Fleetwood Mac performed a second show at the Hope Estate Winery in Pokolbin’s Hunter Valley on Sunday night. For a second night, fans endured wet and soggy weather conditions to see the highly anticipated concert.
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.
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.
On Saturday, Fleetwood Mac performed at the Hope Estate Winery in Pokolbin, a rural city in the Hunter Region of New South Wales Australia. Fans prepared for the wet night ahead, bringing their ponchos and other rain gear to the show.
Fleetwood Mac closes out the Australian leg of the tour with a second and final show at Hope Estate Winery on Sunday. On Wednesday, the band will be in New Zealand’s South Island city of Dunedlin, where they will perform at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
This is what ‘Dreams’ are made of: Fleetwood Mac in action after all these years
Do you know who the third highest paid female musical artist is in the world? Nestled in between Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga is a name as much loved by Katy Perry fans as it is by Beatles fans: Fleetwood Mac.
If it’s any surprise to you that Fleetwood Mac should hold a position in the top three female artists, then these clips of last night’s concert in Brisbane will surely remind you that they are, quite simply, the greatest band still touring, with both Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie worth close to $60 million.
Last night’s concert was apparently something of a revelation. With Stevie Nicks having vowed the band will be “doing this until we’re 9000 vampire years old,” the band started off on a dull note. But then the unthinkable happened. During the song “Tusk,” they completely messed up and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham told the audience, “We’re going to say we’re not perfect, and we’re going to start that one again, OK?”
From there on in, it was pure Fleetwood Mac magic.
One reviewer described it like this: “There was just no sparkle – at least not until the second the band hiccupped. When the group hit silence – a musical brick wall – something magic happened. It was like they’d been given a wake-up call, a nudge to say they were slightly off their game, an embarrassing kick in the guts.”
Here are some of the highlights from the concert last night – what do you think? Have they still got it?
Fleetwood Mac will release the remastered edition of their 1979 album Tusk on December 4. Tusk was the follow-up to the band’s 1977’s iconic Rumours and it sold four million copies.
Review: Fleetwood Mac, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, November 10, 2015
About 30 seconds into a song called “Tusk,” Fleetwood Mac stumbled. Like someone who’d lost their place on a page in a book, the band stopped. “We’re going to say we’re not perfect, and we’re going to start that one again, OK?” lead guitarist Lindsey Buckhingham said.
Until then, a full house at Boondall wanted badly for the show to be great. But it wasn’t. It was pedestrian at worst, ordinary at best.
One of the world’s greatest bands seemed to be going through the motions, playing like it was the 114th concert on a long two-year roadtrip.
Chart-toppers “Rhiannon,” “Everywhere” and “Dreams” had all been rolled out, and it was Fleetwood Mac. They had to be brilliant, right? There was nothing horrible about the first few songs – it was certainly no Meat Loaf moment.
There was just no sparkle – at least not until the second the band hiccupped. When the group hit silence – a musical brick wall – something magic happened. It was like they’d been given a wake-up call, a nudge to say they were slightly off their game, an embarrassing kick in the guts.
Whatever it was, the on-stage mood changed. Their energy lifted. Each member of the band found something special. No longer were they motioning through a set of songs. They began to engage – with the audience, and with each other.
Stevie Nicks, who was previously more worried about her ear pieces as she hobbled around the stage in platform heels a size too small, suddenly commanded the stage.
Her shoes looked like they fit again. The queen of rock was back, sliding around the floor, spreading the wings of her black and gold shawls, swinging her flowing blonde locks in front of the wind machine, and reminding everyone why her voice had been regarded such a distinguishable commodity for more than 40 years.
No longer was she just singing songs. She was telling stories, as songwriters of the ’70s demanded their artists must do.
“Tusk” was the eighth song of the set. And while the first attempt was botched, the audience spreading at least three generations was highly forgiving.
Buckingham ensured the second time around was superb, as was his “Big Love” guitar solo shortly after, befitting of a man Rolling Stone included in the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
The 65-year-old is not a household name like Nicks, but he is the musical brains behind the operation. And he reminded people that the band’s imperfections were sometimes what helped them connect with so many people.
Part of the band’s appeal, he said, was that they had put their personal lives – not always intentionally – “out there for people to scrutinise”.
Buckingham and Nicks, who kissed and held hands through the performance, were of course once an item.
“We had to deal with those difficulties and one way was to write songs to each other, and about one another,” he said. “And we’re still here. Within these five people, there’s a great deal of love.”
