REVIEW: It’s a weird feeling to walk from a concert of an international headliner, with a song from home in the front of your mind.
And so it happened after the final of an 80 concert stretch for Fleetwood Mac when they headlined Dunedin”s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night.
While there was no support act on the undercard, the more than 30,000 punters were treated to a Kiwi version with Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House) front and centre with his new band.
And that band featured the waistcoat duo of Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass, and Christine McVie on keys and vocals, and frontwoman Stevie Nicks, alongside new member, guitarist Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers).
Before they took the stage at the early (not complaining!) time of 8.20pm, the crowd entertained themselves with a series of Mexican waves,
Right from the outset the band shows their chemistry, opening with crowd pleaser “The Chain.”
McVie, who has an assortment of children toys on her keyboard, wins the key to the city for saying the band had an amazing time, before launching into “Sweet Little Lies.”
Raiding the back catalogue did not let up, with “Dreams,” with the fingerless glove wearing Nicks entering full gypsy mode to the delight of the crowd.
By now many of the crowd were on their feet, and were suddenly treated to the Neil Finn show, which began with a “Kia ora Dunedin”.
Finn, who tells the crowed “I used to be in a band called Split Enz”, has obvious crowd-pleasing chemistry with Nicks.
The pair sing together on “I Got You,” featuring a nicely done backing video of Frankestein’s monster.
But an early highlight would be “Rhiannon,” with Nicks, who is now in fine voice, acknowledging the crowd with a trademark deep bow.
Finn takes lead on “World Turning,” which usurps into Mick Fleetwood taking centre stage. And take it he does.
An eye-popping 15 minute drum solo includes the band’s namesake asking the crowd if they want to “release the hounds”.
It’s Campbell’s turn next to show his fretboard wizardry on “Oh Well,” which sets up the stage for Finn.
It’s arguably the biggest song of the night when Finn, armed with just an acoustic guitar, starts to sing Crowded House classic “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”
“I can hear you Dunedin,” he tells the crowd, who don’t remind him that a third of the audience is from Christchurch, and then “I can see you” when thousands of lights illuminate the venue.
He is joined by Nicks, who later tells the crowd of her love for that Kiwi classic, “a song like that only comes around once in a life time”.
Not to be outdone she later launches into “Landslide,” with the lyric “And I’m getting older, too” resonating for many.
Fleetwood himself shares a yarn over his admiration for Finn, which allows the Kiwi to raid some of his back catalogue at a concert for one of the world’s best selling bands.
So your tour downunder may be finished Fleetwood Mac, but don’t dream it’s over.
This was the last of five concerts as part of Fleetwood Mac’s 2019 New Zealand tour.
Hamish McNeilly / Stuff (New Zealand) / Sunday, September 22, 2019