2:

Songbird

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