Christine McVie, the lesser-known voice of so many Fleetwood Mac hits, and before married to bass guitarist John McVie, had been in hiatus until this tour. Her voice too seemed to change a key after the “Tusk” mishap. Her closing piano solo of “Songbird” was as beautiful as ever.
And Mick Fleetwood on drums, with his Santa Claus-type beard, receding hairline and grey pony tail, is quite simply the grandfather everyone ever wanted to have.
His black vest, red bandana around his neck, white T-shirt and bright pink leather shoes proved that while he might have lost a few follicles, he’s lost none of his cool.
His drum solo which kicked off the encore during song “World Turning” was as epic as it was entertaining. Fleetwood is a showman of the highest standard, and his closing line was apt: “One might say much fun was had by all.”
You Make Loving Fun
Second Hand News
Bleed to Love Her
Say That You Love Me
Never Going Back
Think About Me
Gold Dust Woman
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way
Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)
The normally polished and well-rehearsed Fleetwood Mac made an uncharacteristic mistake during “Tusk,” which prompted the band to stop the song and start over. Things started to go astray at about the 1:30 mark, with Lindsey gesturing to John and Mick to cut. A few moments later, Lindsey walked up to the mic and conceded to the audience: “Well, we’re going to say we’re not perfect and we’re gonna try that one again, OK? Welcome to ‘earn-while-you-learn time in Brisbane!” (See the video below.)
Stevie dedicated “Landslide” to Dr Bill. “Over the years, this amazing doctor has taught us, anyway, taught me so many different things that really helped with, you know, keeping your health together and being able to do this until you’re like 9,000 vampire-years old. (audience laughter) You laugh, it’s not funny, it’s really true. This guy has been so helpful to us over many years So I would like to dedicate this to you, Dr Bill. This is called ‘Landslide.'”
Concert Review: Fleetwood Mac, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, November 10, 2015
WELCOME back Chrissie.
Not that Fleetwood Mac didn’t play great shows in Christine McVie’s years out of the band. But her return for this tour brings so many big songs back to the party – from “You Make Loving Fun” to “Say You Love Me” and “Everywhere.”
Naturally this first Brisbane Entertainment Centre show last night was sold out – there are a few tickets left for a second tomorrow night.
You know what you are going to get, two-and-a-half hours, mostly of hits, plus some album favourites like “Gold Dust Woman.”
McVie retired from the band and missed their Australian tours in 2004 and 2009.
Last night she was in her element at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, as she has been throughout this world tour.
The addition of her songs, lead vocals and harmonies lifts the night to another level from their tours without her.
Mick Fleetwood and John McVie remain a powerhouse rhythm section, Lindsey Buckingham ensures the energy levels never flag despite this being show No.114 of a world tour, and Stevie Nicks’s voice remains a thing of crystalline wonder, from “Dreams” to “Rhiannon,” “Sara” and “Landslide.”
It’s a beautiful and tasteful visual production, but with this many big songs, they could play by torchlight and still hold our attention.
The band took time off as bass player John McVie was treated for cancer and wrap up this world tour with shows in Auckland a week from now.
But a new album is set for release next year so the extraordinary story of the band will continue as they approach their 50th anniversary.
Fleetwood Mac play Brisbane Entertainment Centre again tomorrow night.
(Editor’s note: Mick Fleetwood has confirmed that the band, except for Stevie Nicks, has recorded material for a new album, but the status of the release is unknown at this stage. Fleetwood Mac remains “hopeful” that the material will be released.)
Fleetwood Mac live were unbelievably good at their A Day On The Green outdoor concert on Saturday night (7 November 2105).
Fleetwood Mac At Mt Duneed Winery, Geelong, 7 November 2015, REVIEW
Fleetwood Mac just played the biggest show of their Australian tour in front of 18.000 fans at Mt Duneed Winery outside Geelong, one hour from Melbourne. It was the 113th On With The Show world tour. The weather was perfect, well, for everyone except California girl Stevie Nicks who struggled with a Melbourne spring, but the English contingency in the band seemed to feel right at home.
This was the Fleetwood Mac concert Australia had waited 35 years to see. Christine McVie was back in the band. She last toured Australia with Fleetwood Mac in 1980 and had left the band before the next tour in 1990. She was also still retired for the 2004 and 2009 tours and had this tour gone ahead as scheduled in November 2013, we would have missed out of Christine again.
The cancellation of the 2013 tour due to John McVie discovering he had cancer pushed the Australian dates back two years. One year ago, after a couple of guest appearances in London, Christine returned to Fleetwood Mac and Fleetwood Mac returned to greatness. John McVie has been given the all-clear from his disease but still looks frail on stage.
