Anyone who ever listened to Flingback Fridays on Burn FM (to start with a shameless plug) will know that I have a lot of love for Fleetwood Mac, so to say I was excited for this concert would be an understatement. This was the band’s 101st arena show since their inception in 1967 and the tension was palpable.
Fleetwood Mac walked on to a standing ovation from the packed Genting Arena and as soon as John McVie’s bass began to beat out the unmistakable sound of ‘The Chain’ the crowd was left in no doubts that they were in for a treat. Following ‘The Chain’ were another four songs from their ‘Rumours’ album but the band quickly branched out into an incredible two and a half hour set of some of the greatest songs ever written.
I was surprised with the variety within the audience, having arrived assuming that I would be pretty much the only person there without a pension plan (or even claiming a pension). I thought it was fantastic to see groups of teenagers, children with their parents and students amongst the middle aged couples who had been listening to Fleetwood Mac on Vinyl, Cassette and CD for years. It was a real testament to the universal appeal of such a great band.
As is consistent with Fleetwood Mac their line-up has again changed since the last tour, with Christine McVie rejoining Mick, John, Lindsey and Stevie. As Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham admitted ‘we’ve had our ups and downs, all well documented’ (which may be the understatement of the century) however it is likely this fact that allowed such a wide range of influences, which combined with the almost unique mix of female, male, American and British voices serves to give Fleetwood Mac the ability to deliver what was probably the greatest set I have ever seen.
The band dedicated both Big Love and Landslide to local musician and international star Robert Plant, citing him as a major influence on themselves even back to 1973, where ‘The White Album’ was still just an idea. There were still screams from girls in the front row to dedicate it them instead. This was not the only thing unchanging from Fleetwood Mac’s 47 years performing; the energy of the band is still incredible and their stage presence undeniable. Stevie Nicks drifts about the stage with her black lace cape drifting behind her, whilst Lindsey continues to dart around the stage like a pinball making the noises that give songs like ‘Tusk’ thier characteristic sound and Mick Fleetwood kept an audience cheering on their feet for ten minutes during a drum solo in the middle of ‘World Turning.’
The night was finished on a second encore, with Christine on a dark stage accompanied only by a large, black grand piano; she played ‘Songbird.’ The night was a full sensory onslaught and was incredible throughout showing without doubt that they’ve still got it. To close the review as the gig was closed by Mick Fleetwood himself: ‘The Mac is most definitely back!’