Showing posts with label Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour Review - New Plymouth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour Review - New Plymouth. Show all posts

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Taranaki Daily News (Page 11) March 1, 2010
Fleetwood Mac's Economic Impact on New Plymouth, NZ

If you are a Taranaki local and went to one of December’s Fleetwood Mac concerts, you were very
much in the minority. But that was good news for Taranaki, as explains.

ANYONE who was in New Plymouth during that heady weekend just before Christmas will know that the city was bulging with visitors.

They were all here for a single reason – to attend one of the two concerts by rock group Fleetwood Mac at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands.

It all meant that thousands of fans poured into the region on the Friday and Saturday to attend the first concert on December 19. Then, as they departed on the Sunday, thousands more poured into Taranaki to attend the second concert on December 20.

And while all these people were in Taranaki, not only did they spend, but they also enjoyed what Taranaki has to offer – and most say they’d love to come back.

How do we know all this? Because the region’s economic development agency Venture Taranaki commissioned an economic impact report on the weekend, which used sales data, attendee surveys and economic impact analysis to measure the difference between Taranaki having the concerts and not having them.

The report’s conclusions are fascinating.

For example, the research showed that of the 34,045 people who crammed into the Bowl for the concerts, three-quarters were visitors with 27.7 per cent from Auckland. More than a third were aged between 45 and 54, and more than two-thirds were women.

That data speaks volumes about the years Fleetwood Mac was at its peak and who the fans were.
But there’s more. Of those 34,045 ticket sales, 25,622 or 75.3 per cent were to fans from outside Taranaki. Most came from Auckland, 16.4 per cent came from Wellington, 13.9 per cent from Waikato, and 10.5 per cent from Bay of Plenty.

Only 9.8 per cent of visitors came from Manawatu and 3 per cent came from Wanganui – the same number as those who travelled all the way from Canterbury for the concerts.

Close to 98 per cent of all the visitors stayed in the region for at least one night – their average stay was actually 1.76 nights – and 72.2 per cent stayed in commercial accommodation.
Of real economic significance for Taranaki is the fact that 26 per cent of visitors had never been to the region before. But did they enjoy themselves? Venture Taranaki’s research questioned visitors on how they rated the concert experience, with one being a low rating and 10 being a high rating.

Close to 80 per cent gave the experience a ranking of seven or more.
And when asked how they enjoyed Taranaki itself, 66 per cent ranked the Taranaki region as either vibrant or very vibrant.

Seventy-nine per cent said they’d come back for another event, with 58 per cent saying they’d like to return for a holiday.

Venture Taranaki chief executive Stuart Trundle says the visitor rankings of Taranaki pleased him most of all.

With the concerts, we were aware we were being presented with an opportunity to maximise the promotion of Taranaki.

It’s great to know that so many people who came to the concerts say they would definitely return.

It shows that you have to get people to visit a region for them to change their perceptions about a place.

It’s a much better way than simply putting nice images on a wall at Wellington or Auckland airport.’’

The research also surveyed the Taranaki residents who attended the concerts, and that has thrown up some interesting data.

Of the 8423 Taranaki fans, 90.9 per cent came from New Plymouth district, 7.6 per cent from South Taranaki – and just 1.5 per cent from Stratford.

They were asked whether events are important to Taranaki’s vibrancy, with one being not important and 10 being extremely important. Of the total surveyed, 53 per cent gave a ranking of 10, while another 39.7 per cent gave a ranking of eight or nine.

Not only that, but 65.2 per cent felt the number of events held in Taranaki is about right, while 33.3 per cent felt there aren’t enough events – with just 1.5 per cent saying there are too many events. And 75.8 per cent felt the variety of events is about right.

So while this survey showed that the Fleetwood Mac concerts provided a $23.08 million initial financial boost to the Taranaki economy, which resulted in a net profit to the region of $9.56m, the benefits obviously go beyond the cash.

Not only did the concerts draw national and international media attention to the region, but they attracted many people who had never been to Taranaki before. And they were impressed, which means there’s every chance they will come back.

‘‘While the measurable economic benefits were certainly a boost for the region, the many non-financial benefits offer greater long-term potential,’’ says Mr Trundle.

‘‘Attracting new visitors to the region and delivering an experience resulting in significantly more positive perceptions of Taranaki will deliver further benefits down the line, as the region looks to meet future growth needs.’’

