Categories
2018-2019 Tour Fleetwood Mac

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac at Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney

Fleetwood Mac’s Sydney show was a touching celebration of their legacy and longevity

There aren’t many bands in the world with a history and legend as colourful as Fleetwood Mac.

For over 50 years, we’ve listened and watched in rapt attention as they weathered love, break-ups, infighting, drug addictions, and loss in the public arena — pouring it all into songs that defined multiple generations.

It’s not like these years are long behind them either — last year’s news that longtime guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham had been unceremoniously booted from the line-up didn’t come so much as a surprise as it just felt like Fleetwood being Fleetwood. As writer David James Young described for Junkee at the time, there are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and some sort of drama in the Fleetwood Mac camp.

Fleetwood Mac, Neil Finn, Sydney, August 15 2019
Stevie Nicks performs with Fleetwood Mac at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. (Dean Hammer)

The decision to replace Buckingham — an unenviable task, given his towering presence within the band and on-stage — with both Neil Finn and Tom Petty and Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell was inspired. Throughout the lengthy show at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena (their 65th of their current tour) they don’t harshly impose on the chemistry of the original members, and Campbell’s dynamic and ferocious guitar playing is one of the highlights of the evening.

Finn, particularly, looked like he was having the time of his life, beaming and flicking his silver hair across his face. It’s clear the crowd are happy to see him too — he arguably gets a bigger roar then any of the original Fleetwood members when he’s introduced. A homegrown (well, close enough) boy done good.

“Remember, you’re out of the inner city now, so that means you can have a good time. You can drink and dance as much as you like,” Finn told the Sydney crowd halfway through the show, ribbing the city’s scorned lockout laws. “You know you want to.”

Indeed, one of the highlights of the night comes not from a Fleetwood track, but from the Crowded House catalogue. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” is gifted to a sea of waving phone lights and singing audience members (one punter near me was overwhelmed from the off, shouting “Oh FUCK!” the moment Finn opened his mouth).

As for the original band members, they are clearly still relishing the opportunity to be on-stage. Mick Fleetwood is relentlessly energetic, whether he’s slamming down the first kick drum of opener “The Chain,” or grabbing a bongo and leading the audience through his 15-minute drum solo. Christine McVie and John McVie are more restrained, the former’s voice a little rattled from the long years, but she nonetheless strongly leads the charge through crowd favourites “Say You Love Me” and “Everywhere.”

A MILLION COVER BANDS CAN TRY — BUT THERE’S A MAGIC TO THESE SONGS BEING WIELDED BY THEIR WRITERS THAT IS SIMPLY UNTOUCHABLE.

And, of course, there is Stevie Nicks. Dressed, as usual, in all black and a shawl, clutching her tambourine, her magnetism is palpable, and though she noticeably avoids any of the high notes she could hit back in the day, it doesn’t matter. Her voice rolls out richly across the arena during tear-jerking classics like “Dreams” and “Rhiannon,” and she transcends during “Gold Dust Woman,” twisting in the gold light.

There’s a certain mental dislocation in witnessing these songs played live. Like first glimpsing a landmark you’ve seen depicted in thousands of films and on postcards, the cadences and lyrics are so etched within your brain that finally hearing them delivered by their creators is almost disorienting. A million cover bands can try — but there’s a magic to these songs being wielded by their writers that is simply untouchable.

Two moments in particular bottled the magic: the chill-inducing “Landslide,” delivered acoustically by Nicks and Finn right after “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” and the Tom Petty tribute “Free Fallin’,” set against a slideshow of Petty’s life in photos. Even the notoriously terrible “Don’t Stop” — which has to be, if not the worst recorded song of all time, then certainly the worst Fleetwood Mac song — is elevated in the celebratory surroundings.

“Take care of yourselves,” Mick Fleetwood says as parting words after a long standing ovation. “And take care of each other, and thank you for allowing us to keep doing this.”

The pleasure is all ours.

All photos courtesy of Dean Hammer (@deanhammer)

Jules LeFevre / Junkee / August 16, 2019

 

Categories
2018-2019 Tour Article Fleetwood Mac

Sydney show was testament to Fleetwood Mac’s timelessness

Last night, Fleetwood Mac descended on Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena. The band treated fans to a career-spanning setlist that proved that though 50 years into their career, the band are not one to rest on their laurels.

