Wednesday, December 02, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Melbourne Night 1 and 2

Going their own way along an endless road
Patrick Emery
The Australian

THE addition of Californian duo Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham to the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie transformed Fleetwood Mac from a tight blues outfit to one of the outstanding pop successes of the 1970s. Far from curtailing the band's creativity, the tumult of intra-band affairs and substance abuse that characterised Fleetwood Mac at the time provided the fuel for some of pop music's most enduring tracks.

Now into its fifth decade, Fleetwood Mac was in Melbourne to begin the Australian leg of its Unleashed world tour. Opening with Monday Morning from 1975's Fleetwood Mac, the group was true to its promise for a show replete with classic hits.

Dressed in black and wearing platform boots with her trademark tassels, Nicks projected a gothic-boho visual aesthetic. Despite some warbling renditions of her signature tracks, Rhiannon, Gypsy and Dreams, Nicks remains a charismatic stage performer, and the theatrical antics that heralded the finale of Gold Dust Woman attracted wild applause from the crowd.

Clad in black britches, tights, white shirt, waist-coat and with bells dangling from his belt, Fleetwood looked more like a Morris dancer than a seasoned blues veteran. On bass McVie was typically enigmatic, his bass playing a model of elegance and precision.

While the rhythm section of Fleetwood and McVie is as precise as it was in the band's blues era of yore, it was Buckingham's frequent stadium rock-sized guitar solos that stole the show. In tracks such as Second Hand News, I Know I'm Not Wrong and Go Your Own Way Buckingham relived the drama of his break-up with Nicks.

The rest of the band filed into the wings, leaving Buckingham centre stage for an acoustic version of Big Love from 1987's Tango in the Night. Nicks returned to join him for Landslide, before Fleetwood and McVie returned to the stage for the rarely performed Storms.

In World Turning Fleetwood entertained the crowd with an extended drum solo punctuated with shrieking chants, before the first encore concluded with the perennial baby boomer anthem Don't Stop. The night ended on a softer note as Nicks led the band through the ballad-like Silver Springs.

The continuing absence of vocalist and keyboard player Christine McVie ensured this was never going to be a perfect Fleetwood Mac show. But it was a night full of hits, and for that we could excuse the lingering sense of self-indulgence that remains synonymous with Fleetwood Mac.

Fleetwood Mac play December 5 at Hope Estate Winery, NSW, December 7 and 8 at Acer Arena in Sydney, December 11 and 12 at Members Equity Stadium, Perth and December 15 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac - Melbourne, AU December 2, 2009

DECEMBER 2, 2009
by Andrew Watt

I’ll admit that I was expecting the Fleetwood Mac concert to be a pleasant exercise in nostalgia and the
opportunity to hear a few good (even great) old songs played competently by a band that was just on the positive side of going through the motions. I thought that there would be a few memories bought back and a slightly uncomfortable feeling that perhaps I’d be a willing participant in a session of dead horse flogging.

It’s not that I hadn’t been long time fan. I had begged my Mum to let me go the their Calder Park Rockarena concert in the 70’s (to no avail), I’d bought Rumours and the self titled album and Tusk and even a couple of vinyl bootleg albums. I’d had a schoolboy crush on Stevie Nicks and played Belladonna until the needle had worn through the vinyl.

But somehow through the passage of time and discovery of other music I’d kind of lost perspective on the band and their music. I’d consigned them to the ranks of Gold FM staples, and neglected the numerous strong album tracks and become blasé and a bit numbed to the impact of the half dozen songs that you hear frequently in the ether.

The line up changes, the half baked comeback albums and the saturation of personality based “colour” pieces in magazines had tarnished my memory of the band.

All that combined to cause me to seriously under-estimate this concert.

Last night they rehabilitated themselves totally in my eyes. (although I hesitate to say “rehabilitated” when talking about Fleetwood Mac!)

The first inkling that we were in for something special came with the first song Monday Morning. I’d almost forgotten that this song existed and it was a uplifting way to start the show. It lead into The Chain – surely a statement of intent for the band, then and now – and as the song built and Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar grew in intensity I started to remember just how much depth they had in their repertoire.