Monday, February 22, 2010


No little lies but lots of big bucks from Fleetwood weekend
By ROB MAETZIG - Taranaki Daily News

Fleetwood Mac's two New Plymouth concerts netted the region close to $10 million.

Venture Taranaki (VT) is now estimating Taranaki will nett at least $30 million from major events held this financial year – an impressive return from the $850,000 provided by the New Plymouth District Council to VT as an investment fund aimed at attracting events to the region.

Events so far this financial year include the Taranaki International Arts Festival, Rhododendron and Garden Festival, and the Round the Mountain Cycle Challenge. Those yet to come include Americarna, the Sir Cliff Richard and The Shadows concert, Womad, the Dream Tour women's world championship surfing tour and the All Blacks-Ireland rugby test.

"These are big numbers that really illustrate the value of careful events planning," Venture Taranaki chief executive Stuart Trundle told the Taranaki Daily News yesterday. "It shows what can happen if Taranaki can build a varied menu of events. Frankly, for a community of 105,000 people we've got a world-class programme."

An economic impact report on the two sold-out Fleetwood Mac concerts held in New Plymouth on December 19 and 20 shows they achieved a major financial return for Taranaki.

The economic activity generated was $23m, with nearly $10m staying in Taranaki.

The report, commissioned by Venture Taranaki and using sales data, attendee surveys and economic impact analysis models, measured the difference between having and not having the concerts. It found that the pair of concerts attracted a total audience of 35,045 people – with 75.3 per cent of them coming from outside Taranaki and 26 per cent of them visiting the region for the first time.

Each visitor spent on average $410.88. Accommodation received 28 per cent of the total spend, hospitality 27 per cent, retail 20 per cent, transport and parking 11 per cent, and other sectors 14 per cent.

Mr Trundle said this statistic puts paid to the perception that any economic gain from major events is only within the accommodation sector.

"A much broader range of Taranaki businesses benefited from Fleetwood Mac," he said.

"The unprecedented influx of visitors did challenge a significant number of our region's businesses, but they rose to that challenge, delivered customer service, and did Taranaki proud."

Mr Trundle said the economic impact analysis supports anecdotal evidence that the Fleetwood Mac weekend was extremely successful.

"And while the measurable economic benefits were certainly a boost for the region, many non-financial benefits offer greater long-term potential.

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"Attracting new visitors to the region and delivering a fantastic experience resulting in significantly more positive perceptions of Taranaki, will deliver further benefits down the line."

- Taranaki Daily News

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The Case for a Mac Attack
Review by: Judge-Jury

Mick brought a big set of drums and slim, attractive backup singers who dressed like Matrix refugees. Lindsey brought a large selection of guitars and an Art Garfunkle look. Stevie brought her portable wind generator, her tambourine and a few hundred outfits. New Plymouth brought the rain – especially for the concert.

Yup, basically as soon as Fleetwood Mac hit the stage (and the DomPost was there - the photo is theirs), the rains decided to join in the fun (ironically, the Sunday show, which was always meant to be wet, ended up quite dry - apparently). The rains played coy as we claimed our spot on the grassy hillside in New Plymouth’s Bowl of Brooklands, and they stayed away through the country and western warm up act (from Lyttleton!) though they may have been fighting queues to get food and t-shirts, but then they came back with a vengeance for the main act. But that didn’t really seem to bother anyone.

Even me, and I detest getting wet. We were lucky to have claimed a spot that was somewhat shaded by a tree, though still on the gentle slope in front of the stage rather than on one of the more precipitous banks around the venue. Our view of the stage and the screens (once everyone stood up) was incredible, and then of course there was the music itself.

I do not claim to have particularly distinguished music taste, as I know my preferences are fairly middle of the road. But everyone at the audience, from the nearby chain smokers to the nearby potheads, from the sensibly dressed women with wine in their hands to the rough and tumble buzzcutted lads with their ciggies and beer, and from those who remembered the 60s and 70s to those who barely remember the 90s, the entire crowd were thrilled to see this group, and revered the music they performed.