The show was Sydney’s first taste of Fleetwood Mac in their new form. Last year, longtime singer, guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham was “let go” from the band after they reached a boiling point over touring disagreements. Buckingham was replaced by New Zealand royalty, Neil Finn of Crowded House and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist, Mike Campbell.

Whilst it would be futile to deny that the absence of Buckingham was not felt; the new lineup revitalized the band in other ways. The addition of Finn on vocals has ushered in a new era for Fleetwood Mac, one that feels fresh and exciting. The Fleetwood Mac of today is not some hodge-podge operation tenuously thrown together in an attempt to ride the coattails of former glory. Rather, they are a band with a passion that feels tangible, that reinvented themselves out of necessity.

There is nothing mutton-dressed-as-lamb about Fleetwood Mac. Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks ooze the same impossibly cool, bewitching energy that they possessed in 1977. To be in the presence of these two magical women was nothing short of transformative. The pair worked their way through Christine’s romantic proclamations (“Little Lies,” “Everywhere,” “You Make Loving Fun”), and Nicks’s haunting musings (“Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Gold Dust Woman”) with chemistry that felt otherworldly.

Midway through the set, Mick Fleetwood delivered a drum solo that sent the arena into a trance-like state. Commanding the stage with his bellowing confidence and infinite mojo, he barked the orders, “unleash the hounds! unleash the hounds!. It was chaotic and hypnotizing.

Finn fans left satiated after the band delivered not one, but two cuts from his back-catalogue. The first came in the form of Split Enz track “I Got You”. A performance that Finn prefaced, revealing that when the track broke international waters, Stevie Nicks would watch it on MTV and weave her own harmonies.

The band’s cover of Crowded House anthem “Don’t Dream It’s Over” incited the most passionate sing-a-longs of the evening. To hear Nicks and Finn perform a track that is so deeply ingrained in the DNA of Australia was monumental.

Mac took a moment to honour the legacy of the great Tom Petty. Performing a heart-rending cover of his perennial song ‘Free Falling’, the track was backed with a slideshow of the late musician through the decades.

The concert was a welcoming haven for all walks of life. Teenagers who had ruthlessly pre-gamed with Passion Pop and old men in their Zimmer frames all united in song and dance to the beckoning call of “Go Your Own Way.”

Fleetwood Mac’s Australian tour is set to continue with a second show at Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday. Catch the band at one of their remaining tour dates below.

Fleetwood Mac
2019 Australian Tour

Thursday, 29th August
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney

Monday, 2nd September
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Wednesday, 4th September
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Saturday, 7th September
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Saturday, 9th September
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

S. B. Williams / Tone Deaf / Friday, August 16, 2019

Categories
2018-2019 Tour Article Fleetwood Mac Neil Finn

Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks on wooing Neil Finn

‘It’s a love story really’: Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks on wooing Neil Finn; Fleetwood Mac brought ‘secret weapon’ Finn into the fold after an ‘incredibly sad, incredibly challenging’ time

Mick Fleetwood described Crowded House frontman Neil Finn as a “secret weapon” he held onto for two decades, before asking him to fly to Hawaii to audition for Fleetwood Mac.

In April 2018, it was announced that longstanding member Lindsey Buckingham would be leaving the band, to be replaced by Finn and Mike Campbell, the guitarist from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Ahead of the band’s Sydney stadium show on Thursday night, Fleetwood told a small industry audience the “magical” story of how he met Finn.

“It’s a long story — it’s over 20 years long. But it’s a lovely story. It’s a love story, really,” he said. “I’ve always, right from the beginning, loved his songwriting — especially one song that drove me over the wall — ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ — years and years ago.”

Fleetwood had been a Crowded House fan “right from the beginning”, he said, but the pair didn’t meet until 1999 at Concert for Linda: a benefit tribute to Linda McCartney held at Royal Albert Hall. Finn was playing with the Pretenders; Fleetwood Mac was on hiatus.

“I didn’t know him from Adam, but later on that night just happened to be sitting with him,” Fleetwood said. “And I wasn’t doing anything, so I said, ‘Would you like to form a band?’ Drummers say that when there’s nothing happening,” he laughed.

“We had a great night, and broke a couple of glasses — so to speak — and then wandered off. And it never went anywhere.”

Finn and Fleetwood didn’t meet again until “I don’t know, 15 years later”, at the New Zealand Music awards in Auckland. “Going down the corridor I see him, and he said, ‘Do you remember me?’, and I said, ‘Of course I do! I’m your superfan!’. We went to dinner, and ever since then have remained and are incredibly close friends.”

