|Photos: Tara Stanhope Gallery at DublinConcerts|
Fleetwood Mac hold nothing back in Dublin performance
by Cian Traynor
Saturday nights show may be Fleetwood Mac’s 92nd performance of a 12-month tour but they’re adamant that it means something special.
It was at this venue, back in 2013, that singer and keyboardist Christine McVie secretly rehearsed with the band before rejoining after a 16-year absence.
The restoration of Fleetwood Mac’s classic line-up, along with the presence of signature McVie songs such as Everywhere and Little Lies, has clearly been a source of rejuvenation.
As soon as they launched into set-opener The Chain, the band waste no time in delivering the epitome of stadium pop-rock: a polished heritage act powering through one fan favourite after another.
Almost 40 years have passed since songs such as ‘Dreams’ and ‘Go Your Own Way’ documented the group’s inner turmoil, but their ability to connect with listeners remains undiminished.
The sound is clear and the pace feels well-measured, despite a two-song lull between the triumphant swagger of ‘Tusk’ and a rousing solo performance of ‘Big Love’ by guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.
Founding members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, both dressed in waistcoats and flat-caps, combine to pound out a muscular rhythm section.
Stevie Nicks, eyes closed as she leans into the microphone, exudes unflappable charisma.
A sweat-soaked Buckingham, having expended more time and energy on stage than anyone else, pounds his chest and blows kisses to the crowd.
By the time a two-and-a-half hour set comes to a close with ‘Silver Springs’, the band look spent.
Little has been held back. For a second encore, Christine McVie performs an understated ‘Songbird’ alone at the piano before beaming with gratitude towards the crowd.
Just as that appears to be that, Stevie Nicks returns to the stage to tell the full story of McVie rejoining Fleetwood Mac - a reminder that this represents a circular moment for the band, a new chapter in their history.
That, in turn, feels like the end... until Mick Fleetwood re-emerges to offer his own farewell, urging the audience to take care of themselves and to be kind to each other.
“And remember” he shouts, donning a top hat as he turns to leave “The Mac is most definitely back!”.