It was time to leave, but something kept me there.
I turned around to catch a final glimpse of Mick Fleetwood. He saw me, smiled and blurted out, “Lindsey and Christine are going to tour this year. You should go see them!”
“I will!” I said. My emphatic response was my way of promising Fleetwood.
Fleetwood shared the perfect parting words as Brian and I left the reception room at the Hilton Austin Hotel on March 15. We had traveled to Austin to see Fleetwood discuss his upcoming book, “Love That Burns – A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac,” at SXSW.
After the session, we attended a private reception hosted by Genesis Publications to meet Fleetwood and receive his autograph. It was a true honor to meet one of my five musical heroes.
Fleetwood’s comments were in reference to a recent announcement about Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie teaming up for a new album and tour as a duo.
I left the room smiling because my musical hero had ended the conversation on the right note — encouraging me to see the other members of Fleetwood Mac in concert was utterly perfect. For years, it felt like I had known Fleetwood. In that final moment, it felt like he knew me.
Four months later, I was ready to attend not one, but two Buckingham McVie shows – July 2 at Detroit’s Fox Theatre and July 6 at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
In Detroit, Buckingham and McVie opened their 90-minute set with “Trouble,” which was played in a classic Buckingham acoustic style as his fingers quickly danced over the strings and fans cheered in response.
Next, McVie played “Wish You Were Here,” the closing track from Fleetwood’s Mac 1982 album, “Mirage.” For hardcore fans like me, it was wonderful to hear this deep McVie cut live for the first time.
Despite McVie’s long absence from Fleetwood Mac, it sounded as if she had never left. It was obvious she felt right at home on stage with Buckingham.
McVie and Buckingham played two other songs – Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again” and Buckingham’s “Shut Us Down” from 2006’s “Under the Skin” – as a duo before the backing band joined them on stage for the rest of the show.
Buckingham briefly addressed the Detroit crowd about the evolution of Buckingham McVie and the duo’s new album.
“She surprised everyone by reaching out and asking if we might be interested in her returning, and we said yes. One of the byproducts of that was she started communicating with me pieces of song ideas, rough demos, and of course, I took those to the next step as I tend to do, and one thing led to another, and here we are, so we are very excited to have made this album,” he said.
For me, the highlight of the show was hearing new material from Buckingham McVie. There haven’t been any new Fleetwood Mac-related songs since 2013’s “Extended Play” EP.
The eight new tracks Buckingham and McVie performed was their answer to 2003’s “Say You Will,” which featured Buckingham, Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and John McVie. It was time for Buckingham and McVie to take the reins while Nicks focused on her solo tour.
The next four songs included the Buckingham McVie album opener, “Sleeping Around the Corner,” the “Trouble” and “Big Love”-inspired “Feel About You,” the album’s catchy first single, “In My World,” and the “World Turning”-inspired blues jam, “Too Far Gone.”
McVie quickly shifted gears and said it was time to “play something more familiar,” which ended up being “Hold Me.” They did a superb duet of the 1982 hit single, which is one of my favorites from that era. I admit I was hoping Buckingham and McVie would include “Think About Me” from “Tusk” in their setlist, but they didn’t.
Toward the end of the set, Buckingham reflected on how he picked up with McVie after her departure from Fleetwood Mac.
“Before we started rehearsing for the next Fleetwood Mac tour, we thought it would be great to go in the studio and work on some of these new ideas. We did that for a few weeks. As Christine said, she was gone for about 15 years. I think the biggest question we had at that time was will there be any chemistry left? Will there be anything? Yeah, there is!” he said.
Buckingham and McVie inserted other Fleetwood Mac favorites from “Tusk” to “Little Lies” to “I’m So Afraid” in their set to satisfy fans who preferred the classics. Watching Buckingham play his epic guitar solo at the end of “I’m so Afraid” was completely mesmerizing. There aren’t many guitarists who can captivate me at a live show that way.
The duo played three additional new songs from their album, including “Love is Here to Stay,” “Red Sun” and “Lay Down for Free.” Buckingham and McVie closed the show with the ballad, “Game of Pretend,” which is reminiscent of “Songbird.”
This time, McVie experienced technical difficulties with her keyboard and piano, so she sang an acoustic version with Buckingham. As I watched them close out the show, I thought back to our meeting with Fleetwood earlier this year.
I leaned over to Brian and said, “I wish I could tell Mick that I kept my promise, not once, but twice!”