Fleetwood told Finn that if he ever needed a drummer, “just let me know” — so when Finn and his son Liam began planning their collaborative 2018 album Lightsleeper, Finn cashed in the offer: “He said, ‘Are you serious?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely’.”

Fleetwood and his partner Chelsea rented a house in Auckland for six weeks. “We became a very, very close family [with the Finns] and helped out with their family album, which was totally cool. And that was that. And then this happened,” he said, referring to the departure of Buckingham.

The decision to hire Mike Campbell came easy — “both Mike and Tom [Petty] were very close to Stevie [Nicks]” — but finding a vocalist was harder. “We went through some suggestions — some of them were great, but they just weren’t right,” said Fleetwood, who admitted it nearly ended with the band saying “we can’t find anyone”.

“But then to be really truthful, I had my secret weapon … I said, ‘I would like to suggest that Neil Finn flies to Hawaii’, where we all were doing this.”

When he called Finn, he told him, “It’s not really an audition” — but it sort of was. Finn — who was at a soundcheck at the time — said “let me just take a breath … I’ll phone you tomorrow.” Fleetwood thought the jig was up.

“I thought, well, it was worth a try. But he phoned back and said, ‘Look. I’m not worried about all this thing about is it an audition. Who wouldn’t want to come — whether they succeed or not — and just play with Fleetwood Mac?'”

“It’s not a shaggy dog story,” Fleetwood said. “It is huge. And it’s magical. This funny relationship that I had with Neil, neither of us knowing why it was that we had passed in the dark so many times. And now we know.”

The current lineup is the 19th iteration of Fleetwood Mac, each of which Fleetwood described as “incredibly different musical episodes in this Shakespearean play we blundered into”.

Fleetwood — the only remaining founding member — didn’t reveal what was at the heart of the split with Buckingham, but he described it as “incredibly sad, and incredibly challenging. And incredibly — just — nowhere else to go.

“I’ve said it before: we were not happy. And that was really the crux of all the details that don’t need to be known,” he said.

“We decided as a band, are we continuing or not? … And I’m doing what I always do, which is, you know, keep the band together.

“Sometimes I look back wondering whether I’ve done the right thing. I think we did.”

Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks is also a longtime fan of Finn’s. Back in the 1980s she would make up her own harmonies to “Don’t Dream It’s Over” when it was played on MTV.

“A song like that comes around once in a lifetime,” she told the crowd from the stage on Thursday. “If you have one of those songs you have to sing it all the time, and you truly forget how good it is. So I have to remind him — and then I have to follow it up.”

The pair performed “Don’t Dream” together, and followed it up with “Landslide.

* Fleetwood Mac’s Australian tour continues through August and September, before the band head to New Zealand on September 14

CAPTION(S):

Credit: Composite: Paul McMillan/Samir Hussein/Paul Miller/Getty/AAP

Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, and new Fleetwood Mac band member Neil Finn.

Credit: Photograph: Duncan Barnes

Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and Neil Finn performing on the Australian leg of Fleetwood Mac’s 2019 tour.

Steph Harmon / The Guardian (UK) / Friday, August 16, 2019

Categories
2018-2019 Tour

RECAP 8/15/2019: Sydney

On Thursday, Fleetwood Mac performed the first of two shows at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.

Videos

skidstar72

Black Magic Woman 

Andy Leo

I Got You

Andy Leo

Man of the World

Andy Leo

Oh Well

Andy Leo

Don’t Dream It’s Over

Andy Leo

Landslide

Duncan H

Band Intros

Andy Leo

Gold Dust Woman

Andy Leo

Set List

  1. The Chain
  2. Little Lies
  3. Dreams
  4. Second Hand News
  5. Say You Love Me
  6. Black Magic Woman
  7. Everywhere
  8. I Got You
  9. Rhiannon
  10. World Turning
  11. Gypsy
  12. Man of the World
  13. Oh Well
  14. Don’t Dream It’s Over
  15. Landslide
  16. Hold Me
  17. You Make Loving Fun
  18. Gold Dust Woman
  19. Go Your Own Way
  20. Free Fallin’
  21. Don’t Stop

“Blue Letter” (17 position) dropped from the set

Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

VIDEOS 10/25: Allphones Arena, Sydney (Night 3)

Fleetwood Mac performed their final show at Allphones Arena on Sunday night, the third of three concerts in Sydney. The band moves on to Adeleide, where they will perform at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday night.

