Tuesday, August 20, 2019

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Brisbane August 20, 2019

A crowded house for Fleetwood Mac’s Brisbane return
Lydia Lynch
BrisbaneTimes.com



The first few songs of Fleetwood Mac’s Brisbane return roused cringe-worthy flashbacks to one of those work Christmas parties where you end up at a dingy karaoke bar in the early hours of the morning.

The sound was off, the vocals felt groggy and the sparkle that fuelled decades of success for the 50-year-old band was just not there.

That was until the group launched into the first bars of Black Magic Woman, penned by former band member Peter Green, and the hypnotic Fleetwood Mac spirit arrived.

“When we first went into rehearsal for this tour we went through our history of Fleetwood Mac and we picked out a couple of songs we thought you might enjoy,” Stevie Nicks told the crowd on Tuesday night.

REVIEW An extraordinary group of people comprise Fleetwood Mac these days

Fleetwood Mac @ Qudos Bank Arena - Syndey
15 August 2019 | Beck
TheMusic.com
Photos Josh Groom

"The hits just kept on coming."



An extraordinary group of people comprise Fleetwood Mac these days - much technical brilliance, decades worth of experience, probably centuries really if you added it all together, and flat-out, no question, critically and commercially tested, outright talent.

Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie and Stevie Nicks may have lost Lindsey Buckingham in the last band shake-up but have added Mike Campbell (ex Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) and Neil Finn to fill the gap and it’s evident from the opening song, The Chain, that they couldn’t have done better.

The hits just kept on coming, and not little ones either. These are the BIG ones. The songs that have been feeding commercial FM radio since its inception. Over two hours worth of songs that are so deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness that we don’t even remember how we know them.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

“It’s huge, and it’s magical,” he said of the latest incarnation of the Fleetwood Mac.

NEIL’S MAC PACK
The Courier-mail
By Kathy McCabe

MICK Fleetwood believes the seed for Neil Finn to join the legendary Fleetwood Mac was planted more than 20 years ago.

Ahead of the first of four concerts in Sydney on their world farewell tour, the band’s co-founder said Finn was one of the first people he thought of when Lindsey Buckingham left the band last year.

After the bandmates decided to continue touring, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and John McVie enlisted former Tom Petty band member Mike Campbell to join them to play guitar.

And then Fleetwood suggested his “secret weapon” Finn, who he has become “incredibly close”, with their respective families sharing holidays in Auckland.

The drummer also played on their “family album”.

They first met when they were sitting next to each other at a Paul McCartney benefit at the Royal Albert Hall two decades ago and have continued to catch up at random events before forming their firm friendship.

“It’s huge, and it’s magical,” he said of the latest incarnation of the Mac.

“And this funny relationship that I had with Neil, neither of us knowing why it was that we have passed in the dark, so many times. And now we know.”

At the Live Nation Green Room event before the show, the famous drummer said he wouldn’t go into the details behind the separation between the band and Buckingham.

“Note that I’ve said it before, we were not happy, and that was really the crux of, of all the details that don’t need to be known,” he told the invited guests.

Fleetwood also reminded his fans about his other Australian friendships developed when he had a home in Mittagong, close to Jimmy Barnes’s old property.

“We called it Barnesville back in the day,” he said of the Southern Highlands town. Fleetwood credits the generational appeal of the band – and in particular their seminal Rumours record, which remains one of the best-selling vinyl records each year – to their musical integrity.

“And we put our heart into what we do. And we took a lot of trouble whenever we made our albums, and they translated into something that has become somewhat, if not extremely, timeless, which is about the biggest blessing an artist can have especially when you get into your 70s,” he said.

Fleetwood Mac began a four-night stand in Sydney last night and play at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on August 20, 22 and 24.


‘It’s a love story really’: Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks on wooing Neil Finn
Fleetwood Mac brought ‘secret weapon’ Finn into the fold after an ‘incredibly sad, incredibly challenging’ time


By Steph Harmon
The Guardian

Mick Fleetwood described Crowded House frontman Neil Finn as a “secret weapon” he held onto for two decades, before asking him to fly to Hawaii to audition for Fleetwood Mac.

In April 2018, it was announced that longstanding member Lindsey Buckingham would be leaving the band, to be replaced by Finn and Mike Campbell, the guitarist from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

REVIEW Mick Fleetwood is a tornado of flying limbs and screaming lunacy

FLEETWOOD MAC
QUDOS Bank Arena, Sydney Thursday 15 August 2019
Photographer : Joshua South
Reviewer : Louie Smith
Reverbstreetpress

Fleetwood Mac conquer the Qudos and ‘unleash the howls’.

Combined feelings of nostalgia, excitement and intrigue swirled along with Stevie Nicks on Thursday night as she spun around in a familiar gypsy fashion. Her hair as luscious as the day she first sung the lyrics “listen to the wind blow, watch the sun rise“, although now joined by the legendary lyricist Neil Finn. An obvious and seamless addition, Finn formed some of the most magical moments of the night. His presence felt natural and long time members Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and the eccentric Mick Fleetwood all revelled in his talent just as Finn did theirs.

He wasn’t the only new addition, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell demanding the spotlight with his sharp solos, not allowing anyone to neglect his position as he stood side by side the hyped up New Zealander. Both held their own in a night of celebrating one of the most revered catalogues of music and with a crowd of all ages proving the span in which Fleetwood Mac’s music truly transcends.

