Thunder only happens when it rains, according to Stevie Nicks, whose legendary band Fleetwood Mac turned on a dream gig in the wet last night.
Playing to 25,000 adoring fans at Domain Stadium, the megastars promised a party in the rain. “My limousine driver told me it never rains in Perth,” Nicks said. “We bring the rain.”
The mighty Mac also brought the hits, plus an old friend in Christine McVie, much missed on the past two Perth visits.
The English singer, songwriter and pianist retreated from the spotlight after the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1998.
Fleetwood Mac were to visit in 2013 but cancelled after bassist John McVie was diagnosed with cancer. During the delay while McVie had treatment, drummer Mick Fleetwood convinced McVie’s former wife to rejoin the band. Christine McVie’s return meant Fleetwood Mac’s three great songwriters — the others being American ex-lovers Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, who joined the English blues band in 1974 —were back in the saddle for the band’s first Aussie tour since 2009.
After hitting the stage with “The Chain,” the Rumours rocker credited to the whole band, the trio shared the songs.
Other Rumours favourites — McVie’s “You Make Loving Fun,” Nicks’ “Dreams” and Buckingham’s “Second Hand News” — came in quick succession.
Classic pop hits —”Landslide,” “Everywhere,” “Little Lies” — rained down on fans as the Mac clung tight to their golden era.
The famous five, plus extra musicians and singers, delivered a marathon set at the fifth of 13 scheduled Australian dates for their On With the Show world tour. Classic songs, classic line-up and still plenty of drama.
Simon Collins / The West Australian / Friday, October 30, 2015
Wet Fleetwood Mac gig extra memorable
Editor’s note: The writer published a lengthier review the following day.
Before reality TV, there was Fleetwood Mac.
Thirty-eight years ago, the legendary transatlantic band laid bare their drug-fuelled intraband bed-hopping in Rumours, one of the greatest and highest selling albums of all-time.
Unlike The Bachelor or Married at First Sight, the Mac don’t need to manufacture their drama – not even on the marathon On With the Show world tour, which stopped in Perth on a wet Friday night.
Rain bucketed down on 25,000 fans at Domain Stadium on an evening singer Stevie Nicks remarked was the “strangest, most dramatic, most memorable rainiest night” of the lengthy tour.
Fleetwood Mac performed in the rain for thousands of fans at Domain Stadium. Pictures: Simon Santi/The West Australian
The presence of English songbird Christine McVie, who reunited with the band last year after a 16-year absence, also heightened the sense of occasion.
The stormy weather didn’t prevent Fleetwood Mac from revisiting their personal tempests across a 23-song, two-and-a-half hour greatest hits show, which drew heavily on Rumours.
Nine songs from the 1977 opus were aired, starting with band co-write The Chain before You Make Loving Fun, Dreams and Second Hand News made for a stunning start to the show.
Rhiannon from the erstwhile British blues band’s 1975 self-titled album, the first to feature then-couple Nicks and guitar god Lindsey Buckingham, was a smooth, early highlight. As the Gold Dust Woman shimmied behind her trademark shawls and sang “woman, taken by the wind”, many in the crowd could empathise with the titular Welsh witch.
That was a time when cracks were seriously showing in the Mac, according to Buckingham, who said the members felt the need to stay together to “fulfil destiny” – that is, turn drama into an incredible parade of pop classics.
His solo acoustic performance of Big Love was a highlight, as was the now-expected performance on Nicks’ plaintive Landslide as a duo. The ex-lovers keep their romantic history front and centre throughout the show.
“Our hearts are into it,” Nicks joked as she moved her microphone back away from the rain. “In my mind, you’re dancing above the clouds.”
While some of the performance echoed previous visits for similar big outdoor concerts in 2004 and 2009 – band leader Mick Fleetwood’s eccentric drum solo during World Turning tested some drenched fans – the presence of McVie added something special to Friday night.
Eighties hits Everywhere and Little Lies, her verse on encore highlight Don’t Stop and solo rendition of signature piano ballad Songbird to complete the evening all made this gig extra memorable.
The relentless rain also helped make Friday night unforgettable, as fans danced in ponchos to the euphoric performance of Go Your Own Way. “If I could, baby, I’d give you my world,” Buckingham sang. How about some dry clothes and hot chocolate?
Simon Collins / The West Australian / Saturday, October 31, 2015