Stevie dedicated “Landslide” to 2015 X Factor Australia contestants Jess & Matt last night in Sydney:

“I hope that you two… No matter what happens with this show, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you guys keep going and become that great duo because the world needs a great duo. And you can do it. So do it for me, do it for Lindsey, do it for music. Anyway, this is for you. It’s called ‘Landslide.'”

[slideshow_deploy id=’195126’]

Videos

Special thanks to Nicole Barker, dee tom, Mike Devery, and Andy Leo for capturing and sharing this footage!

Rhiannon (Nicole Barker)

Bleed to Love Her (Nicole Barker)

Tusk (Nicole Barker)

Sara (Nicole Barker)

Big Love (Nicole Barker)

Big Love (dee tom)

Landslide (Nicole Barker)

Think about Me (Nicole Barker)

Gypsy (Nicole Barker)

Little Lies – short clip (Mike Devery)

Gold Dust Woman (Nicole Barker)

Go Your Own Way (Nicole Barker)

Encore (Nicole Barker)

World Turning (Andy Leo)

Band Intros (Nicole Barker)

Silver Springs (Mike Devery)

Silver Springs (Nicole Barker)

Live Tweets

https://twitter.com/MandaSmuin/status/658252763965468672

Set List

  1. The Chain
  2. You Make Loving Fun
  3. Dreams
  4. Second Hand News
  5. Rhiannon
  6. Everywhere
  7. Bleed to Love Her (replaces I Know I’m Not Wrong)
  8. Tusk
  9. Sara (replaces Sisters of the Moon)
  10. Say You Love Me
  11. Big Love
  12. Landslide
  13. Never Going Back Again
  14. Think About Me (replaces Over My Head)
  15. Gypsy
  16. Little Lies
  17. Gold Dust Woman
  18. I’m So Afraid
  19. Go Your Own Way
  20. World Turning (encore 1)
  21. Don’t Stop
  22. Silver Springs
  23. Songbird (encore 2)
Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

VIDEOS 10/24: Allphones Arena, Sydney (Night 2)

Fleetwood Mac performed at Allphones Arena in Olympic Park on Saturday night, the second of three sold-out shows in Sydney.

Stevie dedicated “Landslide” to recording artist Chris Isaak, who has taken up residency in Sydney. He is currently a judge on X Factor Australia.

Videos

Thank you to Nicole Barker, BlogBrian, creativeshed, TheInkBlotter, redandwhitepebble, James Scurry, TheAussiemusicman, and toclement for capturing and sharing this footage.

The Chain (Nicole Barker)

Dreams (creativeshed)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tju_6lMPKI

Rhiannon (creativeshed)

Tusk (redandwhitepebble)

Tusk (TheAussiemusicman)

Tusk (Nicole Barker)

Sara (Nicole Barker)

Big Love (Nicole Barker)

Landslide (redandwhitepebble)

Landslide (Nicole Barker)

Landslide (toclement)

Never Going Back Again (toclement)

Think about Me (Nicole Barker)

Gypsy (creativeshed)

I’m So Afraid (James Scurry)

Go Your Own Way (TheInkBlotter)

Encore (Nicole Barker)

World Turning (TheInkBlotter)

Band Introductions (Nicole Barker)

Don’t Stop (Nicole Barker)

Silver Springs (Nicole Barker)

Songbird (The Aussiemusicman)

Songbird (BlogBrian)

Live Tweets

https://twitter.com/johnspatricc/status/657926552743604225

Set List

  1. The Chain
  2. You Make Loving Fun
  3. Dreams
  4. Second Hand News
  5. Rhiannon
  6. Everywhere
  7. Bleed to Love Her (replaces I Know I’m Not Wrong)
  8. Tusk
  9. Sara (replaces Sisters of the Moon)
  10. Say You Love Me
  11. Big Love
  12. Landslide
  13. Never Going Back Again
  14. Think About Me (replaces Over My Head)
  15. Gypsy
  16. Little Lies
  17. Gold Dust Woman
  18. I’m So Afraid
  19. Go Your Own Way
  20. World Turning (encore 1)
  21. Don’t Stop
  22. Silver Springs
  23. Songbird (encore 2)
Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac still winning over generations

All Phones Arena, Sydney

The band who’ve made peace with the past put on a truly group effort, satisfying old, new and future pop lovers with a nostalgia-light set

What brings someone to a Fleetwood Mac concert in 2015? Hazy memories of Rumours the first time round. The bashed up vinyl inherited from a parent. An interview with Haim, wearing their influences as openly as their Stevie Nicks-inspired style. Or pure and simple love of pop, never mind the vintage?

