Sunday, November 08, 2015

Review: Fleetwood Mac @ A Day on the Green

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Fleetwood Mac live were unbelievably good at their A Day On The Green outdoor concert on Saturday night (November 7).

Fleetwood Mac just played the biggest show of their Australian tour in front of 18.000 fans at Mt Duneed Winery outside Geelong, one hour from Melbourne. It was the 113th ‘On With The Show’ world tour date. the weather was perfect, well, for everyone except California girl Stevie Nicks who struggled with a Melbourne spring, but the English contingency in the band seemed to feel right at home.

This was the Fleetwood Mac concert Australia had waited 35 years to see. Christine McVie was back in the band. She last toured Australia with Fleetwood Mac in 1980 and had left the band before the next tour in 1990. She was also still ‘retired’ for the 2004 and 2009 tours and had this tour gone ahead as scheduled in November 2013, we would have missed out of Christine again.

The cancellation of the 2013 tour due to John McVie discovering he had cancer pushed the Australian dates back two years. One year ago, after a couple of guest appearances in London, Christine returned to Fleetwood Mac and Fleetwood Mac returned to greatness. John McVie has been given the all-clear from his disease but still looks frail on stage.

Without Christine, a major voice of the band, its history and its legacy, disappeared. You Make Loving Fun, Everywhere, Say You Love Me, Songbird, Little Lies and Think About Me depend on Christine’s voice and the inclusion of the voice balanced by Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham’s key songs in total is the Fleetwood Mac sound. Buckingham, Nicks, already an established duo in California in the 70s, came late to the band in 1974 but it was their input that transformed one of Britain’s blues band into a supergroup.

Personally this band is a soap-opera. Even when you know the true-life story its hard to believe. However, it is the telling of the raw emotion of their lives in songs, being the open books that they are in their lyrics, that makes it possible for many struggling fans to deal with their own dilemma’s in private.

While the first album with Stevie and Lindsay Fleetwood Mac was a celebration of unity, the next one Rumours was a document of their personal destruction. Then came Tusk which was a blueprint for excess. All three albums lyrically are a “tell-all”. There is nothing to reveal in a biopic, it has all been done in song. Maybe that is what makes these songs so powerful.

Stevie Nicks’ Sara is probably one of the saddest songs ever written. Only recently Nicks revealed Sara was her unborn child with Don Henley. Study the lyrics about a mother who has lost the only child she would ever have. To tell that story on stage is emotionally draining for Stevie, who looked visibly shaken when singing it and was hugged by Buckingham at the end as she worked off stage to reboot herself emotionally.

In this band Buckingham is the rock star. That voice blended with Nicks and McVie at the start with The Chain sets the benchmark for the start of one of the greatest shows of all-time and for the next two and a half hours, they do not disappoint. Lindsay is the default spokesperson for the band and even talks of the destruction of their relationships but the common goal of greatness that brings them together each night.

72-year old Christine McVie is stunning. She looks 30 years younger on stage and her voice is as stunning as what it was when she left the band three and a half decades ago.

The glue for this structure is Mr Fleetwood and Mr Mc. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie started this collective in London in 1967. Christine Perfect of Chicken Shack, John McVie’s wife at the time, joined in 1970 and recorded with Fleetwood Mac using her married name. Lindsay Buckingham and his girlfriend at the time Stephanie Nicks, joined on New Year’s Eve 1974.

Despite its long history before Buckingham and Nicks and its many line-up changes since, the iconic Fleetwood Mac line-up will always be Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.

Magic happened with Fleetwood Mac performed at Mt Duneed Winery.

Will Fleetwood Mac continue after their last scheduled show on November 22, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand? will confirm right here, right now that there will be a brand new Fleetwood Mac album with this iconic line-up in 2016. The album has already been recorded but is yet to be announced. This story is to be continued …

Fleetwood Mac set list, Mt Duneed Victoria 7 November 2015

Main Set

  • The Chain (from Rumours, 1977)
  • You Make Loving Fun (from Rumours, 1977)
  • Dreams (from Rumours, 1977)
  • Second Hand News (from Rumours, 1977)
  • Rhiannon (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
  • Everywhere (from Tango In The Night, 1987)
  • Bleed To Love Her (from The Dance, 1997)
  • Tusk (from Tusk, 1979)
  • Say You Love Me (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
  • Big Love (from Tango In The Night, 1987)
  • Landslide (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
  • Never Going Back Again (from Rumours, 1977)
  • Think About Me (from Tusk, 1979)
  • Gypsy (from Mirage, 1982)
  • Little Lies (from Tango In The Night, 1987)
  • Gold Dust Woman (from Rumours, 1977)
  • I’m So Afraid (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
  • Go Your Own Way (from Rumours, 1977)
Encore 1
  • World Turning (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
  • Don’t Stop (from Rumours, 1977)
  • Silver Springs (b-side Go Your Own Way, 1977)
Encore 2
  • Songbird (from Rumours, 1977)