It’s hard to believe that the four core members are all in their seventh decade of life. “Like a weird flock of birds” they still travel around “this lovely planet of ours”, sharing wisdom and playing shows as if they weren’t a day over twenty. Although time has put limits on McVie and Nicks’ physical abilities their passion and drive still lies deep within their voices. Fleetwood on the other hand is a tornado of flying limbs and screaming lunacy. A drawn out drum instrumental had everyone at arms length, flurrying in and out of a strange trip.

REVIEW Stevie shines on Dreams, Rhiannon and Gold Dust Prompts Standing Ovation

Fleetwood Mac concert review: Hits, new members and one sly dig at Sydney
Fleetwood Mac played the first of several shows in Sydney last night — but new member Neil Finn couldn’t resist a hilarious dig at the city.

By Nick Bond
News.com.au
Photos: Christian Gilles



Sydney’s controversial lockout laws have given the city quite the reputation, it would seem.

Midway through Fleetwood Mac’s first show at Qudos Bank Arena last night, faced with a somewhat timid weeknight audience, the band’s newest member Neil Finn goaded the crowd to get up and dance with a cheeky dig at the Harbour City.

“Remember, you’re out of the inner city now, so that means you can have a good time. You can drink and dance as much as you like,” he teased. “You know you want to.”

This new-look Mac — Lindsey Buckingham unceremoniously dumped last year, replaced by Crowded House star Finn and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers band member Mike Campbell — may take a moment for some fans to adjust to. It’s only as Finn takes centre stage for electric opener The Chain, his vocals carrying the song, that you realise Buckingham’s are big shoes to fill.

To address the elephant in the room: No, Buckingham doesn’t rate so much as a mention during this two-and-a-half hour show.

REVIEW The Fleetwood Mac of today is not some hodge-podge operation

The Fleetwood Mac Sydney show was a testament to their timelessness
By S. B. Williams
Photo Dean Hammer
Tonedeaf


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, AUGUST 15, 2019

Last night, Fleetwood Mac descended on Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena. The band treated fans to a career-spanning setlist that proved that though 50 years into their career, the band are not one to rest on their laurels.

The show was Sydney’s first taste of Fleetwood Mac in their new form. Last year, longtime singer, guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham was “let go” from the band after they reached a boiling point over touring disagreements. Buckingham was replaced by New Zealand royalty, Neil Finn of Crowded House and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist, Mike Campbell.

Whilst it would be futile to deny that the absence of Buckingham was not felt; the new lineup revitalized the band in other ways. The addition of Finn on vocals has ushered in a new era for Fleetwood Mac, one that feels fresh and exciting. The Fleetwood Mac of today is not some hodge-podge operation tenuously thrown together in an attempt to ride the coattails of former glory. Rather, they are a band with a passion that feels tangible, that reinvented themselves out of necessity.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Sydney Aug 15, 2019

Fleetwood Mac review: Neil's in, and it's not a too-crowded house
By Michael Bailey
SMH.COM



FLEETWOOD MAC ★★★½

Qudos Bank Arena, 15 August

It was apt that Frankenstein's monster was on the big screens as Neil Finn played I Got You on this night with, blimey, Fleetwood Mac.

For this unlikely melding of Kiwi artiness and California slickness was thanks to the 'Mac going back to the lab. Sixties bluesers who owned the late 1970s after sewing on folk duo Buckingham Nicks, last year they shafted Lindsey Buckingham and grafted on one of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, Mike Campbell, plus the singer-songwriter from Split Enz and Crowded House.

The experiment ended better on this night than Dr. Frankenstein's did, although as in Mary Shelley's novel, the motivations weren't perfectly clear.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, and frontwomen Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks certainly seemed pleased with their antipodean addition, and not just because Finn's presence meant they could book four nights at this arena instead of the three they could justify when they last visited in 2015.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Show #1 Fleetwood Mac Live in Sydney, AU August 15, 2019

Following the departure of Lindsey Buckingham, Neil Finn stepped in to play with Fleetwood Mac
Kathy McCabe, National music writer, News Corp Australia Network
The Weekly Times
Photos: Christian Gilles

The Chain has been a Fleetwood Mac concert opener seemingly forever, an ode to the musical bond which has bound these legendary artists together against the odds.

That bond has been stretched and tested and snapped over the decades thanks to their well-documented divisions and most recently last year when Lindsey Buckingham not-so-amicably parted company with Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, John and Christine McVie.

Perhaps now The Chain better represents the connection between the band and their millions of fans around the world as they continue their farewell victory lap of the globe.

The signature song also served to satisfy the curiosity of fans new, old and somewhere in between, about how Neil Finn and Tom Petty’s longtime sideman Mike Campbell fit into this iteration of the legendary rock band.

A natural interplay both vocally and as performers between Finn and Nicks was further underscored when they were matched in Second Hand News.

There’s definitely no doubt he is loving this gig.

Christine McVie, who returned to the band in 2013 after a 16 year hiatus, may not possess as much lead vocal strength as in decades past but her harmonic presence and keyboard virtuosity are essential to this farewell tour.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Fleetwood Mac "Man of the World" Live in Perth, Australia August 11, 2019

Watch Fleetwood Mac Play ‘Man of the World’ for First Time in 50 Years
Band also brings out 1975 deep cut “Blue Letter,” which they hadn’t played since 1990

By ANDY GREENE
Rollingstone

Fleetwood Mac brought their world tour down to Australia for a month-long run of shows late last week, and during the second concert at the RAC Arena in Perth Sunday they expanded the setlist by playing the Peter Green-era classic “Man of the World” for the first time since 1969. Check out fan-shot video of the song right here. “We’re going to debut this song now which was one of [Green’s] great songs,” Neil Finn told the crowd before they did it. “It’s an honor and a privilege for me to play it for you.”