Whatever the reason, Sydney’s All Phones Arena boasts a surprisingly all-ages crowd for the first of Fleetwood Mac’s anticipated Australian dates (a 2013 visit was cancelled when band member John McVie started treatment for cancer).

The band have been on hiatus for three months since the last leg of their On With The Show world tour. Lindsey Buckingham complains of blisters on his fingers. Stevie struggles to remember a well-worn anecdote of her first trip to the Velvet Underground in San Francisco.

At least, they tell us they’re blistering and struggling. From here in the side seats, they’re smashing it out of the Olympic park. And even if the three other bandmates vie for less attention than these famous ex-lovers – Mick Fleetwood happy for the most part behind his drumkit – this is a true group show.

Stevie Nicks John McVie Mick Fleetwood
Fleetwood Mac performs at Allphones Arena in Sydney (Glenn Pokorney)

A 23-song set takes us from the predictable opener of Chains to the inevitable closer of Go Your Own Way, plus two encores, the second a stripped-down take on Songbird showcasing Christine McVie, back to complete the Rumours line-up. Between those bookends, the biggest crowd reactions come for Tusk, with its relentless Trojan marching beat and later, Buckingham’s guitar-geek pleasing – if somewhat indulgent – solo on Big Love.

You’d expect a night of nostalgia and, sure, we get some songs that haven’t been performed for years: Tusk album track, Think About Me, for example, which “didn’t do very well at the time but we’ve always been rather fond of,” says Christine McVie.

But overall, there’s a sense that the band who say they are in their “last act” have made peace with the past. Introducing Bleed to Love Her (last done live in 1997), it’s Buckingham once again who brings up the heartbreak and breakups and breakdowns that make up the Fleetwood Mac truth and myth.

With everyone back together, “you have to assume a great deal of love,” he concludes – what were songs of “alienation” are now songs of “meditation”. Don’t start, Lindsey. We’ve already got Stevie for all that hippy dippy stuff. The tiny queen of the twirl clops around unselfconciously in her black platforms and shawls, her voice as unforced as her persona.

What brings someone to a Fleetwood Mac gig? In my case, it’s rescuing a friend, a first-time mother who’s barely slept in four-and-a-half months. The wall-to-wall hits visibly revive her, but we each have our songs we need to hear. Mine’s Everywhere. It comes early and doesn’t disappoint, Christine McVie’s vocals unshowy, the song dripping with the tingly feels it’s always had.

My companion is waiting for Landslide, which doesn’t turn up for over an hour. Nicks launches into a rambling “Don’t give up on your dreams” speech before duetting with Buckingham into the familiar chorus: “Time makes you bolder / Even children get older / And I’m getting older too.”

The next day I get a message on my phone – “I was singing to Zara all morning” – and a photo of a smiling baby. Looks like the Mac magic is winning over another generation.

Fleetwood Mac play Sydney, 24 and 25 October, then tour Australia.

Nancy Groves / The Guardian / Friday, October 24, 2015

Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

REVIEW: What to expect at Fleetwood Mac show

Spoiler alert: What to expect from Fleetwood Mac’s Australian tour

Fleetwood Mac are an unmissable icons, and the opening night of their Aussie ‘On With The Show’ tour was a rockfest of the highest calibre. The famed five piece lineup – back together after 16 years of playing sans Christine McVie were on absolute top form, and all members played with the stamina and energy of performers decades their junior.

68-year-old Mick Fleetwood tore up on percussion, while guitar king Lindsey Buckingham went strong all night – the only member not to take a break for a single song the whole set.

Sydney’s Allphones Arena was buzzing with anticipation for the show’s start, and by the time the iconic opening riff of 1977’s ‘The Chain’ rang out, the atmosphere was at fever pitch, and fans were cheering from the get go.

With almost fifty years of first-class material to choose from, there wasn’t a single number the whole evening that wasn’t adored by the crowd. Hits ‘Second Hand News’ and ‘Rhiannon’ went off, and the older crowd demographic definitely didn’t hinder the upbeat, rocking ambience of the night.

An unexpectedly sweet highlight of the night was the rendition of ‘Bleed to Love Her’ from 1997’s The Dance album, the last record the group performed before Chrstine McVie took her departure. Buckingham shared the story of the song, a number that delves into some of the emotion and heartbreak the band has been through personally, and together as a group. Buckingham and McVie shared a couple of sentimental glances, and the number overall was quite touching and sweet.

