Crowd worked into a frenzy at Fleetwood Mac's Verizon Center concert
WTOP's Tim Bracken reports from Verizon Center
Tim Bracken, wtop.com
After a three year break from performing, Fleetwood Mac is back on stage with a nationwide arena tour.
The Mac's April 9 concert at Verizon Center included Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. The quartet belted out faithful renditions of hits and playfully explored several deep cuts.
Buckingham dominated the stage for most of the night and guided the band with confidence. His guitar chops were as sharp as ever, especially during his trademark solo on "Gypsy" and a solo acoustic version of "Big Love."
Nicks delivered a solid performance and made the most of her slightly decreased vocal range. Her voice was strong with only a hint of the warble that most associate with her singing style.
Fleetwood and McVie elevated the nearly three hour set with masterful rhythm section work. Fleetwood's drumming was as powerful as ever. Toward the end of the show, he worked the crowd into a frenzy with a mind-blowing drum solo.
The band previewed a new song, "Sad Angel," which featured Buckingham on lead vocals. The up-tempo song runs like a checklist of the band's strengths. It involves Buckingham's manic crooning, lush harmonies and an infectious hook.
According to Buckingham, "Sad Angel" will be released on an upcoming Fleetwood Mac EP.
"It's the best stuff we've done in a long time," Buckingham said from the stage. "We are going to be releasing an EP any day now."
One high point of the night included back-to-back renditions of "Not That Funny" and "Tusk."
Buckingham acknowledged that the "Tusk" album was not well-liked by Warner Bros. Records. He says by all accounts, it was essentially a failure, but has since become one of the most well-loved Fleetwood Mac albums by devoted fans.
The band even celebrated the early days of Fleetwood Mac's most well-known lineup by performing an unreleased Buckingham-Nicks song, "Without You."
Nicks explained she had forgotten about the song, but brought it to recent Fleetwood Mac rehearsals after learning that the song was circulating on YouTube.
Nicks cited the song as having influenced Fleetwood's decision to bring Buckingham and Nicks into the band during the ‘70s.
"This is what he heard," Nicks said. "This really is why he asked us to join his marvelous, simply marvelous band."
Before the set was over, the audience got to its feet for several songs, including "Rhiannon," "Go Your Own Way" and the Nicks' song, "Stand Back."
The obligatory, yet satisfying, encore included the hits "Don't Stop" and "Silver Spring."
The promise of new studio material is sure to send Fleetwood Mac on a future tour. It also has the potential to introduce the band to a new generation of music fans.
Listen to "Without You" below.
© 2013 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.