The show also featured the Split Enz song “I Got You,” which was in the setlist when the tour began in October but vanished after just eleven shows. Neil Finn is native to New Zealand and the 1979 song hit Number One there in addition to Australia, so bringing it back into the set was a no-brainer. More surprising was the return of “Blue Letter” from the 1975 Fleetwood Mac LP, which the band hadn’t played since the Behind The Mask tour in 1990.

Before the tour began, Stevie Nicks told Rolling Stone that she wanted to play songs they hadn’t touched in a long time, including ones from the Peter Green period of the late 1960s and early 1970s. “There are 10 hits we have to do,” she said. “That leaves another 13 songs if you want to do a three-hour show. Then you crochet them all together and you make a great sequence and you have something that nobody has seen before except all the things they want to see are there. At rehearsal, we’re going to put up a board of 60 songs. Then we start with number one and we go through and we play everything. Slowly you start taking songs off and you start to see your set come together.”

Fleetwood Mac’s Australia/New Zealand leg ends September 21st with a show at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. They then return to North America in late October to make up for seven shows they postponed earlier this year when Stevie Nicks came down with the flu.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Fleetwood Mac 2019 deliver a show with something for everyone - Perth Aug 9, 2019

LIVE: FLEETWOOD MAC – Perth, 9 August, 2019
RAC Arena, Perth, Western Australia
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Damien Crocker
100PercentRock.com


How do you know when a band is ubiquitously iconic?

When the opening notes of practically every song they play are instantly recognisable to fifteen thousand people whose ages and backgrounds range from teens to pensioners, and across all demographics.

It sure doesn’t hurt that the noticeable absence of Lindsey Buckingham (hey – vocal harmony combinations like his, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie are one in a billion) is brilliantly filled by not one but two guitarist/singers with almost as impressive careers as theirs.

Mike Campbell, sidekick to Tom Petty in The Heartbreakers even before that band formed, is a laid back presence on the stage, and Neil Finn – of Split Enz, Crowded House and solo fame – needs no introduction, especially in this neck of woods, and he enjoyed a rousing cheer at every turn.

Anyway, this is one band which is no stranger to radical personnel changes, and their early, bluesier days with founding guitarist Peter Green get a very welcome revisit tonight with a darkly gothic take on Black Magic Woman, Nicks re-purposing the lyrics from the titular woman’s perspective, and a raunchy romp through Oh Well with Campbell taking the lead vocals and him and Finn tearing it up with a fiery guitar rough n’ tumble.

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live at RAC Arena Perth August 9, 2019



Sean Drill
TheMusic
Photo: Linda Dunjey
(view more photos at the link above)

Is there any band that has undergone more line-up changes, infighting, break-ups and love-ups than Fleetwood Mac? 52 years together with 19 line-up changes in that time, it was the years between December ’74 and August ’87 where the hit machine was in its most prolific and popular form.

It was this configuration (almost!) we got to see on Friday evening. Mick Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks were all present. Who wasn’t, however, was the recently and unceremoniously dumped Lindsey Buckingham. Not surprisingly, this void could not be replaced by a single individual, instead vocal and rhythm guitar duties were taken by Neil Finn (Split Enz/Crowded House) and Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers).

With no opening act and the RAC Arena at full capacity, Mick Fleetwood took to the stage to a roar of applause. A giant screen behind projected footage of his foot laying down the opening beat to The Chain while the rest of the band and backing performers took their places.

It was a simple stage layout with minimal decorations but it worked to keep the focus on the performers.

Friday, August 09, 2019

REVIEW Fleetwood Mac Live in Perth August 9, 2019

Fleetwood Mac: Australian tour opens with emotional first night – now with added Neil Finn

By Bob Gordon
The Guardian
Photographs: Duncan Barnes


RAC Arena, Perth
If Lindsey Buckhingham must be replaced, best to do it with the likes of Finn and Mike Campbell. In the legendary band’s latest incarnation, the magic of the music lives on.

Fleetwood Mac are a lore unto themselves. While the Rumours-era line-up holds the romance (mostly broken) for the majority of its fandom, it is the 11th line-up in a total of 19. This is a band who, aside from the rock-solid rhythm section footing of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, has weathered more life and loss than most. Anyone else, no matter how famous or beloved, has come and gone … some returning, and then going again.

So despite the uproar that followed the 2018 announcement that Lindsey Buckingham had been let go, it was, in the context of history, less of an anomaly and more a case of showbusiness-as-usual. The regard held for new members Neil Finn and Mike Campbell is clear and present all evening on the opening night of the band’s Australian tour – from the sentiments offered from the stage by Fleetwood, vocalist Stevie Nicks and vocalist/pianist Christine McVie, to the time given to showcase the talent of the new breed.

Mick Fleetwood walks out onstage first to a legion of cheers, promptly applauding the crowd before his bass drum brings in The Chain and his bandmates take the stage. It’s spine-tingling from the get-go; Stevie Nicks is reassuringly draped in black with sleeves, long lace, braids and beads on her microphone stand and arms, while John McVie’s classic bass intro to the song’s outro is just well, classic. Notably, Neil Finn on guitar/vocals is immediately a strong presence as is former Heartbreaker Mike Campbell, who owns the lead break.

“Welcome Perth. We’ve done 62 shows in the US and Europe and this is show 63,” Nicks says by way of greeting. The singing icon sounds worryingly hoarse, but her voice warms to the occasion within a few songs.