Stevie Nicks was an absolute treat to look at in her opening ensemble, the kind of outfit that you could just keep looking at and discovering something new. Gypsy crow meets Slovenian grandmother probably describes it – flowing, lacy, glittery, and fabulous, it was classic Nicks, and it was glorious.

The ‘prodigal daughter’ of the group Christine McVie absolutely defied her age, looking elegant, playing beautifully, and bringing an understated air of graciousness to the stage.

Bassist John McVie kept it cool and calm in the wings, opting out of the spotlight and any showboating, but absolutely shredding the whole night. From his deep licks to his gritty endurance you’d never know he is suffering any health problems, and was a pillar and backbone to the whole night’s sound.

Taking a break from the hugeness of the rock show, Lindsey Buckingham performed a cranking solo of Tango in the Night’s single ‘Big Love’ before a short acoustic set with Stevie Nicks covering ‘Landslide’ and ‘Never Going Back Again’.

Rejoined by the rest of the band, they launched into ‘Think About Me’, before playing through an overwhelming stream of hit after hit. ‘Gypsy‘ followed by ‘Little Lies’, and ‘Gold Dust Woman’, before an absolutely massive ‘I’m So Afraid’ culminated in Buckingham screaming with reckless abandon slapping his frets and letting the front row fans play his guitar – the whole moment was so classic rock that it looked like it might end with Buckingham just smashing his guitar right there on stage, though fortunately he restrained himself enough to keep it to jumping on the spot while the crowd lost themselves in the rock.

Finishing up the set with ‘Go Your Own Way’, by the time the number was over not a single person in the arena was sitting, and there were more than a few people wiping a tear from their eyes.

It would be a sin for a band of this calibre to not come back out for an encore, and the crowd revelled in ‘World Turning’, which led into a several minute long Mick Fleetwood drum solo, a number that highlighted just how damn great the guy is, both behind a kit, and on the microphone. The crowd cheered, laughed, and played off Fleetwood as he mirthfully and wildly rocked out.

‘Don’t Stop’ was a roof raiser, with the whole arena harmonising, and would have been a massive high to finish on – however the group opted go out on a softer note, playing through ‘Silver Springs’ together, before finally closing on a Buckingham McVie duet in ‘Songbird’.

Following the final number Fleetwood returned to the stage for a heartfelt thank you to the fans, to his bandmates, and a timely reminder to take care of ourselves in this crazy world we now find ourselves in. From his little speech, echoing an earlier sentiment Nicks had shared, it’s clear the group is from another time, and however relevant they have made themselves in today’s culture, they are in fact a little world weary.

Fleetwood has hinted in recent interviews that On With The Show will likely be the very final tour of the band – at least as the iconic five-piece they have once again found themselves. His little speech was emotive, and perhaps a touching, if veiled farewell.

Maybe it was something in the water, but the 70s seemed to breed a different set of performers, and Fleetwood Mac are among some of the best. The group should basically be a ‘how to guide’ for current musos on how to put on an unforgettable performance. Thursday’s opening night of their Australian tour was absolutely exceptional, a simply wonderful night, and remarkable performance.

Setlist

‘The Chain’
‘You Make Loving Fun’
‘Dreams’
‘Second Hand News’
‘Rhiannon’
‘Everywhere’
‘Bleed to Love Her’
‘Tusk’
‘Sara’
‘Say You Love Me’
‘Big Love’
‘Landslide’
‘Never Going Back Again’
‘Think About Me’
‘Gypsy’
‘Little Lies’
‘Gold Dust Woman’
‘I’m So Afraid’
‘Go Your Own Way’

Encore
‘World Turning’
‘Don’t Stop’
‘Silver Springs’

Encore 2
‘Songbird’

FLEETWOOD MAC AUSTRALIA TOUR DATES

Thursday, 22nd October 2015
Allphones Arena, Sydney

Saturday, 24th October 2015
Allphones Arena, Sydney

Sunday, 25th October 2015
Allphones Arena, Sydney

Wednesday, 28th October 2015
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide

Friday, 30th October 2015
Domain Stadium (Formerly Patersons Stadium), Perth

Monday, 2nd November 2015
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Wednesday, 4th November 2015
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Friday, 6th November 2015
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Saturday, 7th November 2015
A Day On The Green, Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong

Tuesday, 10th November 2015
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane

Thursday, 12th November 2015
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane

Saturday, 14th November 2015
Hope Estate Winery, Hunter Valley

Sunday, 15th November 2015
Hope Estate Winery, Hunter Valley

Wednesday, 18th November 2015
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Tickets and info at www.livenation.com.au

Hannah Teape-Davis / Tone Deaf / Friday, October 2015

Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

REVIEW: Beloved rockers return to Sydney

Fans cheer, laugh, cry, and show love for Fleetwood Mac on their Australian tour.

