The grey sky that hung over Hope Estate on Saturday evening eventually fulfilled its promise of rain.
But it would take more than a downpour and cold wind to dampen the spirits of 19,000 Fleetwood Mac fans, who danced and sang to a marathon 23-song set.
The legendary rock band were fulfilling their promise of returning to Australia after cancelling a national tour scheduled for late 2013 due to founding member and bassist John McVie’s cancer diagnosis.
Luckily he recovered and remains in the band.
It was also the first time in 16 years that co-vocalist, keyboardist and songwriter Christine McVie had been a member of the group.
After dark Fleetwood Mac opened the Hunter leg of their On With The Show tour with four tracks from their landmark recording Rumours – rocker “The Chain,” the Christine McVie performed and penned “You Make Loving Fun,” “Second Hand News” and “Dreams.”
Then it was time for “Rhiannon.”
It was evident that this classic five-piece line-up, which transformed Fleetwood Mac from a blues band into a pop-orientated juggernaut with their eponymous 1975 debut record, remain a tight, seamless live unit.
A stand-out moment was the stripped-back acoustic performance of “Landslide” by guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and sorcerous singer Stevie Nicks.
Also memorable was an extended heavy, spacey rendition of “I’m So Afraid” in which guitarist Lindsey Buckingham stretched out into an epic guitar solo, showing off his distinctive finger-picking style.
But aside from the polished performance and stream of classic songs was evidence of a band that, despite their colourful and tumultuous history, still manages to hone in on the chemistry that makes them one of the most loved acts in music history.
They remain a joy to watch.
Nick Milligan / Maitland Mercury / Monday, November 16, 2015
Fleetwood Mac rock Hope Estate
THE hairlines have changed, so too the facial lines that come with four decades on stage, but not the music which was as sweet as ever.
Despite light showers, almost 30,000 people saw Fleetwood Mac light up Hope Estate Winery in the Hunter Valley during the weekend. The grass might have been soggy, and ponchos the preferred attire, but few left disappointed after the two hour performances on Saturday and Sunday nights which kept many in the huge crowds on their feet all night.
Led by Stevie Nicks in platform heels and Mick Fleetwood, the band ran through their many hits including “Rhiannon,” “Tusk,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Landslide,” “Little Lies,” and “World Turning,” which featured an epic Fleetwood drum solo.
Lisa Rockman / Newcastle Herald / Monday, November 16, 2015