I guess a lot of us went along to see Fleetwood Mac tonight not really knowing what to expect. No Lindsey Buckingham meant this could go horribly wrong. Instead it went wonderfully right.
Fleetwood Mac has operated like a corporation since the inclusion of California duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in the mid 70s. Their addition became a nucleus of the band. A non-Buckingham Fleetwood Mac cannot bypass his legacy. Songs like ‘Second Hand News’ and ‘Go Your Own Way’ were generated from his DNA, so while the man has gone, the DNA remains. Neil Finn handled the Lindsey vocals honorably. Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell handled Lindsey’s leads remarkably.
The songs are what makes Fleetwood Mac and this is simply one of the great bands of all-time performing some of the greatest songs of all-time.
Lindsey’s songs, his voice and that guitar style meant that no-‘one’ could replace him … so they chose two. The Heartbreakers Mike Campbell, long associated with the band through Stevie Nicks and Neil Finn, a great friend of Mike Fleetwood, faithfully reproduced Lindsey’s musical DNA. Neil is there for the voice, Mike for the guitar. Both their individual legacies are recognized with Neil’s Split Enz and Crowded House classics ‘I Got You’ and ‘’Don’t Dream Its Over’ and Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’ added to the set as a tribute to Tom in the encore.
Neil’s song were especially potent for Melbourne. Both ‘I Got You’ and ‘Don’t Dream Its Over’ were written in Melbourne. Split Enz recorded ‘I Got You’ in Melbourne. Crowded House formed in Melbourne. In some ways this show was a homecoming for Neil Finn.
The non-Lindsey Mac may or may not have inspired the band to go back to his earliest days. Buckingham and Nicks made Fleetwood Mac one of the biggest bands in the world. Fleetwood Mac had released 10 albums before they came along and while a respected UK blues band, they were nothing compared to what was to come. 50 years on, the two founding members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie can celebrate the entire history of the band and they do with ‘Oh Well’, ‘Man of the World’ and ‘Black Magic Woman’, three songs way, way, way before the California Buckingham Nicks flavor was added.
Christine (Perfect) McVie was in the band for five years before Lindsey and Stevie. The former Chicken Shack singer and keyboard player married the Mac in Fleetwood Mac John McVie in 1969, contributed to the 1970 album Kiln House and was a fully recruited member for 1971’s ‘Future Games’. With the inclusion of Nicks for 1975’s ‘Fleetwood Mac’, Christine took on a more dominant role in the band, now with two female singers and a male singer (and more to the point three dynamic songwriters) completely changing the dynamic of the band on that album. And more most, that’s where it began.
Considering the legacy of this band, co-founder John McVie (the Mac in Fleetwood Mac) is extremely low key. His co-founder Mick Fleetwood isn’t so shy in taking the spotlight, and 10 minutes of incredible drums solo showcased why he is one of the most incredible musicians on the planet.
As for Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, they are two of the greatest talents of the rock era in one band.
Fleetwood Mac is rock history. It’s a pity no-one new is coming even close to taking the place of talent like this. You’ve probably seen that meme “I might be old but I got to see all the good bands”, well, I might be old but I got to see Fleetwood Mac many times … and this tour is up their with their best.
Fleetwood Mac setlist 2 September 2019, Melbourne
The Chain (from Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, 1977)
Little Lies (from Tango In The Night, 1987)
Dreams (from Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, 1977)
Second Hand News (from Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, 1977)
Say You Love Me (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Black Magic Woman (single, 1971)
Everywhere (from Tango In The Night, 1987)
I Got You (Split Enz cover) (Neil Finn on lead vocals)
Rhiannon (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
World Turning (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Gypsy (from Mirage, 1982)
Man of the World (single 1969)
Oh Well (from Then Play On, 1969)
Don’t Dream It’s Over (Crowded House cover)
Landslide (from Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, 1977)
Hold Me (from Mirage, 1982)
You Make Loving Fun (from Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, 1977)
Gold Dust Woman (from Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, 1977)
Go Your Own Way (from Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, 1977)
Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty cover)
Don’t Stop (from Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, 1977)
FLEETWOOD MAC AUSTRALIA 2019 remaining dates
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Wednesday September 4
Saturday September 7
Monday September 9