SACRAMENTO, CA – Fleetwood Mac brought their A-game Saturday night as they played to a sold-out crowd at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena, (Arco Arena, Power Balance Pavilion).
Bringing a roar from the crowd, 65-year-old Stevie Nicks and 63-year-old Lindsey Buckingham came out onstage hand-in-hand, as they kicked off their final performance of their US tour, in support of their first ever EP ‘Extended Play.’
Joining the duo was, 66-year-old Mick Fleetwood and 67-year-old John McVie, as they started the show off with hits from their famous ‘Rumours’ album including “Second Hand News” and “The Chain.” The album was originally released in 1977. Christine McVie was not present, she retired from music after their album ‘The Dance.’
The group performed for close to three hours, including two encores, with the mostly standing crowd of hungry fans cheering them on.
Yes, this was a Fleetwood Mac concert, but at times it felt more like the Lindsey Buckingham show, with special guest Stevie Nicks. Buckingham remained onstage throughout the performance, giving other members a break. There were some songs where Buckingham was lacking vocally, but his guitar skills more than made up for it.
Mick Fleetwood, drummer and founding member of the group, did a great job on drums, including a wonderful solo routine. Our seats were off to the right side of the stage and from our angle we could just glimpse another drummer that was hidden from view. It appeared the hidden drummer was mimicking the same sound as Mick on some songs, and adding to the mix on others. Towards the end of the show when backup singers and other band members were introduced, the lone drummer was left out. Could this be lip-syncing for drummers? Regardless, Mick was in top form with his mannerisms and facial expressions as he entertained the crowd.
Buckingham stole the show with his blazing fingerstyle guitar as he plucked melody lines over bass notes with blinding speed. You would have thought there were three guitar players onstage with the two drummers.
Stevie Nicks dusted off an old song “Without You,” that she wrote years ago and recorded as a demo. According to Nicks, the demo was taken from her and returned years later. After getting it back she lost it, so between her and Buckingham they have pieced it back together and were able to stay true to the demo version.
For their final encore of the night Buckingham responded to Nicks’ “Without You” with one he wrote a decade ago about the couple, “Say Goodbye.”
For those of you who may not know the history of the band, Buckingham and Nicks were lovers back in the day and just as the band broke up, so did the they. Their relationship led to a number of songs, both as Fleetwood Mac and in their solo careers.
There were a lot of rumors that band mates were having affairs with other band mates. That was back in the mid-seventies when they were working on, what was to become, their most popular album. Because of all the rumors flying around they decided to call their album – “Rumours.” Go figure.
According to Nashville’s ABC affiliate, Welch’s wife found the musician shortly after noon, with a gunshot wound to the chest at their home in Antioch, Tennessee
Police have indicated there was a suicide note left by Welch. According to Police Spokesman Don Aaron, Welch had a history of health problems, but would not elaborate.
Welch joined the British based Fleetwood Mac in 1971 after Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer left the group. He provided vocals and guitar on five albums including Future Games and Bare Trees. Some have attributed him for helping the band fuse blues and pop-rock, leading the way for Stevie Nicks.
Welch wrote the song “Hypnotized,” which was included on their 1973 album Mystery to Me. He took over lead guitar after Danny Kirwan departed In 1973. and the band released the last album Welch would contribute to Heroes Are Hard to Find. He left the band shortly after the release and soon after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the group.
In 1998 Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Welch was not include in the band.
Welch did better on his own as a solo artist reaching platinum for his 1977 album French Kiss.