Christine McVie’s Little Lies raises spirits and hands, and Dreams is suitably dreamy: Nicks’ voice folds warmly into it, her hands exuberantly working a tambourine. A huge chandelier hangs from above, its grandeur complemented by video screens switching from noir-framed mansion staircases to sunny Californian coastlines in washed-out ‘70s colour.

Fleetwood Mac, as such, are augmented by keyboardist Ricky Peterson, guitarist Neale Heywood, percussionist Taku Hirano and backing vocalists Marilyn Martin and Sharon Celani, though everyone is working up a storm onstage. Second Hand News finds Finn on lead vocal, turning slightly sideways to face Nicks as they sing, similar to the time-honoured manner she did with Buckingham.

Say You Love Me Brings the smiles, but when Nicks introduces Black Magic Woman claiming that she initially though it was by another big band (that’s Santana, by the way), she takes band-founder Peter Green’s vocal and sings it “from the eyes of a woman and here she comes now.” The song becomes an extended blues jam, all personnel shining, all giving each other perfect space. 

“Okay now for a complete contrast,” says Christine McVie, as the pop feel of Everywhere is followed by the Finn-fronted Spit Enz hit, I Got You. The contrast continues with Rhiannon immediately bringing the crowd to its feet. There’s tingles aplenty as the older voice gives new weight to this dark, Welsh tale and Nicks receives absolute applause for her signature song.

Live set mainstay, World Turning, is led vocally by Finn and McVie but remains Fleetwood’s showcase, from the video montage of the man through the years to his wild, lively call-and-response drum solo, which features master percussionist Hirano. He soon comes to the front of the stage armed with his beloved African talking drum, shouting joy at the crowd before the band closes the song, and Fleetwood delivers some loving band introductions, notably for Campbell and Finn, the latter’s name almost bringing down the roof. McVie is described as “the songbird,” Nicks the “eternal romantic” and lastly, bassist John McVie as being “always on my right-hand-side, no doubt the backbone of Fleetwood Mac.”

Nicks’ eternal romance is showcased in Gypsy and Landslide, though those two songs are split by Campbell fronting a mean and dirty run through Peter’s Green’s Oh Well: all riffage and world-weary with angry young man attitude.

From rock to jewel, Fleetwood gives a heartfelt introduction to Finn’s Don’t Dream It’s Over. The Crowded House staple is delivered with the expected tender gusto from Finn, but as Nicks takes the lead on the final verse it steps into a previously unexpected dimension. “A song like that comes along once on a million years,” she states at song’s end. “It’s magnificent.”

In 1982, Hold Me – from the band’s album Mirage – was quite the hit single, but over the years seems largely forgotten in the haze of decades of multi-platinum success. Tonight it returns, a compelling soft-rocker that allows each member to shine. It’s followed by Christine McVie’s Rumours-era track You Make Loving Fun, about the man she left John McVie for in 1977. One wonders what he makes of it all, playing this irresistibly giddy love song every night on tour.

From Rumours’ most happy moment to perhaps its most ominous, Gold Dust Woman find Nicks in a golden shawl, delivering a trademark dark Hollywood Hills evocation. It’s a bravura performance that inspires a fair few arms-undulating “Stevies” in the audience, too.

Go Your Own Way provides a majestic and rousing end to the main set, with Finn – having completed a winning lead vocal – ending the song on the drum riser, eye-to-eye with Fleetwood, looking for all the world like a kid who cannot believe his luck.




Thursday, August 08, 2019

INTERVIEW Fleetwood Mac Sunday Night Australia TV Special

Fleetwood Mac Sunday Night Australia TV Special

INTERVIEW Mick Fleetwood and Neil Finn Sunday TV New Zealand

Kiwi music legend Neil Finn is famed for his bands, Split Enz and Crowded House.  But when one of the world's biggest acts, Fleetwood Mac, offered him a lead role in their group, he couldn't say no.

Next thing, he was stepping straight into playing alongside Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood with the band who've bewitched audiences on and off the stage for more than 50 years.

Originally aired on Sunday TV New Zealand


Fleetwood Mac concert-goers are demanding refunds

Fleetwood Mac concert-goers are demanding refunds after the iconic band performed at two London shows at Wembley Stadium on Sunday and Tuesday evening.
Evening Standard
By Rebecca Speare-Cole


Some fans praised the “absolutely fantastic” and “incredible” event from parts of Wembley Stadium, but others complained that the band's music sounded “terrible” due to the audio set-up.

The legendary band performed in the capital as part of their 28-date tour around the world.

The Pretenders also performed as the band's supporting act and Harry Styles from One Direction made a surprise appearance on Tuesday, even bringing along his mother to the gig.

Stevie Nicks dedicated the song Landslide to the One Direction star, saying: "He’s really a gentleman, sweet and talented and boy that appeals to me.”

However, hundreds of the 90,000 people in the crowd, who paid up to £150 for a ticket, are demanding a refund after claiming they were unable to hear “anything but echo”.

Sue Allen tweeted on Wednesday morning after the show: “Shocking sound quality at #FleetwoodMac at Wembley last night. Left early. V disappointed and will be pursuing a refund."

Another fan who said the bought three tickets costing £51.70 tweeted that: “the sound system was terrible. It was one of the most expensive concerts I have ever been too and am so upset at how bad the sound was.

“I do feel under the circumstances that some sort of refund is due.”

On Sunday Jules Swain posted a video which appeared to support their claims of poor sound at the show, saying “You need to fix the sound!!! Can’t tell a word they’re singing.”

