Pressed against the very front of the stage May 1 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, I couldn’t help but stare in awe as one by one, the members of Fleetwood Mac, one of my favorite bands, entered the stage.
Energy was high and harmony was tight as the band opened with “Second Hand News” and “The Chain.”
It took me several minutes to digest the fact that lead center Stevie Nicks was standing directly in front of me, dressed in her usual mystical, flowing, black chiffon along with platform boots, and singing into her microphone covered in layers of scarves.
Following the opening, the band then slowed it down with “Dreams,” Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hit to date.
While the band has not written a new album in 10 years, they recently released an EP (Extended Play) featuring four new songs, two of which were performed at the concert. Lead singer Lindsey Buckingham said in response to the new EP: “We’ve discovered that there are still a few new chapters left for this band.”
“Sad Angel” was the first played followed by “Without You,” a Buckingham /Nicks song that Nicks claimed had been lost but then rediscovered after all these years.
Following hit song ”Rhiannon,” Buckingham took a few minutes to talk to the audience.
“When you find something that works, you run it into the ground and don’t question it. Of course I am referring to ‘Tusk,’” he said. “I would have loved to be a fly on the wall the first time Warner Brothers listened to this record.”
The band then proceeded to play three songs off of “Tusk” including “Sisters of the Moon,” a song which Nicks said hasn’t been on the setlist in almost 30 years.
Perhaps the most emotional moment of the show was when Buckingham and Nicks came out to perform an acoustic version of “Landslide,” a song Nicks wrote in the ’70s when she was trying to decide if her failing relationship with Buckingham was worth staying in to keep their music alive. The crowd swayed silently as Nicks’ voice, strong as ever, filled the entire arena. The two embraced and interlocked hands following the conclusion of the song.
After a couple more hits such as “Gold Dust Woman” and “Gypsy,” things sped up when Nicks came out to perform “Stand Back,” a hit song off her solo album “The Wild Heart.”
Nicks wore a black shawl with gold dots on it for this performance, the same shawl worn in the music video for the song. The crowd cheered as Nicks spun in circles across the stage during the instrumental break.
“Go Your Own Way” was the last song before the first encore in which Nicks featured her signature black top hat.
Overall, the night was truly magical.
While it was apparent Nicks did not quite have the vocal range she used to, the band still gave a high-energy two and a half hour performance including 23 songs and two encores.
Watching the emotions and intensity Nicks put into her performance was truly outstanding and listening to her harmony with Buckingham was like taking a step back in time.
The tour coincided with the 35th anniversary release of the band’s classic album “Rumours,” from which a good part of the concert’s setlist originated.
Although the absence of keyboardist and singer Christine McVie (ex-wife of the band’s bassist John McVie) who retired in 1998 was disappointing, the band proved they could carry on just fine.
Founding member Mick Fleetwood made one final statement before exiting the stage. “Fleetwood Mac wants you to do two things: be safe and be kind to one another,” he said.
“And remember… the Mac is back!”