Fleetwood Mac at Xcel Energy Center, 4/28/13

Fleetwood Mac at Xcel Energy Center, 4/28/13
Photo by Tony Nelson

Fleetwood Mac Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul Sunday, April 28, 2013

More than 35 years since their mega-platinum Rumours album, Fleetwood Mac reconvened for another major tour, which came to Xcel Energy Center Sunday night. Since keyboardist and vocalist Christine's McVie's retirement, their shows have become very much the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks show, of course backed by the most solid rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and a few additional musicians. Sticking mostly to their peak period of mid-'70s to mid-'80s, the two alternated between their many hits, relying on their long and storied history of romance and breakup, using that tension to fuel their strong chemistry. The two traded places in the spotlight with Nicks occasionally leaving for wardrobe changes -- mostly variations on her trademark flowing gowns suitable for twirling.

See Also:
Slideshow: Fleetwood Mac at Xcel Energy Center

Two big exceptions to the predictable "best of" set included a brand new tune, "Sad Angel." The upbeat, almost country-ish acoustic shuffle will be part of a new EP to be released in a few days, according to Buckingham. The second, "Without You," while new to most everyone was actually a very old tune Nicks explained they'd literally forgotten about and only rediscovered when it popped up on YouTube and sparked their interest in reviving it.

Fleetwood Mac at Xcel Energy Center, 4/28/13
Fleetwood Mac at Xcel Energy Center, 4/28/13
Photos by Tony Nelson

While their stage set included the now customary multiple jumbo screens and choreographed digital animation, the focus was always on the four bandmates, who occasionally slowed the tempo for the quieter numbers but never seemed to let up on their intensity over the two-and-a-half hour show, much to the delight of the capacity crowd.

Songs from each of the band's albums of the Buckingham-Nicks era were featured, but some of the loudest cheers came for the brief acoustic set midway through the show with Buckingham's insanely frenetic solo version of "Big Love", Nicks's "Landslide," and Buckingham's "Never Going Back Again," which was drawn out for a little extra drama. One of rock's most innovative, versatile (and occasionally overlooked) guitarists, his playing was continually and appropriately in the spotlight as was his energetic presence as band leader and all-around driving force, something Fleetwood acknowledged during the band intros at the end of the night.

Fleetwood Mac at Xcel Energy Center, 4/28/13
Fleetwood Mac at Xcel Energy Center, 4/28/13
Fleetwood Mac at Xcel Energy Center, 4/28/13
Photos by Tony Nelson

The drama continued with a powerful version of the '75 classic "I'm So Afraid", followed by Nicks's solo hit "Stand Back" and the rousing closer "Go Your Own Way" -- for which Nicks donned her classic top hat. The last encores brought an emotional end to the evening with Nicks's Rumours-era b-side "Silver Springs" and ending with the bitter sweet "Say Goodbye" from the 2003 Say You Will LP, an acoustic song Buckingham wrote about finding closure to his relationship with Nicks and sung as a tender duet directly to each other. After the last song, both Fleetwood and Nicks came out for a final curtain call and to thank the audience for both a wonderful night and possibly a wonderful career as it's obviously possible that this could be the last visit by the iconic group.

Set list:
Second Hand News
The Chain
Sad Angel
Not That Funny
Sisters of the Moon
Big Love
Never Going Back Again
Without You
Eyes of the World
Gold Dust Woman
I'm So Afraid
Stand Back
Go Your Own Way
World Turning
Don't Stop
Silver Springs
Say Goodbye

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