The start of the show wasn’t flawless. On Dreams the vocals of Nicks and Buckingham just didn’t seem to blend and I momentarily thought that the concert might struggle to reach great heights.

A couple of songs later Stevie told the story of how she had met Lindsey and how they came to be in a (pre Fleetwood Mac) band together. While the reason for the story was to introduce Gypsy it served a higher purpose as well. It immediately became apparent that the unspoken theme of the night was a celebration of the Nicks/Buckingham relationship. There was so much love and affection on display between the two it could have been horribly annoying but the sincerity was such that the audience were completely in tune with them.

In a way the concert was a very public act of acceptance, of understanding and reconciliation by two people who have realised that the emotional agonies of the past were just too far gone now to matter any more.

Buckingham’s solo song Go Insane was a welcome inclusion before Stevie performed her signature song Rhiannon. To be completely honest it was a dogs breakfast with her phrasing and the harmonies all over the place but it hardly mattered.

However the concert totally kicked into gear with Second Hand News. This is an under-rated song in the Fleetwood Mac songbook and when it gave way to Tusk the concert was up and away.

Sara gave us the magical and not at all cheesy Stevie/Lindsey ’moment’ but it was the next song Big Love that was the eye popper. Buckingham explained that the song was an important one to the evolution of his music and then proceeded to play some rock guitar that would have him ranked with the gods of the instrument.

Somewhere along the way I realised that I’d also under-rated Lindsey Buckingham. Perhaps its because he was only ever one of three lead singers in Fleetwood Mac, perhaps its because the band bore the names of Fleetwood and McVie, perhaps its due to the commercial solo success and media infatuation with Stevie or perhaps because he chose to leave the band for a lengthy period. Whatever the reason Buckingham has not received the credit due.

On the evidence of his performance last night he is one of the great artists of contemporary rock music. He’s a staggeringly good guitarist who plays with passion and integrity. He’s a great singer and he works tirelessly to deliver a performance that could never be described as perfunctory. His guitar playing in I’m So Afraid was Neil Young level mid-blowing. This was so far away from “easy-listening” it wasn’t funny!

Stevie best vocal for the night came on Landslide which she delivered beautifully and she did a good job with her other signature song Gold Dust Woman.

As the concert drew to a close with the obvious big finish of Go Your Own Way they had well and truly exceeded expectations.

While John McVie is rock solid and Mick Fleetwood remains a really good and fluid drummer (and a utterly loveable personality, in a crazy uncle kinda way), there’s no doubting that this is a show where Lindsey Buckingham’s star is in the absolute prime position.

This show was almost identical to the setlist from right across the tour and lets not kid ourselves that we got any special treatment. It’s quite probably that even the spontaneous moments were well rehearsed, or at least were well tested. But even allowing for this there was a real joy and commitment in the performance that had me believing all over again.

You cant possibly ask more than that.

PHOTOS: Fleetwood Mac - Melbourne, Australia Night 2

Melbourne - Night #2
December 2, 2009 - Rod Laver Arena
Photos by: coxys_opinions

Stevie rockin it out at the Fleetwood Mac gig tonight... on Twitpic Stevie and Mick wave goodbye at the Melbourne Fleetwood Mac c... on Twitpic Lindsey Buckingham has still got it! He was lovin' me sick...  on Twitpic


Fleetwood Mac's "The Very Best Of" Holds at #7 for a second week on the New Zealand Top 40 Albums Chart for the week ending November 30th.

New Zealand Chart Run for the 2009 version.
NOV 16, 2009 - #9
NOV 23, 2009 - #7
NOV 30, 2009 - #7

Photos: 22 Shots of Fleetwood Mac Live in Edmonton - June, 2009

The wait was worth it... A blast from the not so distant past...
Some really great shots of the band in Edmonton.

JUNE 24, 2009
Photos by: cleatsmcgee71 (Gallery)
View by Slide Show

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

PHOTOS: Fleetwood Mac Rod Laver Arena - Melbourne

DECEMBER 1, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Melbourne - Night 1 December 1, 2009

Fleetwood Mac - Melbourne, Australia
Rod Laver Arena - December 1, 2009
Reviewer Patrick Donovan

DESPITE being mired in acrimony, Fleetwood Mac's finest album, Rumours, has sold more than 30 million copies around the world. And singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham said it was worth suffering for their art.