“At Wembley – can’t hear anything but echo - £300 on tickets – you are awesome but sadly your sound people have massively let you down,” one twitter user said.

Helen Murray said: “Sound system at Sunday concern in block 122 row 39 was DREADFUL. The echo was painful and completely spoilt the show.”

According to fans, Live Nation, the concert’s organisers, are refusing to offer refunds.

Despite the sound issues, many people celebrated their experience on Twitter, with one user saying: “Best experience of my life to date! @fleetwoodmac were absolutely fantastic.”

Another wrote: “Fleetwood Mac last night @wembleystadium were absolutely incredible. Have to say when Stevie Nicks began singing I got literal goosebumps. Such a special evening thank you."

The Mac produced nothing short of a spectacle in a packed-out Wembley Stadium.

Fleetwood Mac put the past to bed at their second and final Wembley Stadium show
By Bobby Rathore
The Line of Best Fit



The turbulence of Fleetwood Mac off-stage is essential to their energy, chemistry and intimacy on-stage; it's fuelled them for over 50 years. Tonight, the angry ghost of Lindsey Buckingham was keenly felt, but nonetheless, The Mac produced nothing short of a spectacle in a packed-out Wembley Stadium.

A tour set against the backdrop of Buckingham's looming absence did not derail this battle-scarred band. It was difficult not to feel a fleeting twinge of sadness at the erstwhile frontman; his distinctive voice and masterful guitar-playing undeniable; his tension and on-stage chemistry with Stevie Nicks achingly romantic.

Despite this undercurrent of loss, tonight Fleetwood Mac demonstrated that the band is bigger than the sum of its parts - an idea already developed through their shifting line-ups through the ages. Tonight’s show was a careful balance of nostalgia and restoration, as the two newest members, Neil Finn from Crowded House and Mark Campbell from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, showed their worth. Their clever use of these two replacements to do something different worked tonight in a way that left the audience both surprised, heartwarmed and elated.

The band start off steadily, despite the racing tune “The Chain” opening the night - after sixty-one shows this year already, weariness could be rearing its ugly head. Before any of the audience members can even formulate this thought into a lasting opinion, Stevie Nicks unleashes her wild on-stage persona, shaming 90,000 people for even toying with the idea that this would not be worth the ticket price. “Second Hand News” transforms Nick’s famous tasselled sleeves into air drumming drum sticks as she bangs them through the air, encouraging Mick Fleetwood’s relentless energy on percussion.

From hereon in, the show was set. “World Turning” is welcomely interrupted by the elected showman for the night - “don’t be shy” screams Mick Fleetwood during a close-to-ten-minute solo and drum battle with Taku Hirano. Fleetwood jumps up from his impressive percussion set and starts banging on a handheld drum, inciting Taku and the crowd even further, and just when the drumming is beginning to sound like thunder, the band take us back to “World Turning”. The sound issues that plagued Sunday's show are mercifully absent throughout. It's a moment that drives home Fleetwood Mac’s sheer energetic agelessness - they are a band that do not grow old.

With songs being dedicated to Tom Petty, Jimmy Iovine and Harry Styles, and an audience comprised of millenials with their grandparents, Fleetwood Mac’s performance tonight showcased their timelessness in a fashion that only the likes of The Rolling Stones can match.
  • The Chain
  • Little Lies
  • Dreams
  • Second Hand News
  • Say You Love Me
  • Black Magic Woman
  • Everywhere
  • Rhiannon
  • World Turning
  • Gypsy
  • Oh Well
  • Don't Dream It's Over (Crowded House cover)
  • Landslide
  • Hold Me
  • You Make Loving Fun
  • Gold Dust Woman
  • Go Your Own Way
Encore:
  • Free Fallin' (Tom Petty cover)
  • Don't Stop

After 52 years Fleetwood Mac can still sell out Wembley - June 16, 2019

Fleetwood Mac at Wembley Stadium — has the chain been broken?

Ludovic Hunter-Tilney
Financial Times
★★☆☆☆



After 52 years the band can still sell out Wembley Stadium but the latest line-up change may be a rupture too far.

A tour by one of the biggest bands in rock history is always notable, but “An Evening with Fleetwood Mac” might have been particularly special. When it was conceived, there were suggestions that it could have been Fleetwood Mac’s swansong. A new album was in the offing too, a final recording. But the band’s penchant for volatility has once again intervened.

It is the second tour since Christine McVie officially rejoined their ranks in 2014. The keyboardist-singer played a key role writing some of their biggest hits, and the new Fleetwood Mac album was to have been written by her and guitarist-singer Lindsey Buckingham. But singer Stevie Nicks did not want to record a new Mac album, so instead it appeared under McVie’s and Buckingham’s joint name in 2017.

The next twist came with Buckingham’s exit from the group, reportedly after reigniting his long-running feud with his ex-lover Nicks. He stomped off to play solo shows in the US last year, where his setlist included a pointed rendition of the Fleetwood Mac song “Never Going Back Again”. Meanwhile, his septuagenarian former bandmates are touring the world with a nostalgia-circuit setlist and no talk of farewells.

Fleetwood Mac review, Wembley Stadium: Band perform with too much zest for this to be a simple exercise in nostalgia
It is difficult not to occasionally feel the lack of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, less for his guitar wizardry than for the tense, loaded chemistry he always shared with ex-partner Stevie Nicks

Alexandra Pollard
Independent
Photo by looper23


“It’s unbelievable that we’re all still doing this,” proclaims Mick Fleetwood from behind his vast drum set onstage at Wembley Stadium. The “all” isn’t quite accurate – for one thing, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was unceremoniously ousted from the band last year, reportedly after smirking at Stevie Nicks – but he has a point nonetheless. Fleetwood Mac have come to the brink of self-destruction more times than there are people in this enormous stadium.

