Fleetwood Mac operates on one’s imagination in a way few other bands can — whether within your musical memory, or onstage at Dodger Stadium as they were Sunday night (July 16), for the second evening of Classic West.
The sweetly intoned, plaintive melodies of Christine McVie, the now-gentle, now-angry mini-operas of Stevie Nicks, and what might be called the ecstatic agonies (“Bleed To Love Her,” anyone?) of Lindsey Buckingham, all swirl into an understanding that emotion will come to the fore. The shorthand for their genre is “hits,” and they delivered plenty to a crowd that roared appreciatively from the time the lights went down to usher in “The Chain” to the last notes of “Don’t Stop,” 20 songs later.
The inherent drama that suffuses any Fleetwood Mac performance might be baldly stated as “Who’s still in love with whom?” and the band not only lives with that as a sometimes-aggravating hangover — reliving your late twenties onstage as a member of a band whose average age hovers near 70 can’t always be easy — but as an evergreen dramatic conceit.
Opening with “The Chain” definitely fed the beast of tortured past relationships as a topic: “And if you don’t love me now/ You will never love me again” reverberated with feeling even as it showcased the group’s durable trademark sound — Fleetwood’s funereal drumbeats, John McVie’s underrated mutterings on bass, the ladies’ baleful harmonies, and Buckingham’s venomous leads. Buckingham’s clearly incapable of pretending it’s an evening’s casual entertainment and would come on at the end — spotlight chasing him as he gyrated somewhere near the park’s bullpen — to reinforce that he’s one of the great closers in the trade. Continue reading