Fleetwood Mac American Airlines Center June 4, 2013
Fleetwood Mac was a band known for its in-fighting, relationship struggles and affinity for drugs. Bankruptcy, betrayal, the Betty Ford Clinic, the band was a modern-day Shakespearean tragedy unfolding on stage. Their most popular album, Rumours, which has sold more than 40 million copies since its release in 1977, chronicles the turmoil that would haunt the band for more than two decades.
But on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, a near sold-out crowd witnessed a true American love story -- the chemistry between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks proved that sometimes love does conquer all.
The nearly three-hour set took fans through the band's three-decade catalog from their self-titled 1975 album to their critically acclaimed 2003 album Say You Will. They also played a few songs from their newly released four-track EP Extended Play.
Playing such hits as "Gold Dust Woman," "Dreams" and "The Chain," Fleetwood Mac sounded more aggressive than their soft-rock roots but balanced the harder edge with Nicks' angelic drone. Drummer Mick Fleetwood's powerful beats and bassist John McVie's groovy rhythms provided a backbone to Buckingham's thrash-metal inspired strumming. At one point, as Buckingham's fingers slid across the fretboard, flames literally danced off Rhiannon's fingertips while her ghostly image danced across the universe on a giant screen behind the band.
Rhiannon's spirit wasn't the only metaphysical anomaly appearing on the giant screen. A tribal god with twin bear heads, wings and seven hands transformed and reformed as the band played a few hits from Tusk. Next an image of a full moon piercing a cloudy sky reflected across the waters of a rippling pond. Serenity in motion. Then the eyes appeared. Thousands of them blinking in rapid succession while Rhiannon's face randomly materialized as if she were one of those annoying Where's Waldo puzzles.
Nicks dedicated a song to her "fairy goddaughter" Nicki who recently had a "fairy god, goddaughter." "A lot of people have been very mean to her (the fairy goddaughter)," explained Nicks, "and I've had to watch from afar." When the opening notes to "Landslide" began to play, the crowd erupted and then sang along with the aged singer.
"Gypsy," "Go Your Own Way" and "Never Going Back Again" took me back to the early '90s in Oklahoma when my aunt tried to outrun a tornado in her car with me in the backseat. It was a frightening experience, but somehow Nicks' voice calmed my fear (until my aunt lost control of her car, but that's another story).
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One fan was passing a pair of binoculars around and saying, "You can see Lindsey Buckingham's sweat," but I was too busy staring at Nicks, who still looks beautiful at 65.
By the end of the evening, "I love you, Stevie" was the crowd's mantra as the band came back for three encores. Mick Fleetwood was in good spirits and thanked the crowd for their devotion and a fabulous evening, screaming "We're back" as he left the stage.
But Stevie Nicks said it best:
"You guys are dreamcatchers. We write these songs; we throw them out there, and you listen to them, you love them, you live your life to them and you throw them back at us. We sing them to you again, and we throw the back to you. And you listen to these songs as if you've never heard them before. You've been doing that for us for 35 years. We just want you to know that it hasn't gone unnoticed, you guys. We are so grateful to you. We appreciate it every single night that we do this. Thank you so much for that."