“Our ‘Songbird’ has returned,” happily proclaimed Fleetwood Mac drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood last night, the first of the Hall of Fame-inducted band’s three dates at the Forum, as he introduced Christine McVie. The keyboardist/vocalist had left Fleetwood Mac 16 years ago but decided to rejoin the group who launched this On with the Show tour in celebration.
Everyone in the packed arena shared their enthusiasm over McVie’s return. Those on the floor stood the entire time, beginning with the first three songs (“The Chain,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Dreams”) that were all off the band’s 1977 hit album, Rumours. McVie admitted that since the Fleetwood Mac was once based in Los Angeles, she really loves it here and was happy to be back before transitioning into “Everywhere.”
While McVie’s musicianship and vocals shone on that song, as well as “Say You Love Me” and “Little Lies,” all of the other members were showcased as well. Lindsey Buckingham showed that the years haven’t affected his smooth vocals or guitar prowess, although he jokingly feigned stiff fingers before “Big Love.” He mesmerized with his finger picking on “Never Going Back Again,” delivered a searing solo during “I’m So Afraid” and led the entire audience in sing-alongs of “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop.”
And there are really no words adequate enough to express the magic of Stevie Nicks. Her performances were memorable each time she stepped to the mic to sing or tell a story and danced around the stage. From the beautifully haunting “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy” and “Sisters of the Moon” to “Seven Wonders” (after which she gave a shout out to “American Horror Story” for giving the song new life), “Gold Dust Woman” (when she draped herself in a shimmering gold shawl) and the legendary “Landslide,” dedicated to her three goddaughters and featuring little white lights set in the ceiling to resemble twinkling stars.
Bassist John McVie proved he is the backbone of every song, while Fleetwood matched his beats with thunder from his drum kit during “Tusk,” featuring video footage of USC’s Trojan Marching Band. Fleetwood also delivered a heart-pumping solo in “World Turning,” the first song of the encore section of the evening, eliciting crowd participation by repeatedly saying, “Don’t be shy now!”
The night ultimately ended in a more subdued yet incredibly touching manner, as McVie sat at a grand piano and performed “Songbird.” It was the perfect end to a gorgeous evening of songs that everyone in the venue knew by heart from a band whose legacy will live forever.