Concerts

Fleetwood Mac Was Better Than Ever at BB&T Center on December 19, 2014

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And much was made of the fact that Christine McVie's return to the fold after an absence of 15 years was a remarkable feat in itself.

"She's back!" Stevie Nicks noted at the outset. It was a feeling of euphoria that Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood echoed at various points throughout the 24-song set, packed with hits, fan favorites, and even the occasional rarity. Indeed, it was well worth noting that at age 71, McVie looks at least 20 years younger, and her rich, riveting vocals showed no sign of diminishing.

In truth, the same could be said of each member of this tireless ensemble. Nicks retained her trademark quiver, her top hat, her granny dresses, and a mystic fairy-queen sensibility -- not to mention the ability to literally spin in circles whenever the occasion called.

Buckingham, at age 65, showed the dexterity of someone half his age, whether he was goose-stepping across the stage, adopting a reliable rock star posture, or proving, yet again, that despite the competition from predecessors like Peter Green or Jeremy Spencer, he remains one of the nimblest guitarists Mac has ever fronted.

Fleetwood himself is far from a figurehead, a remarkable time keeper whose tasteful flourishes, commanding rhythms, and role as the band's eternal cheerleader often puts him center stage. He offered a semi-unplugged interlude, a breathless drum solo, and heartfelt and humbling remarks as the concert came to a close.

As for that other individual name-checked in the band's handle, suffice it to say he played the role of the stoic bass player to a tee, yet his apparent lack of an onstage persona and reticence to join the others in sharing the kudos and commentary offered the impression he was basically along for the ride.

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Lee Zimmerman