Fleetwood Mac brought the band-back-together lineup to Oakland's O.co Arena Wednesday night, to the delight of 20,000 local Wiccans and hot tub enthusiasts. SFist was there to grab exclusive pics of the performance, as well as shots of fans decked out in their Stevie Nicks finery and me cosplaying it up as Mick Fleetwood.
The re-addition of Christine McVie on this tour harmonically converges with a semi-recent Fleetwood Mac Glee episode and a general revival of yacht rock to make Fleetwood Mac a really hot property right now. This “On With the Show” tour has consistently sold out all the big arenas named after software corporations. But the band seems to have a mutual non-aggression pact on this tour where none of them can play any of their solo material. Them playing “Edge of Seventeen” or “Holiday Road” would have been cute as hell, but they wouldn’t do it.
Still, they had their 20-plus huge hits to play and they played them all. No surprises at Wednesday night’s show, they played the exact same set in the exact same order that they have played this entire tour. The only difference was Friday and Saturday in LA when the USC marching band joined them for “Tusk”. But there was no Cal marching band for “Tusk” Wednesday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland, and if there had been I’d have come all over my fake Mick Fleetwood cosplay testicles.
Lindsey Buckingham, at 65 years old, was a fucking phenomenon to watch perform. He danced all over the stage like he was Kevin Bacon in “Footloose” during the pop numbers. He played guitar like Jimmy Page during his solos. He remained onstage almost constantly over the nearly 3-hour set so you didn’t notice the other band members’ 6 to 10-minute breaks. Lindsey Buckingham is not on this tour for a paycheck, he’s in this for the glory of having 20,000 people pay attention to him perform. You’ve got to respect that.
Christine McVie was also transcendent, though without the showmanship. What a set of pipes she has on her. This band has no business playing “Tell Me Lies” or “Say You Love Me” without her up there. And she is toned right now, she looks phenomenal. If you were playing “Fuck, Marry, Kill” with Fleetwood Mac as they currently exist, you’d choose Christine McVie for the former. Hands down, no question.
The band did have some lovely and sincere-sounding 1970s San Francisco nostalgia peppered into their stage chatter. “San Francisco is the best place a band could possibly, possibly be,” Stevie told the crowd. (She went to Atherton High! Who knew?) Still, not one band member ever uttered the word “Oakland”. They were playing a show in Oakland.
I don’t know if anyone in Fleetwood Mac even likes each other or gets along these days. They were great, but they didn’t behave like friends and they rarely came within 10 feet of one another onstage. There was no “group hug” or bow at the end, and they all appear genuinely phobic of touching one another.
But there was a pretty moving little speech by Stevie at the end of the set on how they talked Christine into rejoining the band after 16 years. I’ve bootlegged this speech onto YouTube below. The footage is just of a jumbotron screen, not a direct shot, and it’s just Stevie and Mick wrapping up the show and bidding the crowd goodnight. But it’s a goosebumpy little speech. If you crave higher-quality Fleetwood Mac bootleg videos from this tour, YouTube has hundreds of them under the most obvious possible search terms.