Fleetwood Mac Manchester Arena 1 Oct 2013

Fleetwood Mac Manchester Arena 1 Oct 2013
mactix Great show by Fleetwood Mac last night at Manchester Arena. Possibly the best time I’ve seen them. Fleetwood Mac are enjoying a renewed wave of success. It seems everyone wants to see them and demand for tickets for their concerts has been much greater than the last couple of occasions they visited the UK. This gig at the massive 20,000 capacity Manchester Arena sold out in a matter of hours and tickets have been changing hands for twice their (already expensive) face value. There has also been some added excitement in the form of Christine McVie rejoining her old band mates at a couple of the London concerts.
I was sitting in my seat way up in the top level at the back of the arena. This is the 5th time I’ve seen the band, the first being way back in 1972, and I was still pretty excited and really looked forward to it. I was quite a distance away from the stage, but it gave me a great view of the whole arena. This was very much a classic rock show with crowd pleasing songs, drawn largely from “Fleetwood Mac”, “Rumours” and “Tusk”, excellent visuals, and great individual performances by each member of the band. Stevie still manages to pull off her gypsy, hippy rock chick image, all swirling skirts, twirling folk dancing, and even we even saw the return of her top hat towards the end of the show. She may have reworked some of the songs to remove the higher parts, but her vocals remain stunning. It would be easy to say that Lindsey Buckingham is the star of the show. He is on stage throughout, performing a couple of songs solo, notably Big Love which was outstanding, and featured Lindsey with acoustic guitar in front of a massive black and white video image of himself. His guitar playing was excellent, and got a great crowd reaction. But it would be unfair to focus on the couple out front; after all without the two older guys at the back there would be no Fleetwood Mac. Mick Fleetwood sat behind a massive drum kit, towering over the others as a man and as a presence. A true English gentleman of the old school, he came over as a cross between the gentle head master, and a master of ceremonies. I hadn’t noticed it before, but most of the songs seem to start with Mick and the drums leading the others into the melody. John McVie is the quiet man, who Mick says is “always on my right, and the backbone of Fleetwood Mac”. His role should not be underplayed. Together those two guys kept the faith through hard times, and managed the rebirth of the Mac, achieving what seemed to be the impossible. macprog Last night I felt a different vibe around the Mac. What I saw way down in front of me on that stage was a group of friends who have finally come to terms with who they are, how they relate to each other, and the trials and tribulations of the past. It was obvious, much more so than on previous outings, that these four guys have reached a place of deep understanding and respect for each other as people. The vocal interplay and the looks and stares between Lindsey and Stevie were much sharper than in the past. On “The Chain” they were almost spitting the words at each other. At another point they hugged, and when they returned for the encore it was hand in hand.
The sound was a little ropey when the band first came on stage and started with “Second Hand News” but by the second song “The Chain”, it was sharp and crisp. Highlights for me were “Rhiannon”, probably my favourite, “Gold Dust Women” and the closer “Go Your Own Way”. I even enjoyed Mick’s drum solo during “World Turning” and the tracks from “Tusk” started to make some sort of sense to me; after all this time. The band seemed in quite a playful mood. At one point, someone shouted, “I f***ing love you Stevie!” and she responded, “I f***ing love you too! It’s a f***ing lovefest in here!”. Lindsey then joined in, mimicking a northern accent “I f***ing love you, Stevie”. I was a little disappointed that there were no songs from the Old Mac days. “Oh Well” remained in the set for many years, but has been dropped now. This line-up also used to perform “The Green Manalishi” in the 1970s; now that would be great to see. As Mick said at the end “The Mac are back”.
If the rumours are to be believed they could be returning to the UK to headline Glastonbury in 2014. Based on last night’s performance, if they do play, they will tear the Pyramid stage apart, and could easily match this year’s performance by The Stones. Setlist: Second Hand News; The Chain; Dreams; Sad Angel; Rhiannon; Not That Funny; Tusk; Sisters of the Moon; Sara; Big Love; Landslide; Never Going Back Again; Without You; Gypsy; Eyes of the World; Gold Dust Woman; I’m So Afraid; Stand Back; Go Your Own Way. Encore 1: World Turning (including Drum Solo); Don’t Stop. Encore 2: Silver Springs; Say Goodbye.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by dawn on October 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    A band i would like to see but so far have not i did like the peter green line up my fav song is “oh well” and maybe they will do glastonbury?

    Reply

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