[slideshow_deploy id=’190855′]

IF you could harness all the energy devoted to singing Fleetwood Mac songs in loungerooms, cars and bars over the past 40 years, it would create a mighty bang.

The audience at the opening Australian concert by the legendary band at Sydney’s Allphones Arena brought an energy powered by all those moments, whether a solo karaoke of their favourite song, perhaps “Go Your Own Way,” or the more universally sung-to-the-rafters “Don’t Stop.”

Their myth is rooted in the reality of their drug-fuelled romantic entanglements and bust-ups as documented so honestly and historically on the greatest breakup album of all time Rumours.

The Fleetwood Mac on offer in 2015 is one every fan had not dared hope for over the past 16 years; the return of the classic line-up featuring Christine McVie.

This reunion appears to have a restored a natural order, and much-missed songs, to the concert life of Mac and the band’s devoted fanbase.

On this greatest hits tour, resumed after bassist John McVie’s treatment for cancer, the beloved rockers sounded perfect and clearly enjoyed embarking on this concert caper again.

Yet this isn’t a band simply running through a well-structured hits set played with the ease of familiarity and virtuosity.

There was seriously a lot of love in the room, both on and offstage, even when Lindsey Buckingham got a little creepy with his vocals on “Never Going Back Again.”

And it’s not only the love these five musicians have for each other, which is truly astounding when you consider how they tortured each other back on the 70s and 80s.

Where the love, and the joy and even a few tears, really happens, is in the audience.

Like the three people behind me harmonising so tunefully to the opening track “The Chain,” the band’s statement of intent to keep it all together for this tour, at least.

Or the enthusiastic air drummers everywhere in the crowd who played along to “Tusk.”

Or the big Christine fan who almost busted out of his chair space as he danced and sang along to “You Make Loving Fun.”

Or me who may have got something in both eyes during “Sara,” a song introduced to the setlist for the Australian concerts.

That’s the thing about a Fleetwood Mac concert which remains truer now than ever in those creatively and personally tense eras.

The Mac are just such a big deal to the fans, and they respect that loyalty by not messing with the memories.

Stevie Nicks twirls is her layers of black and mic stand of scarves and ribbons.

Buckingham is an engaging guitar show-off, that rare musician whose hyper emotional performance somehow remains connected to the song rather than veering too far off into an indulgent display of proficiency.

Christine just delivers that understated and warm depth she always brought to the band.

And then there’s that devilishly handsome and beguiling rhythm section of bassist John and the masterful, commanding drummer Mick Fleetwood.

The world would have been a less magical and mirthful and musical place without Fleetwood making this band all those decades ago.

What remains at the end of a night which included “Tusk,” “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Landslide,” “Big Love,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Everywhere,” “Little Lies” and “Songbird” are the feeling that the songs you have always loved from one of the world’s greatest bands still sound as good as they do in your memory.

And that rarely happens.

For all Fleetwood Mac concert dates, livenation.com.au

Kathy McCabe / Daily Telegraph / Thursday, October 22, 2015

Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

Mick Fleetwood hints at John McVie’s retirement

John McVie: This might be my final tour

TWO years after pulling the pin on their 2013 Australian tour following bass player John McVie’s cancer diagnosis, Fleetwood Mac’s most famous and most successful line-up landed in Sydney this week ahead of what McVie has indicated might be his last tour with the band that bears his name.

Founding member Mick Fleetwood, 68, was respectful when he spoke of McVie’s recent health crisis during a sound check at Allphones Arena yesterday.

“I raised a toast the other night with Christine (McVie). He’s well as well, absolutely (in) tip top health and that’s pivotal. And outside of it, it’s great to be here and playing.

“It’s a revisitation,” Fleetwood enthused of his 69-year-old creative partner with whom he founded the band in 1963.

