Showing posts with label 09-12-19: Auckland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 09-12-19: Auckland. Show all posts

Friday, September 13, 2019

Fleetwood Mac still love what they do, and it shows. - Review

Fleetwood Mac, Auckland NZ, 2019
Review by Mike Beck. Photography by Richard Myburgh.
Abmient Light - Photo Gallery

Formed amidst the British blues boom of the late 1960’s, with a rhythm section whose surnames had the rare distinction of combining to create the band’s title, Fleetwood Mac have come a hell of a long way.

Casualties, internal relationships, big success, breakups, addictions, enduring friendships, long-term musical magic and memories are all part of their story. And with another significant line-up change occurring in 2018, two questions came to mind at last night’s opening show minus key playmaker Lyndsey Buckingham; how are they travelling without him, and how would one of his two replacements, local hero Neil Finn, fair in such a pivotal role?

The first of four nights at the city’s premier indoor stadium Spark Arena, last night’s show also held special significance, as it was the first glimpse of the band with Neil Finn on his home soil. Along with Finn, ex Tom Petty Heartbreaker, guitar gun-slinger Mike Campbell have collectively replaced Buckingham, who was ousted last year due to internal conflicts. This is the second time in the history of the band that they have replaced Buckingham with two musicians. Some big boots to fill then?

So, it was with heightened anticipation, that the ominously tall founding member Mick Fleetwood led the band out onto the stage, activating joyous applause for both the beloved group itself, as well as the arrival of the boyish Finn. Fittingly they opened with ‘The Chain’ off their mega album Rumours, a song affiliated with the bands tenacity to stick together through the trials of adversity. The dual vocals required for the tune, coupled with its extended guitar solo coda, meant that both Finn and Campbell were featured straight away on lead vocals and guitar respectively. And they didn’t disappoint, both adding experience, class, style and character to the Mac sound. Underpinning all was the bassline of foundation member, the super solid John McVie.

The Mac’s female star combination of Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks both got early entries for two of their signature tunes; ‘Little Lies’ and ‘Dreams.’ Here the audience were presented with a taste of what had been observed in previous shows, that this configuration of Fleetwood Mac has consented to perform in a notably more laid-back mode than previously heard. The slight tempo pull-backs of many of the songs the best indicator of this.

Syncing with Maori language week, Neil Finn addressed the audience with “Kia Ora NZ!” before turning in a rather decent version of ‘Second Hand News.’ Again, in cruise control, McVie had the audience incrementally on their feet for ‘Say You Love Me.’ As expected last night’s set featured more than a few tracks – seven in total – lifted from Rumours, the record that propelled Fleetwood Mac into superstardom status in 1977. In its day, Rumours became the biggest-selling album of all-time, its west-coast rock appeal producing so many hits that the band unequivocally ruled the airwaves.

The first of the Fleetwood NZ shows ticked all the right boxes

Fleetwood Mac - Auckland - Thursday September 12th, 2019
By Francine Auger
Date: Thursday September 12th, 2019
Libel Music
All Photos by: Megan Moss - Gallery

Neil Finn playing with the mighty Fleetwood Mac. Not only playing with, but touring with and officially part of the band. What kind of quirky, strange, yet fascinating parallel universe could this happen in? Well, oddly enough – this one! And the long awaited tour last night finally hit Auckland; ahead of three more Auckland shows on September 14th, 16th and 19th before heading to Dunedin on September 21st. 

Auckland’s Spark Arena was packed to the rafters, with everyone high on anticipation for what to expect. Would everyone’s favourite songs be played? Would we get a stonking Mick Fleetwood drum solo? Would the Kiwi flavour of Neil fit like a well-used glove in the Fleetwood machine? Well, it was time to find out…

The show starts off with ‘The Chain’, as the suave and sophisticated Mick Fleetwood takes his place behind the drums and is soon joined by Miss Stevie Nicks. We then see Neil Finn heading out, who got a massive reception. With his guitar on fire, it seems Neil is reveling in this latest role and is enjoying being part of this huge setup.

Stevie Nicks dedicates "Landslide" to her "favourite little people" - Auckland

Review: Neil Finn's Fleetwood Mac debut in Auckland an out-of-body experience
by Monika Barton

After witnessing the majesty of Fleetwood Mac in Auckland on Thursday night, I'm still reeling, electrified, and a little confused. Of two things, though, I am sure: 

1. Mick Fleetwood is not of this mortal plane 

2. Neil Finn really is in the band

Storming onto the Spark Arena stage with his guitar held triumphantly aloft, Finn is bursting with pride and energy. The iconic band comes to us off the back of no less than 76 shows, but this one is his. 