Without Christine, a major voice of the band, its history and its legacy, disappeared. “You Make Loving Fun,” “Everywhere,” “Say You Love Me,” “Songbird,” “Little Lies” and “Think About Me” depend of Christine’s voice, and the inclusion of the voice balanced by Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s key songs in total is the Fleetwood Mac sound. Buckingham and Nicks, already an established duo in California in the early ’70s, came late to the band in 1974, but it was their input that transformed one of Britain’s blues band into a supergroup.
Personally, this band is a soap opera. Even when you know the true-life story its hard to believe. However, it is the telling of the raw emotion of their lives in songs, being the open books that they are in their lyrics, that makes it possible for many struggling fans to deal with their own dilemma’s in private.
While the first album with Stevie and Lindsey Fleetwood Mac (1975) was a celebration of unity, the next one Rumours (1977) was a document of their personal destruction. Then came Tusk (1979) was a blueprint for excess. All three albums, lyrically, are a “tell-all”. There is nothing to reveal in a biopic, it has all been done in song. Maybe that is what makes these songs so powerful.
Stevie Nicks’ “Sara” is probably one of the saddest songs ever written. Only recently Nicks revealed Sara was her unborn child with Don Henley. Study the lyrics about a mother who has lost the only child she would ever have. To tell that story on stage is emotionally draining for Stevie, who looked visibly shaken when singing it and was hugged by Buckingham at the end as she worked off stage to reboot herself emotionally.
In this band, Buckingham is the rock star. That voice blended with Nicks and McVie at the start with “The Chain” sets the benchmark for the start of one of the greatest shows of all-time and for the next two and a half hours; they do not disappoint. Lindsey is the default spokesperson for the band and even talks of the destruction of their relationships but the common goal of greatness that brings them together each night.
72-year-old Christine McVie is stunning. She looks 30 years younger on stage and her voice is as stunning as what it was when she left the band three–and-a-half decades ago.
The glue for this structure is Mr Fleetwood and Mr Mc. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie started this collective in London in 1967. Christine Perfect of Chicken Shack, John McVie’s wife at the time, joined in 1970 and recorded with Fleetwood Mac using her married name. Lindsey Buckingham and his girlfriend at the time Stephanie Nicks joined on New Year’s Eve 1974.
Despite its long history before Buckingham and Nicks and its many line-up changes since, the iconic Fleetwood Mac line-up will always be Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.
Magic happened with Fleetwood Mac performed at Mt Duneed Winery.
Will Fleetwood Mac continue after their last scheduled show on November 22 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand? Noise11.com will confirm right here, right now that there will be a brand new Fleetwood Mac album with this iconic line-up in 2016. The album has already been recorded but is yet to be announced. This story is to be continued…
(Editor’s note: Mick Fleetwood told The Australian that there would be a new record, but did not specify when (or if) it would be released. The band has cut tracks, which was previously reported, but Stevie Nicks has not yet contributed her songs to this project. Fleetwood Mac left the status of the new album vague and undecided, stating “I live in hope that it will work out.”)
Fleetwood Mac setlist, Mt Duneed Victoria 7 November 2015
The Chain (from Rumours, 1977)
You Make Loving Fun (from Rumours, 1977)
Dreams (from Rumours, 1977)
Second Hand News (from Rumours, 1977)
Rhiannon (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Everywhere (from Tango In The Night, 1987)
Bleed To Love Her (from The Dance, 1997)
Tusk (from Tusk, 1979)
Say You Love Me (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Big Love (from Tango In The Night, 1987)
Landslide (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Never Going Back Again (from Rumours, 1977)
Think About Me (from Tusk, 1979)
Gypsy (from Mirage, 1982)
Little Lies (from Tango In The Night, 1987)
Gold Dust Woman (from Rumours, 1977)
I’m So Afraid (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Go Your Own Way (from Rumours, 1977)
World Turning (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975)
Don’t Stop (from Rumours, 1977)
Silver Springs (b-side Go Your Own Way, 1977)
Songbird (from Rumours, 1977)
Fleetwood Mac dates
October 22 and 24, Sydney, Allphones Arena
October 28, Adelaide, Coopers Stadium
October 30, Perth, Domain Stadium
November 2, 4 and 6, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena
November 7, Geelong, My Duneed Estate, A Day On The Green
November 10 and 12, Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
November 14 and 15, Hunter Valley, Hope Estate Winery
November 18, Dunedin, Forsyth Barr Stadium
November 21 and 22, Auckland, Mt Smart Stadium
Fleetwood Mac will tour Australia and New Zealand for Live Nation.
Paul Cashmere / Noise 11 / Sunday, November 8, 2015