Fifty-one years after the band first formed (though Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are the only founding members remaining), this is “the 61st show of a long trip we’ve been on since September”, announces Stevie Nicks. She says so with just a hint of weariness – the energy, at first, is a little fatigued, the first few songs sung seemingly by rote. But things take a turn by the time “Second Hand News” comes around, taken from their seminal 1977 album Rumours, which was recorded when the band were tied up in romantic knots and barely speaking to each other. Nicks, an occult leader all in black, suddenly clicks into gear, air drumming along to Fleetwood’s hugely impressive percussion.

Fleetwood Mac Live at Wembley Stadium June 16, 2019

Review: still going their own way
Even without Lindsey Buckingham, the band's unmistakable sound, as promised, lingers on

By John Clarke
iNews

Fleetwood Mac
Wembley Stadium, London
★★★★



Like a mighty ship of state, Fleetwood Mac finally sailed into London over the weekend. One crew member, Lindsey Buckingham, had been cast adrift but two new shipmates – Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell – had signed up.

It had been a lengthy voyage. “This is the 61st show of a long trip that started last year,” said Stevie Nicks, “and we’re glad you’re all here. Let’s get this party started.”

The fear was that with Buckingham’s departure – he left under less than happy circumstances last year – Finn and Campbell would change the shape of a band that has already sold 100 million records worldwide. Mick Fleetwood wasn’t worried. “We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked… We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound,” he said on the band’s website.

It was hard to argue with that, as they promptly emerged on stage and launched into a supercharged “The Chain” that immediately had everyone out of their seats.

The sound, despite the huge open spaces in Wembley Stadium, was big, thick and impressive. It even got intimate when Christine McVie, regal as ever all in black, gently sashayed into “Little Lies”. Crowd pleaser, “Dreams” was next, with a vocal chorus that came more from the audience than it did the stage.

It was a reception that seemed to energise an already hyperactive Nicks as she darted around the stage, her peerless vocals on the still enormously effective “Rhiannon” and admitting “I’m the black magic woman” on a reboot of a hit from 1968, and what now feels like the band’s distant past.

New boy Finn proved his worth with a melodic and touching version of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (with vocal support from Nicks) which fitted seamlessly into the Fleetwood Mac oeuvre. Campbell got his chance later in the evening with “Free Fallin’”, an emotional and moving tribute to the late Tom Petty.

It wasn’t all plain sailing. Mick Fleetwood appropriated “World Turning” for a drum solo, complete with screams which segued into a conga-driven battle with percussionist Taku Hirano as the rest of the band ambled off stage. It was interesting, but a tad too long for comfort. And while Campbell made a brave bid to tackle another earlier Fleetwood Mac classic, “Oh Well” it lacked the grandeur of Peter Green’s original version.

The band were on safer ground with “Go Your Own Way” which saw Finn step neatly and almost imperceptibly into Buckingham’s shoes. “Don’t Stop” closed the night. The music may have had to, but the good-time feeling lingered.

LIVE REVIEW FLEETWOOD MAC LONDON JUNE 16, 2019

Fleetwood Mac review – latest lineup makes loving them fun
Having weathered the acrimonious departure of Lindsey Buckingham, Fleetwood Mac seem to be enjoying themselves more than ever

By Alexis Petridis
The Guardian
Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian



Wembley Stadium, London
Happy Father’s Day, London,” offers guitarist Mike Campbell, one of Fleetwood Mac’s two new recruits. “I know,” he adds meaningfully, “there are some fathers out there.” There certainly are, but perhaps not as many as you’d think. The crowd packing out Wembley to see what – at a conservative estimate – is something like Fleetwood Mac’s 13th lineup is far from entirely comprised of the middle-aged-to-pensionable.

If you want proof of how wrong the recently departed Lindsey Buckingham was when he suggested the band were “incredibly unhip”, here it is – fans visibly too young to remember Fleetwood Mac’s late-80s resurgence with Tango in the Night, let alone the release of Rumours; twentysomething women dressed up as Stevie Nicks in top hats and scarves. On stage, the actual Stevie Nicks – no top hat, but very much dressed up as Stevie Nicks – is dedicating Landslide to Haim, one of umpteen latter-day bands under the spell of the music Fleetwood Mac made 40-odd years ago.

She says that Haim, too, might be on stage in their 70s, to which the obvious response is: only if they write more songs like these. Little Lies, Dreams, You Make Loving Fun – they’re built to withstand anything, from human resources issues to the sound at Wembley, which tonight recreates the experience of trying to listen to Fleetwood Mac with your head submerged in a tureen of soup. The visuals appear to be broadcast direct from Nicks’s brain – trees silhouetted against misty moons, stallions galloping through the surf in slow motion, mysterious ladies holding crystal balls etc – but more striking is the atmosphere emanating from the stage.

Over their 52-year career, being a member of Fleetwood Mac has always looked like a fraught business, but tonight, at least, they seem to be enjoying themselves. Mick Fleetwood is a constant blur of eye-popping, tongue-waggling and grinning; Nicks unguardedly plays not just air guitar, but air drums; Christine McVie, who gave a dislike of touring as the reason for her 15-year absence from the band, seems untroubled by such concerns, whether playing bluesy electric piano or standing front and centre to deliver her peerless song Everywhere.

