Ever since Christine McVie returned to the Fleetwood Mac fold in 2013 following a 15-year absence, it’s sparked a revitalized attitude within the band on stage and in the studio. Though Stevie Nicks resumed solo life after a massive reunion tour (outside of encores at this summer’s Classic West and Classic East festivals), McVie and Buckingham especially found themselves in the midst of a creative surge that resulted in their Buckingham McVie offshoot, who just dropped their self-titled debut as a duo with some session work contributions from fellow Mac members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, plus Mitchell Froom.
Even more attention grabbing was McVie’s charming lead on her day job’s “Hold Me” (which hadn’t popped up on a set list since the early ‘80s in support of “Mirage”), in addition to the harmony-laden “Little Lies” and the muscular “Tusk,” beefed up with both Buckingham’s guitar pyrotechnics and McVie’s temporary shift from the keyboards to accordion.
Sure, the pair could’ve coasted on mainly their history on this first ever outing behind the eponymous project at Huntington Bank Pavilion At Northerly Island, but the veteran musicians (who also appear to be tension-free friends) put together a well-rounded show that encapsulated over forty years’ worth of material in 100 minutes. Rather than coming out roaring, Buckingham McVie settled in quietly with an acoustic set that sandwiched the former’s solo “Trouble” and “Shut Us Down” between Fleetwood Mac’s “Wish You Were Here” and “Never Going Back Again.”
Along with four supporting players, everyone plugged in for four tracks off the current collection (“Sleeping Around The Corner,” “Feel About You,” “In My World,” “Too Far Gone”), all of which evoked the group’s glory days, but were firmly entrenched in contemporary arrangements and lively presentations. Even more attention grabbing was McVie’s charming lead on her day job’s “Hold Me” (which hadn’t popped up on a set list since the early ‘80s in support of “Mirage”), in addition to the harmony-laden “Little Lies” and the muscular “Tusk” (beefed up with both Buckingham’s guitar pyrotechnics and McVie’s temporary shift from the keyboards to accordion).
Once Buckingham caught his breath, he explained how these sessions were shaped solely on the pair’s own terms, creative preferences and natural chemistry, which were also evident on the tenderhearted reflection “Love Is Here To Stay” and the bright jangle pop that radiated from “Red Sun.” That light-hearted tone continued on the McVie-led “You Make Loving Fun,” followed by Buckingham’s feverish fretwork showcases “I’m So Afraid” and “Go Your Own Way.”
The encore once again juggled between the sweetly sung flashback “Everywhere” and a couple fresher cuts, leaving the door wide open for Buckingham McVie’s adventures to continue however and whenever they may please. And if this winds up being a just a one-off, at least both artists can look back with pride on a record that matches if not surpasses any of their latter day works, while their abundant catalogue continues to speak for itself.
For additional information on Buckingham McVie, visit BuckinghamMcVie.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at Huntington Bank Pavilion At Northerly Island include Third Eye Blind with Silversun Pickups (Jul. 6); Gorillaz (Jul. 8); Slightly Stoopid (Jul. 9); Chicago & The Doobie Brothers (Jul. 12); Straight No Chaser and Post Modern Jukebox (Jul. 13); Phish (Jul. 14, 15 and 16); Umphrey’s McGee (Jul. 21); V103 Summer Block Party starring Jill Scott, BBD, Nelly & Kelly and SWV (Jul 22); Violent Femmes and Echo & The Bunnymen (Jul. 23); Goo Goo Dolls with Philip Phillips (Jul. 24); Fat Tire presents Tour De Fat with The Roots (Jul. 29) and Kidz Bop (Jul. 30). For additional details, visit LiveNation.com.