Review | Fleetwood Mac deliver their timeless hit tunes

An Evening With Fleetwood Mac | RAC Arena | 9th August 2019 | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

Fleetwood Mac took to the stage kicking off their Australian tour, the audience cheering at glimpses of the band as they moved through the shadows-  a flat cap, a tamborine, a microphone with dangling beads, blonde hair and black outfits.

Suddenly Mick Fleetwood is standing above his drum kit with his hands in the hair, he sits down and begins the beat of The Chain as the camera zooms in on his foot banging the drum. It’s a full house at the RAC Arena and there’s not an empty seat in sight. 

The band has been through numerous lineup changes during its long 52 year history, the stories of their in-fighting, relationships and affairs are as well known as the music they created. Only Fleetwood and John McVie, whose surnames make up the band’s name, were there at the beginning. 

The current incarnation of the band includes most members of their classic line up, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, the legendary Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie who rejoined in 2014 after a 16-year hiatus.

The newest members of the band are Neil Finn and former member of The Heartbreakers Mike Campbell. The appointment of Finn and Campbell followed Lindsey Buckingham being fired from the band in 2018. 

Also on stage are a line-up of touring musicians who have impressive careers of their own, including keyboardist  Ricky Peterson, guitarist Neale Heywood, percussionist Taku Hirano and backing vocalists Marilyn Martin and Sharon Celani.  

The band dives straight into some of their biggest hits from the 1980’s Little Lies and Dreams. Stevie Nicks announces that this is the sixty third date on the bad’s massive world tour that has taken them across America and Europe, and tonight they begin a journey across Australia.

The classic hits kept rolling on with Second Hand News and Say You Love Me. Neil Finn looked as if he was having the time of his life being part of the band, and the combination of his vocals alongside McVie and Nicks had the crowd in a party mood.

The band then dives back into their past with a performance of Black Magic Woman with Stevie Nicks commenting that many people didn’t realise the band wrote the song which went on to become a massive hit for Santana.

The returned to their 80’s album Tango in the Night with Everywhere which drew the audiences out of their seats and got them dancing in the aisles. The next tune was a surprise inclusion – a cover of Split Enz I Got You – belted out by Finn and Nicks.

Next came the 70’s hit for which thousands of girls are named after Rhiannon, before an extended take on World Turning which saw Mick Fleetwood deliver a thumping ten-minute drum solo. Stevie Nicks donned a black shawl for Gyspy and then Mike Campbell had a moment in the spotlight performing Oh Well.

Fleetwood came down from his drum kit to introduce Neil Finn playing Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over. He introduced the song saying how much he personally loved the tune, and amongst a stage filled with musicians that have acclaimed work outside the band – it was generous praise.

Along on the stage with an acoustic guitar Finn lead the crowd  in a sing-a-long that had a sea of mobile phone lights swaying back and forth. Ricky Peterson returned to the stage to add in the warm organ sounds at the sounds break, and suddenly Stevie Nicks was centre stage singing alongside Finn.

Nicks commented that songs as beautiful as that only come along once in a thousand years, before joking “Now I have to follow it up” – but the magic continues as she sang Landslide with Finn accompanying on guitar.  

The breezy Hold Me saw the band return to the stage, followed by You Make Loving Fun, before Nick wrapped herself in a gold shawl for Gold Dust Woman. The band kicked in top gear for Go Your Own Way before making their bows.

Finally the band wrapped it up with Don’t Stop, with Mick Fleetwood the last to leave the stage, passing on a message of “look after yourself and each other” to the audience.

In a day and age where many tours have legions of backing dancers, giant castles, floating stages and gimmicks galore, Fleetwood Mac showed that a bundle of great tunes is all that you really need.

Fleetwood Mac are playing a second show at the RAC Arena on Sunday night.

Graeme Watson
Images:- Duncan Barnes