The setlist is designed to subtly accommodate Buckingham’s acrimonious departure – it lightly steps around Tusk (1979), an album that was the guitarist’s baby; Big Love is noticeable by its absence from the cavalcade of hits – but both new members are what a football manager would call strong signings. Campbell storms confidently through the Peter Green-era anthem Oh Well. Neil Finn, meanwhile, brings with him not only a voice that sounds pretty much perfect standing in for Buckingham on Second Hand News, but also his own back catalogue. When the rest of the band cede the stage to him and Nicks for an acoustic version of Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over, it provokes the audience into the latter-day lighters-aloft moment that is waving your mobile phone with its torch activated.

Perhaps they’re just relieved Fleetwood’s solo turn is over. A drum duet with percussionist Taku Hirano, decorated with a lot of extempore grunting and whooping, it goes on long enough to accommodate not merely a visit to the lavatory and a queue for the bar, but a trip back home to check whether you’ve left the gas on, although in fairness, sections of the crowd respond as though a drum solo with extempore grunting is precisely what they’ve ponied up £200 to see. Behind him, the screen fills with images of past Mick Fleetwoods, favouring the world with drum solos over the decades, which gives his interlude as much of a symbolic air as the concluding run at Don’t Stop. If it seems as if it could go on for ever, well, so do Fleetwood Mac themselves.

LIVE IN LONDON - FLEETWOOD MAC JUNE 16, 2019

Fleetwood Mac review – all the hits, with a sour aftertaste
Kitty Empire
The Guardian
Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian



Wembley Stadium, London

Lindsey Buckingham’s absence casts a pall over a singalong show, despite sterling work from subs Neil Finn and Mike Campbell

There is no arguing with the numbers. Wembley Stadium is brimming with fans, even on a wet Tuesday. A dozen people fill the vast stage, reproducing some of the most opulent harmonies and venomous kiss-offs of the late 20th century. On Dreams, a bittersweet classic written by an enduringly swirly Stevie Nicks, a chandelier descends from the rigging. Amusingly, it goes back up afterwards, reappearing and disappearing with every one of her compositions on the final night of Fleetwood Mac’s European tour.

Superfan Harry Styles has brought his mum, Nicks reveals, complimenting her on what a well-brought-up young man he is. Super-producer Jimmy Iovine (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Nicks’s 1981 solo album Bella Donna) has flown over from the States, she says. The Fleetwood Mac setlist – barely varying from Berlin to London – is replete with peak-period hits and refreshed by a couple of deeper cuts. One, the Peter Green-era blues Black Magic Woman, made famous by Carlos Santana, finds Nicks vamping her way through a female reading of the tune as the chandelier glitters darkly.

You can’t help but wonder, though, what constitutes a quorum in Macworld – a notoriously fickle place, which has seen a number of key personnel go missing. The reunited classic 70s lineup of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie (back in the fold since 2013) has been touring for a year without guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham. Fleetwood asked Buckingham to join his band in 1974. Buckingham assented, but only if he could bring Nicks. The results were immediate: two of the biggest albums in rock history, sacks of cash, dangerous liaisons, mucous membranes caked in “booger sugar”.

LIVE IN DUBLIN - FLEETWOOD MAC JUNE 13, 2019

Fleetwood Mac in Dublin: ‘We’re a bunch of crazy people with a crazy history’
Breathtaking songs sum up the turmoil and happiness of the band’s break-ups and make-ups

Louise Bruton
The Irish Times



An Evening with Fleetwood Mac is a brave title for a tour, given that some members of the Fleetwood Mac family can’t even stand to be in the same room as the others. But for this tour and this their 60th gig of their tour, an evening with Fleetwood Mac is an evening with Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House’s Neil Finn.

Emerging from backstage, they come in hard with The Chain, a song that drums up fervour even if it’s just on a mid-afternoon repeat of Top Gear on Dave.

Immediately, Fleetwood’s facial expressions become a star in their own right, beaming as he cues in the always thrilling break of The Chain. In the unseasonably cold June breeze, the ribbons draped on Nicks’s mic stand and tambourine billow during Dreams, as does her long, honey blonde hair, building up her air of being the true witch supreme.

Her husky voice hits the same soft purrs she’s been hitting ever since she joined the band, a timeless icon. Batting the chorus of Second Hand News back and forth with Finn, there’s a warmth between them that was vaguely absent from their last visit to Dublin with Buckingham in 2015.

Retrieving Black Magic Woman from the archives, there’s a distinct playfulness between Nicks and Christine McVie as Christine wraps a scarf around her friend’s shoulders. This time, says Nicks, we “Sing it through the eyes of the woman ... so that’s me and Chris”.

Passing on the good karma, Campbell takes off his hat in appreciation of Christine’s work on the keyboard. And in general, there’s a reverence for the ever silent John and a universal adoration of the larger than life Fleetwood, who shows more than a glint of madness during his 10-minute long drum solo, shouting out things like “hanky panky!” and “unleash the hounds!”.

It’s almost like they’re telling no one in particular and the entire world at once that it’s nice to play nice.

Historically, the group has a revolving door policy with members coming, going or getting fired due to: affairs, divorces, drunken brawls, break-ups, make-ups, creative differences, dalliances with the Children of God cult, drug abuse or health issues.

The core set though, consists of Nicks, the McVies, Fleetwood and Buckingham, who stuck together for a winning streak between 1974 and 1987, releasing the seminal Rumours and Tusk albums during this period. Their capacity to work together continued to fluctuate over the years.

