(Angela Lubrano)

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac, 02 Arena, London

(Angela Lubrano)
A riveting evening belonged above all to Lindsey Buckingham and his eloquent guitar. From left, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood (on drums) and Lindsey Buckingham at the O2 Arena (©Angela Lubrano / Livepix)

After all these years, something still gets Lindsey Buckingham’s goat. Fleetwood Mac’s guitarist and front man tore into “Second Hand News,” barking the words and spitting out the “bams” of the chorus’s vocalese like repeated slaps in the face. Rumours, the gazillion-selling “soft-rock” album that chronicles the band’s – and their generation’s – relationship traumas was given its 35th anniversary reissue in February. There was little soft about this near three-hour show, the first of three nights of controlled catharsis in London.

Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, his former girlfriend and the fans’ erstwhile hippie siren, held hands as they emerged. Their harmonies were on point for “The Chain,” the sound lent a doomy toll and twang like a gothic Creedence Clearwater Revival. When they turned to each other, you couldn’t tell if their deliveries were taunting or imploring. “You know what you lost,” sang Nicks on “Dreams,” the line hanging rueful and accusatory in the air, her voice deeper than in her prime and approaching a Patti Smith-like gravitas. In waistcoats and flat caps, the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie looked like upscale Wurzels, somewhat baffled by the continuing psychodrama unfolding before them, but grateful for its endlessly fascinating power.

For all their colossal self-importance, Buckingham was right to insist there were “still things to discover” about Fleetwood Mac. Not least how time does or doesn’t heal and, as Nicks would sing on the sore, regretful “Landslide,” “Can I handle the seasons of my life?” The woozy rites of “Rhiannon” seemed more curse than enchantment now. Four songs from Tusk, their “difficult” follow-up to Rumours, were prefaced by a self-justifying but apt lecture from Buckingham about the incompatibility of art and commerce. They were played with a kick-against-the-pricks intensity and when they were done, Nicks gave Buckingham a brief, battle-weary hug.

The mooted guest spot for Christine McVie didn’t materialise. Perhaps that’s for another night. This really was Buckingham’s gig. He doesn’t so much solo as argue his case with his guitar. And it’s a knotty, consuming one at that. Alone and acoustic, “Big Love” was haunted, almost hysterical, as spooked as a wild horse. This was the most extraordinary, and impassioned, part of an evening that was sometimes as arduous as it was enjoyable, if mostly riveting nonetheless. Many people took a comfort break during “Without You,” built up by Nicks as a “lost” classic but rather soppy in the event.

The finale, “Go Your Own Way,” felt like the first unfettered sing-a-long. Yet even this was driven by a dark rhythmic energy that pushed the melody uneasily ahead. The honky-tonk gallop of “Don’t Stop” in the encore was preceded by a preposterous mugging of a drum solo from Fleetwood. When, at the last, someone made a request, he was chastised for “vibe corruption” by Nicks and Buckingham, who wanted to finish on the gentle “Say Goodbye.” In this soap opera, the principals write the script.

World tour continues, www.fleetwoodmac.com


Richard Clayton / Financial Times (UK) / Wednesday, September 25, 2013

European tour dates

20 SepO2 DublinDublin, Ireland
21 SepO2 DublinDublin, Ireland
24 SepO2 ArenaLondon, Great Britain
25 SepO2 ArenaLondon, Great Britain
27 SepO2 ArenaLondon, Great Britain
29 SepLG ArenaBirmingham, Great Britain
01 OctManchester ArenaManchester, Great Britain
03 OctHydroGlasgow, Great Britain
06 OctLanxess ArenaCologne, Germany
07 OctZiggo DomeAmsterdam, Netherlands
09 OctSport PalaisAntwerp, Belguim
11 OctPercyParis, France
13 OctHallenstadionZurich, Switzerland
14 OctSchleyerhalleStuttgart, Germany
16 OctO2 WorldBerlin, Germany
18 OctJyske Bank BoxenHerning, Denmark
20 OctOslo SpektrumOslo, Norway
23 OctGlobenStockholm, Sweden
26 OctZiggo DomeAmsterdam, Netherlands

New Release

Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation

Follow

RSS Fleetwood Mac

  • Fleetwood Mac: Wembley Stadium, London, June 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019
    The Chain & Little Lies Dreams & Second Hand News Say You Love Me Black Magic Woman Everywhere & Rhiannon World Turning Band Introductions & Gypsy   Oh Well & Don’t Dream It’s Over Landslide Hold Me Gold Dust Woman You Make Loving Fun   Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ & Don’t Stop All […]
  • GAK YEARS: Mick Fleetwood confirms ‘tale’ of his seven-mile line of cocaine Sunday, June 16, 2019
    As the backbone of rock legends Fleetwood Mac for more than 50 years, Mick Fleetwood has enjoyed more debauchery, hard living than just about anyone else. Now 71, he became renowned as one of the wildest men in music, and in an exclusive interview during Fleetwood Mac’s world tour he even confirms a long-standing tale […]
  • Fleetwood Mac: Wembley Stadium, London, June 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019
    The Chain Little Lies Dreams Second Hand News Say You Love Me Black Magic Woman Everywhere Rhiannon World Turning Gypsy Don’t Dream It’s Over Landslide Hold Me Monday Morning You Make Loving Fun Gold Dust Woman Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ Don’t Stop (video not available) All videos courtesy of and Kathy Fricker, raina […]

Translate This Site

News Archive

RSS Fleetwood Mac

  • Fleetwood Mac: Wembley Stadium, London, June 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019
    The Chain & Little Lies Dreams & Second Hand News Say You Love Me Black Magic Woman Everywhere & Rhiannon World Turning Band Introductions & Gypsy   Oh Well & Don’t Dream It’s Over Landslide Hold Me Gold Dust Woman You Make Loving Fun   Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ & Don’t Stop All […]
  • GAK YEARS: Mick Fleetwood confirms ‘tale’ of his seven-mile line of cocaine Sunday, June 16, 2019
    As the backbone of rock legends Fleetwood Mac for more than 50 years, Mick Fleetwood has enjoyed more debauchery, hard living than just about anyone else. Now 71, he became renowned as one of the wildest men in music, and in an exclusive interview during Fleetwood Mac’s world tour he even confirms a long-standing tale […]
  • Fleetwood Mac: Wembley Stadium, London, June 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019
    The Chain Little Lies Dreams Second Hand News Say You Love Me Black Magic Woman Everywhere Rhiannon World Turning Gypsy Don’t Dream It’s Over Landslide Hold Me Monday Morning You Make Loving Fun Gold Dust Woman Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ Don’t Stop (video not available) All videos courtesy of and Kathy Fricker, raina […]
  • Fleetwood Mac: RDS Arena, Dublin, Ireland, June 13, 2019 Thursday, June 13, 2019
    The Chain Black Magic Woman Oh Well World Turning Gypsy Hold Me Don’t Stop Free Fallin’ Videos courtesy of Bryan Michael, Paul Dickson, Derv, James Maguire ~ go raibh maith agat!
  • Fleetwood Mac: Pinkpop Festival, Landgraaf, The Netherlands, June 10, 2019 Monday, June 10, 2019
    The Chain / Little Lies / Dreams / Everywhere / Don’t Dream It’s Over / Landslide / Go Your Own Way / Don’t Stop (compilation) Little Lies Rhiannon Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ Videos courtesy of Eveline Beelen, Ils goes around, _josdecross, tosalover, World Gaijin Travelers ~ dank je!
%d bloggers like this: