Fleetwood Mac

December 5, 2003 – Manchester, UK, MEN Arena

Our four day stay in Manchester was full of happenings. We had two days off after we arrived from Manchester, the first day off was really only a half day since we arrived in the early evening. There wasn’t much to do near the hotel, there were a few restaurants and an outlet mall that I was smart enough not to visit, knowing I would spend far too much money if I did. But the hotel was right on the water, so I was perfectly happy just being outside and going for walks. We went to an enormous mall that was a ten minute cab ride away, it was so big that by the time we had covered the whole mall, I was exhausted. Shopping is tiring. The hotel bar was also perfectly suitable, so it was constantly occupied by at least a few of our hooligans.

But on with the show…Behind the stage there is this lift, in addition to 4 sets of stairs to access the stage, the lift is a quick way to get Stevie on stage. It’s a pretty simple concept, it’s just a platform that is operated by a single button…up or down. Stevie comes off stage a few times during the show, takes the lift down, goes to her tent behind the stage until she needs to come back on, then she takes it back up. Simple. Only it’s not so simple if the lift decides to stop working when she’s standing on it and is already late to be back on stage.

Our stage manager took note that the lift was not going to work, and somewhere between Stevie, our stage manager and one of our security guys, the decision was made that there wasn’t enough time to go all the way around the stage and take the stairs, so they decided to pick her up and lift her on to the stage. Halfway there, Stevie started laughing uncontrollably, causing our stage manager to start laughing, and getting her on stage turned into one big laughing party. She made it up there, but I think it took her the whole song to stop smiling and giggling. We’ve now purchased a small ladder in case this kind of thing ever happens again. We laughed about that all night and into the next day.

Then on the second night, near the end of the show, during the intro of Tusk, Lindsey started yelling. At first I thought he was just having a crazy night and really getting in to it, but he was pointing in the audience yelling “stop that!”. Mick knew there was something wrong and stopped playing, the arena was totally silent. I guess Lindsey had spotted a fight out in the crowd, someone who had obviously come to the show for the wrong reasons, and Lindsey wasn’t having it. It was great, he told them to get out, and they did, security escorted them out immediately. But not before Stevie put her 2 cents in as well, “how dare you! Get out of our concert!!” Such a cute, fiesty little thing she is. Come on people, this isn’t a Guns N’ Roses concert, this is Fleetwood Mac, we’re all about the love. No fighting allowed. If there’s one thing this band won’t have it’s fighting in the crowd. They’ll stop a show over it. Tonight was proof of that. After the troublemakers were escorted out (embarrased as all get out, I’m sure) they started Tusk again and finished the show with flying colors.

All in all a great 4 days. Goodnight Manchester… Scotland, here we come.

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