Fleetwood Mac are a band that have always done things in an unconventional manner. They can’t really be defined as playing a particular genre of music, there’s no definitive lead singer, they’ve undergone several line-up changes and inter-band relationships, and they’ve endured nearly 50 years in the music industry. The list of ways they go against the industry standards is endless. Currently in the midst of their first tour since 2009, Fleetwood Mac rolled into an emotional Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday night.
With a heightened security presence and a city in desperate need of a distraction from the chaos taking place, fans packed into TD Garden for a night of healing and coping. Fleetwood’s Stevie Nicks alluded to the week’s events numerous times throughout the night, never knowing quite what to say or how to say it, but still sharing how much love and respect her and her band felt for the great people of Boston.
Celebrating the 35th anniversary of the now legendary “Rumors” album, Fleetwood Mac kicked off the night with the lead track from that album, “Second Hand News”. By the time the night was done, Fleetwood would show a lot of love for “Rumors”, in total playing seven of the ten tracks from the iconic album. Also in the mix early on, were Fleetwood classics like “Rhiannon”, “Tusk” and “Landslide”. The latter of which was dedicated to the family of a US Soldier from Boston that Fleetwood Mac had become familiar with over their many visits to the city. The band also surprised fans by playing a brand new song, entitled “Sad Angel” that was written last year and made its live debut earlier on this year’s tour.
Lindsay Buckingham’s guitar playing was beyond stellar when he took his turn to shine alone on stage during “Big Love”. And again later in the show while playing “I’m So Afraid”, which included an astounding extended guitar solo that had the audience in total awe. Stevie and Lindsay took some time to play songs together, without the rest of the band, including one song that they had written before they were even members of Fleetwood Mac. Entitled “Without You”, only the die-hard Mac fans knew of the song prior, but by the end, even the most casual Fleetwood fans were impressed.
After ending their main set with the classic “Go Your Own Way” Fleetwood returned to the stage with a message for Boston, “Don’t Stop” thinking about tomorrow. Fleetwood exited the stage, and many thought the concert was over, but in true fashion of playing by their own rules, the band returned for a second encore. The show was ended with a two song final encore of “Silver Springs” – originally a b-side to “Go Your Own Way” later released as a single in 1997 – and the slow acoustic Stevie and Lindsay duet “Say Goodbye”. They made one last address to the Boston crowd telling the packed arena how they “didn’t really know what to say” but “wanted to send their love and prayers”.
Before exiting the stage for good, the band displayed a large blue and yellow screen on their background reading “Boston Strong” – the adopted motto of the people of Boston following this week’s events. On a night where the City of Boston needed a distraction and a catharsis, Fleetwood Mac brought the city together by playing their hearts out and uniting everyone in TD Garden through their music. This was more than just another concert, this was a night of healing and unity, and a night those in attendance won’t soon forget.