Showing posts with label 06-13-19: Dublin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 06-13-19: Dublin. Show all posts

Thursday, August 08, 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

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.


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.