As the spine-tingling refrains of 'The Chain' ring out across the arena, I ask myself: 'Is Neil Finn sexy now?' The look of admiration he frequently receives from Stevie Nicks points to yes. 

One flawlessly executed guitar solo later, there's no doubt that Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell, another recent addition to the lineup, can keep up and then some. 

We leap into a jaunt through the band's catalogue of lighter, soft-rock hits, learning that the only thing more infectiously joyful than the intro to 'Everything' is the look of perpetual glee plastered on Mick Fleetwood's face. 

Every bit the mythical enchantress we dreamed she would be, Stevie draws us under her spell with her inimitable presence, collection of sparkly shawls and, of course, those pipes.

From the way she purrs 'Black Magic Woman', to her crisp, soaring, exactly-as-it-sounds-on-the record delivery of 'Rihannon', she truly is the stuff of legend. 

Fleetwood Mac feels like a band re-energized and refreshed

Gig review: Fleetwood Mac at Spark Arena Sept 12, 2019
By: Karl Puschmann
New Zealand Herald
Photos: Ken Buist

In the moment between walking on stage and kicking the night off with the blues stomp of The Chain, Neil Finn took a moment to shake off his nerves. As the newest member of Fleetwood Mac he'd been playing a run of successful away games but last night was the first in front of the home crowd. A quick waggle of his hands and he was off.

In a band of vocalists Finn's is the first voice you hear and the song's roaring chorus could almost be a challenge to fans still harbouring ill will about the recent departure of long-term - some would say critical - member Lindsey Buckingham.

"And if, you don't love me now," he sang as the chorus crashed around him, "You will never love me again," and there was a lot of truth in those two simple lines. Buckingham's departure may have required two world-class musicians to cover, Finn and guitarist Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but this is a new era for a band that have had more "new eras" than most.

Fleetwood Mac made their New Zealand debut last night - Review

Fleetwood Mac – Spark Arena September 12, 2019
By Marty Duda
Photo: Veronica McLaughlin
Check out the photo gallery, link above

The Finn-infused version of Fleetwood Mac made their New Zealand debut last night with the first of four shows at Auckland’s Spark Arena.

I have a confession…when I heard about the ouster of Lindsey Buckingham and the fact that he was being replaced by Neil Finn and former Heartbreaker Mike Campbell, I found myself more interested in hearing the band live. After all, we all know what those five musicians are going to sound like, and they did their thing just a few years ago at Mt Smart Stadium. My only complaint was that it was Buckingham who left and not Nicks, but I do understand that Stevie carries more of a fanbase than Lindsey and I’m sure economics played a part in that decision.

So, here we are with a line-up consisting of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Neil Finn and Mike Campbell, along with five other musicians on stage to fill and musical holes…two backing vocalists, a guitarist, a keyboard player and a percussionist. To the band’s credit, these ringers weren’t tucked away and hidden, they were introduced and given appropriate amount of respect.

Review Fleetwood Mac -- what they do together now isn’t always perfect but it’s always magic.

Fleetwood Mac live at Spark Arena September 12, 2019
by Samuel Scott
Photo: Garry Brandon

Fleetwood Mac performed a magic show at Spark Arena last night with new member Neil Finn.

I was pretty pumped to be heading along to Fleetwood Mac last night. How could I not be? Their songs are built into our DNA.

When aliens dig up our remains in a bajillion years they’ll find 40 million copies of Rumours amongst the many layers of chicken bones.  They'll assume that our world was populated by small, flightless birds with a penchant for chill pop songs with a cosmic hippy edge.

So much has been written in the last 18 months about Neil Finn joining Fleetwood Mac. People wondered if the shows would be the same, if they’d be as good without lead guitarist Lindsay Buckingham.

Of course they wouldn’t be the same ... and of course they’d be just as good.

Fleetwood Mac Live in Auckland, NZ September 12, 2019

Fleetwood Mac Delights Auckland With New Musical Chemistry
By David Boyle
Photos:  Reuben / SomeBizarreMonkey

Legendary blues-rock band Fleetwood Mac swooped into the Spark Arena in Auckland, NZ like an albatross and delivered one of the best shows of the year.

Spoiler alert: if you are one of the many punters going to the next Fleetwood Mac concert stop reading now. If you were one of the ecstatic crowd that went last night read on with a grin because it is very likely you’ve been wearing that smile all night.

Rumours will forever be etched in my adolescent years, probably more than most because my mate Boy (really Michael) had a cassette of the album, his only one actually, jammed in his car stereo. Hopeless! So every time we went out with the boys in his car it was all we heard. Even then I didn’t get sick of it. Great days!