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

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It's a remarkable thing that even now, the group's voices and harmonies are as vibrant as they were back in the beginning.

While many veteran bands need an army of support players to effectively convey their classic melodies, the Mac brings along a relatively sparse support team consisting of two extra musicians on guitar, occasional keyboards, and three subtle backing singers to, at times, flesh out the vocals. That leaves the main players to do the heavy lifting, a task they accomplish exceedingly well.

Buckingham's fretwork, as previously mentioned, is nothing short of astonishing, and on songs such as "World Turning," "Never Going Back," and the lovely "Landslide" -- one of the concert's most fragile interludes and one of its best -- he demonstrated a remarkable dexterity that deserves all the kudos the critics have given. As Fleetwood noted during the band introductions, Buckingham is the one member of the group who literally never leaves the stage.

As for the songs themselves, it's the big band numbers that elicit the most enthusiastic response, and rightfully so. Opening number "The Chain," perhaps an unintended homage to the group's continuing trajectory, was greeted with a rapturous response, as was the well-heeled, more familiar fare like "Second Hand News," "Rhiannon," "Say You Love Me," and natch, the irrepressible "Go Your Own Way."

It's obvious that those who refer to them as the quintessential soft rock band are way off the mark. This group rocks hard, with a drive and determination that rivals any of its venerable contemporaries.

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Lee Zimmerman