“John’s very practical. He didn’t get into it (cancer talk) one way or the other. I’m an old drama queen but John just said, ‘OK, let’s get it fixed’ and that was that. Never heard any more about it and it was fixed, and we’ve been on the road ever since.”

Mick Fleetwood
Mick Fleetwood: “Those days are long gone.’’ (Cameron Richardson)

In May, McVie said his playing days would soon be at an end: “How much longer can the Mac be a working band? Not much longer, for me anyway. It’s not the music. It’s the peripherals, the travelling. Mick will go on until they put him up against a wall and shoot him.”

The return to the line-up of McVie’s ex-wife, singer and keyboardist Christine, 72, who parted ways with Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and was retired from the music business, has been described by guitarist Lindsey Buckingham as “really beautiful”. Buckingham also quit the band for 16 years from 1987 to 2003.

“(Christine) just sort of woke up and said, ‘I’m not done. I want to be more alive’,” Fleetwood said.

Fleetwood acknowledges relations within the band, which includes three ex- couples — Buckingham, 66, and singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks, 67, the McVies and Fleetwood and Nicks — are still fiery 40 years after the most famous Mac five first collaborated in 1975.

“I don’t think Lindsey and Stevie will ever not be able to suppress various emotive buttons that exist. One lives in hope, as I think they do,” he said of the former lovers, who started working together at 16.

“Having Chris back is hugely amazing. I think Stevie’s loving it and Chris is, too.

Touring the world was “sort of” easier today, added Fleetwood, whose battle with cocaine addiction is the stuff of rock legend. (He once estimated that, laid end to end, the cocaine he consumed during his life would stretch seven miles).

‘‘Those, looking back on it, were sort of a bit harder. Harder to juggle feeling good and being professional. Those days are long gone.’’

Fleetwood says this time there will be only just the occasional “little jug” of wine during this tour.

The band plays Allphones Arena on October 22, 24 and 25.

Annette Sharp / The Daily Telegraph / Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac’s demise prove wrong

Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood takes pride in being part of one of music’s greatest soap operas, the band’s landmark 1977 album Rumours.

“The album is a chronicle of everything that happened with us on a personal level, which became a story almost too out of control, but the quality of the way we ­approached that album sonically, it’s very natural,” Fleetwood, 68, said in Sydney yesterday.

The drummer, a founding member of one of the world’s most successful and enduring rock acts, will be joined by Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Christine McVie on stage in Sydney tonight as the veteran band begins its On With the Show Australian tour.

The shows, which come at the end of a world tour, mark the return to the Australian stage of Christine McVie, who quit the band in 1998, but rejoined at the beginning of last year. Her return reunites the line-up whose fractious relationships formed the lyrical backbone of the Rumours album and shot them to international superstardom.

“She is a dear friend to all of us,” said Fleetwood, “even when she wasn’t in the band, so to have her back and with such a level of enthusiasm is a joy to see. It’s fair to say that Stevie is happy to not just be surrounded by a bunch of ex-boyfriends.”

Nicks was in a relationship with Buckingham when they both joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975, but after they split she had an affair with Fleetwood, who was married at the time.

Fleetwood has been the only constant in the band since it began as a blues rock outfit in ­England in the 1960s and believes he has been partly responsible for keeping the group together through its many turbulent ­periods.

“I don’t write the songs, I don’t sing the songs, but in a way that has been my contribution to a bunch of wonderful, crazy people, present and past, that have come through Fleetwood Mac.”

The drummer, who has also toured Australia with his blues band, said that a new album would be forthcoming from Fleetwood Mac.

“There will be a new record,” he said.

“John and myself and Lindsey cut a lot of stuff about three years ago, which remains in our swollen archive. Much later we recorded with Christine. Whether Stevie becomes a part of that we’re not quite sure. I live in hope that it will work out.

“We’re not done yet, that’s the main thing.”

Iain Shedden / The Australian / Wednesday, October 22, 2015

Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

Fleetwood Mac, Sydney

Legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac are together again for their On With the Show tour, with Christine McVie rejoining Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks after a 16-year absence.

Having performed a “just about perfect” set in London and at the Isle of Wight, they’ll play songs from their four-decade long career. Through years of drugs and breakups, they’ve held onto friendship, and belted out dozens of hits, including The Chain, Dreams, Second Hand News, and Don’t Stop.

Date: from 22 to 25 October 2015

Price: from $99.90

Website: Live Nation

Telephone: (02) 8765 4321

The Guardian (Australia) / Friday, September 18, 2015