And the devotion was not misplaced. If we were worshippers of the band, Stevie Nicks was the high priestess, and her every word was met with a hush that poor Lindsey Buckingham never got during his pronouncements. But then, his words were not his most impressive contribution: I was almost ready to call CYFS, with the way he abused his wee guitar. The whole crowd sang along to the major hits, but stayed respectfully quiet as Ms Nicks performed her slower songs. I did not think she would perform “Landslide”, which is one of my favourites, so I was pleasantly surprised then it began, and while the Dixie Chicks version is incredible, the performance by just Ms Nicks and Mr Buckingham doing a guitar solo totally blew my mind. Others got more worked up over the other “surprise” inclusion an 80s effort (the name of which escapes me), which gave Ms Nicks yet another chance to change her outfit and twirl around the stage. They never did get around to playing “Seven Wonders”, which is one of my favourites, but with songs like “Gypsy”, “Rhiannon”, “Go Your Own Way”, “Say You Love Me”, “Sarah”, and “Don’t Stop” all performed amazingly, I really didn’t end up caring.

I seem destined to always enjoy major concerts in the rain (like Bowie), but New Plymouth’s rain was nowhere near as windswept and driving as the Wellington version (wimps). The band were very complimentary about the audience’s staying power and even started 15 minutes early, though they still expected two encores rather than just having one big finale set. But when one of those songs contained an incredible drum solo by Mr Fleetwood, when he earned his genial giant reputation by getting the audience somewhat involved (though he was hard to understand through all the sweat and energy he was putting into his efforts), then its really hard to feel annoyed.

And who am I to quibble or complain? The show was absolutely incredible. Leaving the event turned out to be a slip slide health hazard, and people were screaming animal calls rather than attempting to murder the songs we had just heard performed so expertly (a la “Roxanne” at the Police concert), but, sodden as I was, I left with a (potentially second hand pot fuelled) buzz that I still feel somewhat with the distance of time and space. It was a totally worthwhile experience, and one of the greatest pre-Christmas presents I could ever have wished for.

Verdict: Legends came to life in the ‘Naki and Fleetwood Mac did not disappoint. Should they come back again (as they promised to do), or Stevie tour solo again (I still kick myself for missing her last tour), I will have to make a pilgrimage to wherever to experience their magic again. 7 Wonders out of 7, no matter the weather.


Monday, December 21, 2009


RARELY seen in Taranaki, the ways of the famous were in full force for Fleetwood Mac’s weekend visit.

Taranaki Daily News

Arriving on a jet bigger than the passenger planes that service the region, the band was met on the tarmac by four silver Mercedes Benz sedans, a Porsche Cayenne SUV and four Toyota people movers. While the big stars, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie, jumped into the flash cars, the lesser members of the entourage filled the Toyotas.

Fans and the two media representatives were kept behind a fence more than 50m from the action.

This put the rockers out of earshot and better seen through a photographer’s long lens. When the convoy did leave the airport several of the band covered their faces lest the fans with their aimand-shoot cameras and the one newspaper photographer caught a picture of them through the tinted windows of their fastmoving cars.

The level of secrecy was not appreciated by some, who were quick with tales of Billy Connolly and Tom Cruise mixing with the locals with little pretension when they visited. At the Saturday concert the was one of just a handful of news organisations attending.

The reporter was allowed in for the whole concert but the photographer had just the first three songs to snap his pictures before being escorted to the gate.

On Sunday no media passes were issued, despite requests for at least two for this newspaper.

‘‘They feel the media were there on Saturday and no media are going to be allowed on Sunday,’’ said media liaison Leesa Tilley.

Other requests were just as fruitless. No face-to-face interview was granted though several questions were allowed to be posed via email. The response came in the same manner a day later.

Where the band was staying was kept a secret with no-one involved in their visit allowed to divulge that particular piece of information.

One cheeky question to that end was met with an icy smile and the cliche ‘‘then I’d have to kill you’’ from the head of the Wellington security firm looking after the group.

However, the question did not remain unanswered for long. When his back was turned, one of the locals whispered ‘‘The Waterfront’’.

Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham put the Saturday concert in his top-five and everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves but that did not convince them to stay longer than they had to. The band flew out of New Plymouth at 11.30pm on Sunday night, less than one hour after the final concert and 31.5 hours after arriving.

Concert rubbish dismays cleaners



Taranaki Daily News

Stevie Nicks reckons it was the perfect end to a year on the road.

She said she was blown away by the crowd at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands during Fleetwood Mac's two New Plymouth concerts at the weekend.

The venue, the fans and even the weather added something special to the band's last two performances of their 10-month long Unleashed tour.

Although band members declined to be interviewed in person, Nicks told the Taranaki Daily News via email the audience at the Bowl was "awesome".

"The crowd was mesmerising to me because they were so in to it and having so much fun," she said.

