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Photo Recap: Fleetwood Mac Live at The Forum in Los Angeles

“That’s not Stevie Nicks,” asserted the woman sitting next to me at the first night of Fleetwood Mac‘s 2-night stay at The Forum in Los Angeles. “I’ve been to hundreds of her shows and that is not her. She does not move like that.”

Not that I would know: this was my first time seeing the band—now in the glory of their classic lineup—and had little more than music videos and her time on American Horror Story: Coven from which to judge. When I looked up at the wispy-but-imposing blonde woman six rows ahead of me, and then compared it to the screen-sized version hung up above, I felt confident that this was the gypsy herself. I posited as such to the woman to my right. She paused before pointing, “look at her ankles!”

Maybe Stevie Nicks was moving differently that night—but she’d have good reason to be. The band’s most famous

lineup was back in action, including the long-gone Christine McVie, who very well may have stolen the show from her compatriots that night. Her return after a 16-year absence from the group had clearly shot a bolt of electricity up Fleetwood Mac’s collective spine.

And it was evident from minute one. The 2.5 hour show (with no opener) began with “The Chain,” the only song off of 1977’s Rumours that was written by all five members. The energy— from the stage to the very large room surrounding it was one of celebration and fulfillment. Finally, they were right where they belonged.

McVie took over for the second song of the night, “You Make Loving Fun,” during which she beamed the whole time. Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Nicks were all vibrating on that frequency of celebration, loving every minute they were praising McVie’s grounding presence.

This early momentum made this particular concert-goer a bit nervous. The first half of the show was s0 packed with hits—from “Rhiannon” to “Dreams” to “Second Hand News” to “I Know I’m Not Wrong”—that we were, personally, a bit afraid it would all hit a wall.

But oh no, how that gypsy shines when the stars are aligned. When people talk of star and staying power, of a seemingly otherworldly talent and ability to create things that emotionally resonate with people, all they need do is point to Fleetwood Mac as Stevie Nicks spins and spins and spins her way into the mystic magic she’s creating with her voice. There is truly nothing like her, how she demands your eye with her tambourine playing, how hair swirls around her twirling frame, how she conveys emotional honesty within a single note. It’s something special that cannot be diminished by age or time—it just is, and will continue to be, until there is no more sound to be heard.

Other highlights included “Tusk,” complete with a video accompaniment of the USC Marching Band performing the very song while McVie broke out the accordion and Buckingham strutted his way across the stage, and “Lies” for its sheer energy and exuberance.

And, of course, we’d be remiss to not mention “Landslide,” with nothing more than Buckingham on guitar and Nicks on vocals. After all the years between them, and all the words already said about this song, its origins, its relationship to the band that performs it, there’s little more to note that hasn’t already been said. To feel it in that moment, even after the hundreds of thousands of times we’ve all heard it before, it still somehow felt raw, damaged, and poignant. The magic a song like “Landslide” possesses will never really go away—only evolve and get better with age.

It’s like Buckingham noted before his acoustic take on “Big Love,” when he explained, prior to performing it, how much the song’s meaning has changed for him as the years have accumulated. It’s still the same song, sonically and lyrically, but its frame of reference had changed. The way he moves throughout the song’s meaning has shifted, like a dancer acclimating to the new limits and abilities of an aging body. Yet it looked natural next to Stevie and her new dance moves

In that way, the woman next to me was right: this wasn’t Stevie Nicks, not like before. This was something new but still familiar, and it moves to a whole different beat.

Here’s the full setlist:

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

World Turning
Don’t Stop
Silver Springs

Encore 2:

Were you at the show? Let’s discuss it in the comments!

Photo Credit: Kyleen James

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  1. Aluxelife says:

    Was absolutely grateful to God that I was there Friday night – I first saw FM when Bob Welch was with them – second time with Buckingham/Nicks and now this show – turning 60 this month will be far less painful than I anticipated –  

  2. autumn says:

    I was there!! Loved every minute of it! ♡♡

  3. Joan says:

    Saw them at the first show in Mpls. Its was amazing and full of energy and love for each other.  

  4. stephan says:

    It’s a three-night stint, since they’re coming back to the Forum this week. The shows so far have actually been a solid three hours, not 2.5, and the song is called “Little Lies.”

  5. Carol says:

    Saw the concert in Washington DC, for 3rd time.  A magical evening–they are the best no matter how you say it!

  6. Patty says:

    Saw the second show at the Forum and thought the same thing….how happy Stevie Nicks looked! She was so engaged and really present at the show. I have seen Fleetwood Mac seven times and not since the 70’s have I seen them so vibrant. I think the return of Chris McVie made the difference and they truly felt like Fleetwood Mac again.

  7. Bob says:

    I like them, too, but holy crap, the author needs to cut way back on the hyperbole.

    • Frank Abney says:

      Bob…  there is an emotional attachment which calls forth the feelings that have only so many words to use to describe those feelings…  It was a truly satisfying experience to watch and listen as these 5 musicians came together in a show that was seemed magical to me, even after seeing them over a dozen times through the years.  I was with friends, it seemed.  Sharing old stories of love gained, lost, and reflected upon…  it was, for me, as comforting as sitting around a campfire when I was younger and sharing with my closest friends all the times of our lives through the years, together and away from each other, but never really apart.

  8. Rachelle says:

    Saw them in Chicago…incredible show! I’ll second everything you wrote. It was especially wonderful because their title album was the first piece of music I remember as a kid. Seeing them live for the first time after being a fan for nearly 40 years was beyond special!

  9. Cindy Stroud says:

    Yes, saw them in Portland!!!!!!!!!!! It was Magic <3

  10. operamamma says:

    saw them in philly in october and took our youngest daughter who is 19. have loved them since i was a kid. there is something so incredible about a band that can move through and get past break-ups and pain and still remain close. they are a family. and their music is excellent – all those feelings resound in it yet the live is stronger. and now that christine is back – woohoo – best concert ever. 

  11. B says:

    Saw them in Philly, they sounded amazing!  Although did anyone notice Mick Fleetwood’s “stunt drummer”?  If you look at the stage from the front see those large set of Amps to the right of his drum set?  There is a drummer behind the amps!  We had side seats so we could see the stunt drummer. I’m not mad at Mick-I’ve just never seen that before’

    • Kristen says:

      That drummer is part of their backing band and has been for quite a few years. Not a stunt drummer. Just the backing band drummer.

  12. Heart Broken says:

    Too much Stevie, you’re under a spell of Enchantment. Happened one night in the early 80’s, it’s yet to be broken. Rock On!  my fair Lady.

  13. Donna says:

    just got back to the hotel, 7 times seeing them, love them then and love them now.

  14. laura jean terry says:

    I wish to have been there….

  15. Melissa says:

    I was at this show the following night.. Amazing.. not a dull moment!  So good to see these Icon’s of the 70’s still playing together after all these years!!!  

  16. Theresa Harvey says:

    Great show in Sacramento …It was good seeing the whole group back together again.

  17. Brad Graham says:

    Awesome show in Portland OR

  18. RST says:

    headed over on th 6th …kinda hoping Buckingham gets to play his own “trouble” too ….cam’t wait!!!