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Fleetwood Mac lights up Denver

Pepsi center welcomes post-Buckingham band

In their most recent tour, the beloved 70s pop/rock group Fleetwood Mac remembers their 50 years as a band and revisits their hit-filled heyday while contending with the passage of time. 

In the past year, the band has  managed the recent loss of their lead guitarist, Lindsey Buckingham. Although an evolving line-up isn’t a new idea for the band, they have never lost such a core person in their ensemble. As lead guitarist Buckingham contributed largely to Fleetwood Mac’s sound and their subsequent success in the 70s.

For recent tour dates, the band decided to move forward and replace him with two guitarists, Neil Finn and Mike Campbell, who fit into the band relatively seamlessly and even bring their own spin to some of the band’s less frequently played hits. Their chemistry with returning band members worked well and reflects Fleetwood Mac’s uncanny ability to move forward and continue to make great music or, in this case, celebrate their rich past. This feat does not go unnoticed after the loss of Buckingham. 

The band took this challenge and ran with it, creating a set fueled by their easy hits and a nostalgia felt by audience members young and old as well as the band itself. Their sound gripped the crowd as movingly as ever with Christine McVie’s keyboard skills still on top of her game, and her vocals, although certainly older, maintain their unique, rolling sound.

Stevie Nicks followed suit, maintaining her dreamy charm, excellent vocals, and powerful stage presence. These two really brought the music to the present with such prowess, while showing a wonderful awareness and appreciation for the past. However, the rest of the band certainly held their own.

Stevie Nicks croons to a crowd full of camera phones. Photo: Madison Daley · The Sentry

Drummer Mick Fleetwood brought back a healthy drum interlude to the stage, a practice not seen very frequently these days. His exuberance was infectious, and his playing still guides listeners steadily through their set.

Still, The set list left something to be desired, despite their expansive collection of hit songs. The band certainly covered their bases, hitting beloved tracks like “Dreams” and “Landslide” but hit a couple lulls with a few too many lesser-known songs and covers. Fleetwood Mac’s history reaches so far back that it’s certainly important that they pay homage to those lesser-known moments in their discography, but it does bring up questions about what listeners miss out on in return.    

However, this doesn’t mean that they didn’t choose their songs with care, complementing their magnetic sound. The bands artistic choices in lighting and decoration were done with as much thought to the band’s aesthetic roots as each song’s emotion. Even casual listeners would recognize almost every single song played, further emphasizing the impact of these emotions. This popularity gave the band much to work with in terms of creating an atmosphere of passion and excitement for audience members, despite reports of intergenerational bickering. 

The arena became a place of connection and joy for the night. While bathing in purples and golds, the crowd undertook a trip back to the 70s with Stevie Nicks leading the way.

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