"Of course, that kind of crowd makes such a difference to an artist."

Indeed, her fellow band member Lindsey Buckingham agreed, citing Saturday's concert one of the top five in his entire career.

It was Nicks' second time at the Bowl and the weekend's concerts exceeded the entire band's expectation.

"The fans were great, the venue was great, and the Maori welcoming ceremony after the show was truly magical," she said.

About 36,000 fans filled the Bowl to experience the veteran rockers' still amazing act over the weekend.

While Sunday's concert was a stunner and significantly drier than Saturday Nicks said the persistent rain actually added to the ambience of the atmosphere.

"The rain was very dramatic and of course, we love drama!

"So I would have to say that it certainly lent itself to romanticism."

Although the shows were the last of the tour, the band did not plan anything special to sign off the past year. Instead, they played it by ear.

"You never know what is going to happen on the last show of a tour," Nicks said.

"You can never make any plans because emotions are high and a part of you is sad because it's ending and a part of you is glad because you have been on the road for a year. So you never know what is going to happen."

And people were not disappointed. While the Fleetwood Mac concerts were generally expected to attract a more mature crowd, people of all ages turned up in droves. It was widely speculated that the tour might be their last.

During Saturday night's concert Buckingham hinted at the possibility of another tour and maybe another album.

Nicks says although the band has not discussed the next move, it is not off the cards.



Sunday, December 20, 2009


Gig review: Fleetwood Mac
New Plymouth, New Zealand
1st Show Saturday, December 19, 2009
by: Simon Sweetman

Fleetwood Mac had fans in raptures at two sold out shows in New Plymouth over the weekend. Reviewer Simon Sweetman was there.

From late-60s British blues band to mid-70s American soft-rock superstars, Fleetwood Mac have evolved and endured, the sound almost taking a back seat to the soap-opera antics of the band members.

Inter-band relationships and affairs, along with drug and alcohol abuse, have, somewhat ironically, been the glue for this band, providing material for many of the classic songs.

This version of the Mac features original rhythm section John McVie (bass) and Mick Fleetwood (drums). Out front are Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, the singer-songwriters who in the mid-70s took the band to the top of the charts and helped in creating one of the greatest-selling albums of all time, Rumours.

Christine McVie declines the invites to tour the hits these days. Her songs Don't Stop and Say You Love Me were played here, however.

The band began with the lively burst of pop that is Monday Morning, the opening track from the eponymous 1975 album. The audience stood strong as the rain came in, and were treated to The Chain and Dreams, an early one-two punch.

Buckingham owned the stage, stalking with his guitar, low-slung, crouching, peeling off piercing runs of notes, squalling solos that enthralled.

If he was occasionally too intense with his between-song banter detailing the emotional connections – something lost on parts of the audience, there to drink first and listen to the six radio hits they knew – then he certainly saved face with his powerhouse solo acoustic take on Big Love, transformed from the Tango in the Night version.

By the time the set-closing anthem Go Your Own Way was ringing out, Buckingham was receiving healthy ovations for every guitar solo.

Nicks, ever the beguiling performer, manages, still, to very much become the song she is singing – to morph into a character that embodies the white witch of Rhiannon; that is the "poet in my heart" of Sara; that is the Gypsy.

Her tour-de-force moments were Gold Dust Woman and the final encore, Silver Springs. An always tender moment in a Fleetwood Mac show is when Nicks sings Landslide; the emotional journey that she and Buckingham have provided for generations of listeners and for themselves seems to be summed up in the lyric.

John McVie was the quiet rock, as ever, pushing the songs forward with his bass playing, receiving huge applause for the exploratory line that propels The Chain, the concert's first of many truly awesome moments.

And Fleetwood, a towering presence behind the kit, got to show off a touch of his possible madness as he chanted near-gibberish around a drum solo at the end of World Turning.

Leave a comment and read other comments here

Fleetwood Mac: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
by: Simon Sweetman

While the big stars, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie, jumped into the flash cars, the lesser members of the entourage filled the Toyotas

It's an amazing story, or set of stories.

On the drive back - yesterday afternoon - we chatted about some of the stories connecting the band; about the Peter Green years and then on to the involvement of Bob Welch and then the "classic lineup". I even have time for the album they recorded called Time.

But I do not have a lot of time for idiots in crowds. And I was reminded of why I hate open-air concerts in New Zealand.