A two-year touring stint reunited them in 1996, until Christine decided to step away from the public eye. Sixteen years later, she rejoined the group and the five-piece had a four-year run of touring until Buckingham was fired – although Mac says that’s too ugly a word to use – for a plethora of allegations, including smirking at Nicks during a thank-you speech at an awards ceremony. He also refusing to sign off on a tour that they’d been planning for over a year, which led to Buckingham filing a lawsuit against the group for breach of oral contract.

It’s not easy carrying the burden of being a rock star, is it? So with Buckingham out, Finn and Campbell fill his boots instead, and with these welcome additions onstage, Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over sneaks onto the setlist and Nicks takes the lead on Free Fallin’, an emotional tribute to Campbell’s former bandmate and friend Tom Petty.

Fleetwood Mac’s music transcends generations. Everywhere is a borderless anthem that can be played at a wedding, in Coppers, the Róisín Dubh and the queer night club Mother and it will always incite the same rush to the dance floor.

Landslide, written by Nicks, is a breathtaking song and as she says herself, she wrote this song at 27 when she thought she was old but now that she’s 71, she feels like she’s got so much more to give. The show ends with Don’t Stop, a song that Christine wrote in 1976 about her separation from John after eight years of marriage.

As they take their final applause, grinning through the happiness and the turmoil that each song represents, there’s no better example of “the show must go on” than Fleetwood Mac.

“We’re a bunch of crazy people with a crazy history,” says Fleetwood, getting the last word in, “but it’s nights like this that give us life’s breath”.

FLEETWOOD MAC Live in Dublin June 13, 2019

Fleetwood Mac roll back the years with RDS stunner
BY: STUART CLARK
Hotpress



Despite the Lindsey Buckingham-shaped hole on stage, the band were in serious crowd-pleasing mood, says Stuart Clark

When they last played Dublin in 2015, it was obvious from the body language and the yawning space between them on stage that all was not well between Lindsey Buckingham and the rest of Fleetwood Mac. Even so, it was still one hell of a shock when his services were dispensed with before this latest lap of the world.

I know of quite a few conscientious objectors who aren't in the RDS tonight to see whether Tom Petty's former Heartbreakers lieutenant Mike Campbell and Crowded House's Neil Finn can between them fill the Lindsey-shaped hole to the right of the drum-riser. The answer is they can’t – nobody can - but let us not forget that four of the people who magicked up the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, Tusk, Mirage and Tango In The Night are still present and correct.

Opening with a rambunctious version of ‘The Chain’ – the Mac have always kicked considerably more ass live than in the studio – and following it up with the close harmony swoon of ‘Little Lies’, it’s evident that the reconfigured band are in serious crowd-pleasing mood tonight.

Occupying as she does that middle ground between Homer’s The Odyssey and Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings, I was a bit taken aback to see Stevie Nicks wandering past the Permanent TSB on Grafton Street on Wednesday afternoon. Tonight, though, in front of a seriously sold-out Showgrounds she is once again not quite of this world. Her first solo turn is ‘Dreams’, a song that despite being played approximately every 27.2 minutes on classic hits radio has lost none of its spellbinding allure.

Neil Finn takes care of the vocal heavy lifting for the first time on 'Second Hand News', and proves himself to be more than able for the task. Dublin being a lot colder at this time of year than L.A., he's wrapped up in a Rupert The Bear-style green scarf. The crowd's cockles are warmed by the rendition of 'Black Magic Woman', which features some fabulous interplay between Finn and Campbell - who's one hell of a cool dude guitarist. Quite how much he can see from beneath the heavy duty shades he's wearing is debatable. The song also serves as a reminder of how fine a keys player the perma-smiling Christine McVie is. She struggles to hit the high notes on the following 'Everywhere', but hey...

Nicks is at her sublime best again on ‘Rhiannon’, with the "Would you stay if she promised you heaven?” line a seductively delivered tease that puts goosepimples on this writer’s goosepimples.

The first call and response of the show comes when Mick Fleetwood, sounding uncannily like Chas Smash at the start of 'One Step Beyond', commandeers 'World Turning'. His exhortations to "unleash the hounds" as a bongo is pulverised don't go unheeded. The greatest showman drummer of all time? He's definitely there or thereabouts.

Having told us he loves our dirty old town, Mike Campbell lends 'Oh Well' a distinctly southern Elmer Fudd-ish drawl. Five decades on, it remains a fine slice of dirty blues.

A reminder of Neil Finn’s other job comes halfway through when, following a Mick Fleetwood big up, he strums the opening notes of 'Don't Dream It's Over'. When Stevie joins in, it's genuinely gobsmacking. She dedicates 'Landslide' to "my good friend Joe Elliott who's from here... well, I hope he is." She's sort of right. Anyway, it's easily her best performance of the night.

There's laughter from the band as they fluff the intro to 'Hold Me': the execution thereafter is pure pop perfection. Also falling into that category is 'Go Your Own Way', inadvertently the cheeriest break-up song ever, which survives not being sung by its author Lindsey Buckingham.

The double-whammy encore of ‘Freefallin'' – somewhere up above us Mr. Petty is shaking a serious leg – and ‘Don’t Stop’, another song that still sounds factory fresh after all these years, bring the curtain down on what, by even Fleetwood Mac’s high standards, is a stunning show.



THE MAC CHECK INTO PLUSH DIGS AHEAD OF SOLD-OUT DUBLIN GIG

Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, Neil Flynn and Mike Campbell were pictured entering the five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin on Tuesday June 11th.

Singer songwriter Stevie Nicks is staying at a different hotel.