''We've had a fairly complex, convoluted and emotional history - it's not always been easy - but in the long run, it's been worth it,'' he said.

With no new album to spruik, last night the band played a greatest-hits set for the fans at Rod Laver Arena, focusing on songs from Rumours, the 1975 self-titled album and 1979's more adventurous Tusk.

Monday Morning, The Chain, Dreams, Gypsy and Rhiannon set the scene before Mick Fleetwood emerged from the drum kit to lead the band in its tribal anthem, Tusk.

There was the odd solo track from Stevie Nicks and Buckingham, but the band has become so omnipresent that Fleetwood will return in February with his other group, the Fleetwood Mac Blues Band, to play the group's early blues material.

Draped in a black shawl and wearing leather gloves, twirling and clutching at the black scarves dangled over the microphone stand, Nicks' husky US west coast voice was as mesmerising as ever.

At the end of Sarah she approached Buckingham's microphone, lowered it and sang the last line before embracing her ex-lover.

On the first night of summer, it was a reminder to the ecstatic cross-generational crowd that music can heal the deepest rifts.

PHOTO: Fleetwood Mac Live in Melbourne, AU December 1, 2009

Photos by: crazidream

Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood MAc, great concert tonight, loved... on Twitpic just got home from Fleetwood Mac in concert, in Melbourne, am... on Twitpic Fleetwood Mac tonight at Rod laver Arena, amazing woot, massi... on Twitpic


Monday, November 30, 2009


Diamond tickets to Fleetwood Mac on sale to raise funds for RSPCA Hunter

RSPCA Hunter Shelter have 10 Diamond tickets available for the FLEETWOOD MAC concert, this Saturday 5 December at the Hope Estate Winery in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley NSW.

The tickets are valued at $449 (ONO) and sale proceeds will go to the RSPCA Hunter Shelter. Ticket enquiries, please contact Michelle Gagno at the RSPCA Hunter shelter on 02 4939 1555.


MICK Fleetwood loves Australia so much he is visiting twice this Summer
Patrick Donovan

Over the next two nights, his band Fleetwood Mac will perform hits such as Go your Own Way, Don't Stop, Rhiannon, Gypsy and Tusk before sell-out crowds at Rod Laver Arena.

He will return seven weeks later with the Fleetwood Mac Blues Band to play at country wineries with Boz Scaggs and the Doobie Brothers' Michael McDonald. While only one song - 1967's Oh Well - is likely to feature on both tours, he says the blues band is his way of paying homage to the originators who started the band with him 40 years ago.

''Over my career I've been called a pop star and a rock star, yet in my inner heart, I will always be part blues man,'' says Fleetwood. ''On my journey from blues to a life of rock'n'roll, I've always remembered where I started.''

This week's shows, says Fleetwood, will feature a different set list to its last tour in 2004. Recent lists lean heavily on the classic 1977 Rumours and 1979 Tusk albums, as well as solo songs from members Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

''This tour will be different because we always usually play new songs - it's always fine and people bear with it - but this time around we don't have a new album,'' he says from his home in Maui, Hawaii. ''After 40 years of being who you are, it's cool to be less selfish. The crowds are loving it because they are emotionally connected to every single song.'' His return trip will be more of a show for blues purists.

''It will be for more of a boutique tour, but I think people will have a lot of fun playing songs like Oh Well, Albatross and Shake your Money Maker - all of the great old stuff that started Fleetwood Mac.''

Fleetwood Mac play Rod Laver Arena tonight and tomorrow. The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band play Sutton Grange Winery, Victoria, on Saturday, February 20, and Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, Yarra Valley, on February 21.


Comedian Peter Kay and his All Star Band's "Official Children In Need Medley", which raises funds for the BBC charity of that name, leapt #18 to #1 on the UK Top Singles Chart.

Kay's single, which rose to the top in its first full week on release, is a medley of songs by the Jacksons, Fleetwood Mac, Pussycat Dolls, Chumbawumba, Take That, the Beatles and Elbow. It features the voices of numerous favorite animated children's TV characters of the last 50 years, voiced by their original actors, including "Thomas The Tank Engine" narrator Ringo Starr.

Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" is mixed in... Starts at about 1:22.