Tuesday, November 17, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Dublin at the O2

Fleetwood Mac (live in the O2, Dublin)

Review Snapshot: A band that has been on the go for over 40 years, albeit with changes in personnel along the way. While the band may be deteriorating, the music stands the test of time, even without the absent Christine McVie.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review:
Opening with 'Monday Morning' from the pre-Rumours days, it was 'The Chain' and 'Dreams' that got the O2 Arena in a frenzy from the start. "Dublin, you're beautiful, why don't we get this party started" shouted Nicks, before Buckingham and Nicks took it in turns to sing, giving us 'I Know I'm Not Wrong', 'Gypsy', 'Go Insane' and 'Rhiannon' in the early part of the show.

Nicks spoke about forming a band in 1965, "a hard rock San Francisco Band" she proclaimed. "We learnt our trade supporting Jimi Hendrix and Janice Joplin. We want to put our experience back into a song, back to the gypsies that we were" was how she introduced the aforementioned Gypsy.

Lindsey then told us about the recording of Rumours "it's not a bad little album" he joked, going on to tell us about all the friction in the band at that time and how they all poured their hearts out into the songs. "Fleetwood Mac has had a very complicated history but we said we'd have fun”. He goes on to say that "seen as we don't have a new album to promote yet, let's do all the songs we love and I hope you like them too. This is the first song we recorded for Rumours" was his intro to the brilliant 'Second Hand News'. He gave it his all on 'Tusk' shouting and chanting his way all over the stage, before taking a short breather while Nicks delivered 'Sara', after which she gave Buckingham a big hug as they embraced.

Introducing 'Big Love' Lindsey explained that "this was the first single from Tango In The Night, and it was an important song for me as it described the person I was at that time, when it was written in 1987" he said profoundly.

Nicks returned, wearing a red dress and said "this song is dedicated to you [the fans], because everyone needs a song like this” before delivering 'Landslide' with just Lindsey on acoustic guitar. If that performance was brilliant, Buckingham exceeded it on 'Never Goin Back Again' with a slowed down version of the Rumours classic on acoustic guitar and dominant vocals.

Stevie discussed the rehearsals for the tour adding "when we met up on January 5th this year, to start rehearsing for this tour we wanted to do a song that we hadn't performed before. We like to call this I Have Always Been a Storm" she added, while Mick came to the front of the stage to perform the percussion accompaniment.

'Say You Love Me' and 'Gold Dust Woman' were next, with Stevie now wearing a gold coloured shawl and single black glove for the latter, while Lindsey stayed behind the scenes on this one. 'Oh Well' was truly fantastic. The sound in the o2 Arena was brilliant for the concert, but it shone through on this number as the three lads gave it everything.

Another elaborate guitar solo from Buckingham followed on 'I'm So Afraid', while Nicks (now wearing a white shawl and black dress) done her infamous dance during 'Stand Back' and they closed with 'Go Your Own Way'. The encore comprised of 'World Turning' which put Mick Fleetwood in the spotlight for 10 minutes, and they finished the night with 'Don't Stop' which got everybody on their feet.

You couldn't fault this performance on any level, but this is the Lindsey Buckingham band, and the rest are really only here for the ride. Without him they are nothing, and while Mick and John might share the bands name, it's Buckingham's Palace.

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