The venue, oversold from what I could tell, was stripped of its unique selling-point: the pond in front of the stage was crudely/cruelly boarded over with a platform to house some seats so that people can be packed in (can anyone say Concert Cave Creek?) There was also a couple of eyesore mini-grandstands jutting out like the back-ends of a bogan mullet, flanking the front of the stage, rendering large patches of the banks useless.

You either queue up early - or you fight for your patch of land. If you do get there early you have people push in and end up on your turf anyway.

All of this should be okay - not ideal but okay - but in among the picnic baskets and recyclable bags filled with cushions and blankets, people forget to pack any sense of humility. And to save on space most tend to not bother taking along any dignity.

I will never, as a music fan, understand how people can choose to spend $120 on a ticket and stand there talking, hooting, laughing, being annoying until the three or four radio megahits are played. And I will also never understand why people pay so much money to go to these shows - including petrol or flights and accommodation as well as ridiculous booze prices - to get written off and not really remember anything but the obvious songs.

I didn't want Fleetwood Mac to play Don't Stop. I don't need to hear that song ever again.

But you know they will - and that's fine. You take it because you know you are going to get Silver Springs and Oh Well (a tribute to the old blues band); you know you are going to get Rhiannon and The Chain. I don't mind some of the big-big hits; I'm not being a snob. Go Your Own Way is probably as overplayed as Don't Stop. It's a far better song though.

Stumbling and tumbling around the crowd of apparently 18,000 people (according to this) were, presumably, no fewer than 987 women between the ages of 35 and 17 named Rhiannon - just waiting for the moment to yell "this is MY song"; their mothers there too, hoping for Landslide for the chance to yell "this song is about MY life" and far too many females dressed in leather and lace - with only the lace being removable - unaware that Gypsy is anything other than a Fleetwood Mac song (one of the ones to singalong to) and that Cougar is a type of pre-mixed bourbon-drink.

Before you write in calling me a killjoy, I am all for people having a good time. I think it's great to be part of a crowd that is having a good time - I enjoyed Don't Stop more than I thought I would on Saturday night because all around me people were partying, wrapped up in a song that everyone knew.

It's the aggression and agitation I cannot stand. That - and the absolute idiocy.

This was similar to any of the shows I have reviewed at Hawke's Bay's Mission vineyard. A place where they could put a guy on stage with a lawnmower and you would still have a paying audience pouring in with chilli-bins. "Mow another strip Trev; classic! Absolutely classic!"

We cannot stop these people from buying Dai Henwood's new CD/DVD. We cannot stop them from cackling at Bro Town. We cannot stop these people from playing Fat Freddy's Drop at a BBQ or for calling the first Norah Jones album jazz.

But we should not have to rub elbows with them on the way in and out of a poorly designed park in a mad rush.

Outdoor concerts are gross.

The venue takes a hammering with cans and bottles being biffed; food and rubbish everywhere. People are rewarded for hooligan behaviour because articles are written saying the show was well supported; the city will apparently benefit from the cash injection/s. It reduces good music to the base level of being background drinking sounds for The Brains Trust.

It's insulting - to the real fans and to the band.

It rained the whole way through the concert - that cannot be helped. It made me wonder, though, if the people behaved worse because of it, or should I have been relieved? Maybe if it was a sunny day there would have been more drunken goons with no idea, no taste and no real business being there.

I vowed, as I spent 45 minutes in a near standstill trying to leave what had been an amazing musical performance, that I would never go to an outdoor show at a vineyard or natural amphitheatre ever again. Of course it's not true - it's an occupational hazard that I will have to (continue to) endure. But I'm getting close to picking the venue as being almost as important as the act. I will probably always make exceptions - I really wanted to see FlDrunken Boganseetwood Mac and it was worth it to me to travel there, pay to stay, pay for tickets - but if I can help it I will be sticking to seated stadium shows and indoor events.

People are idiots. And it's a shame.

What do you reckon? Over the top? Or do you agree? Have you had gigs ruined for you by drunken jerks? Or do you think that if you pay the money you get to, within reason, do what you want?

And were you at Fleetwood Mac this weekend? What did you think? Did the rain dampen your spirits? Or could nothing stop the Mac attack? Or were you disappointed by the music? Maybe they only played Rhiannon and Don't Stop once each and that bugged you? (I heard someone yell "play Rhiannon again!")

What are your thoughts on this weekend's Mac show? And/or on outdoor shows in general? Do our crowds embarrass themselves? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?