(Angela Lubrano / Livepix)
Home » CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac, London (Night 1)

CONCERT REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac, London (Night 1)

(Angela Lubrano / Livepix)
(Angela Lubrano / Livepix)

They were back — and talking to each other as well. But despite the hits, fine musicianship and Stevie Nicks’s array of shawls, there was still one thing missing

O2, London
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
*** 3 out of 5 stars

You’re looking at your watch, consulting the set list from a recent Fleetwood Mac gig in Dublin and thinking: it has to happen soon. We’re running out of songs.

But we’re 20-odd tunes into the first of the band’s three-night London run and the icing on the cake made of soap has not materialised. We’ve endured Mick Fleetwood’s mammoth drum solo on World Turning, one that has lasted eight minutes at previous stops on this world tour. Tonight it clocks in at four. We’ve had Don’t Stop, one of this outlandishly successful band’s most galumphing hits, the song where you assumed It Would Happen. But no. The Mac have gone off, and come back, and Stevie Nicks is trilling Silver Springs, and there is no sign of the return of the second of Fleetwood Mac’s two Macs. That Mac is not back.

One of the major draws of these gigs — their first in the UK since 2009 — has been the rumour that Christine McVie might appear as a special guest. The Birmingham melodicist retired from the band in 1998, technically for the second time, citing a fear of flying. Touring with her ex-husband, bassist John McVie, and weariness of the long-running dramas of her band might well have been contributing factors.

But the USP of this umpteenth Fleetwood Mac reunion is that everyone is getting along quite swimmingly. Indeed this Gordian sexual knot of a group have long since put their libidos and coke habits behind them, and tonight are even mining the residues of the chemistry for laughs (and sniffles). Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, the California duo who joined the blues-rock outfit in 1974 and turned it into gold dust, are holding hands, hugging at the end of Sara, and singing at one another. Mick Fleetwood — an increasingly jester-like figure, sitting worryingly near a gong — affectionately clasps hands with Nicks at the end of one song. Their affair in 1977 complicated an already star-crossed love polygon that has defined this band as much as their mellifluous soft rock.

Still, despite all the lovely closure, Christine does not show (although she does the following night). Anyone hoping to hear Little Lies, or the barbed You Make Loving Fun (written about Christine McVie’s relationship with the band’s lighting guy), or even Hold Me, the band’s later-period US hit about another McVie conquest, Dennis Wilson, is going home a little disappointed tonight.

Probably not by much though. This nearly three-hour set is nothing if not generous value, packing in significant swaths of Rumours, the band’s most famous album. It has sold something like 40m copies, a figure that, in all likelihood, no one album released in the 21st century will ever match. Its reissue entered the UK charts at No 3 last February. Of its vast riches, Go Your Own Way remains a sulky gem. It ends the band’s first set with Buckingham mock-chasing Nicks around the stage and letting the front rows paw at his guitar.

It’s salutary to be reminded what a fine player Lindsey Buckingham is. He’s lithe and leather-jacketed, full of thoughtful song preambles. Hearing him playing Big Love solo — hollering the words, plucking at his hollow-bodied electric — is one of the unexpected highlights of a set that can sometimes feel like a rewrite of history.

It seems unthinkable now, but there was a time when not everyone thought Fleetwood Mac were cool, or survivors, or ripe for homage by Haim or Florence and the Machine. Indeed, if you were alive in the 1980s, Fleetwood Mac were the grown-ups’ music, and as such as attractive as uncooked liver. Mac songs seemed pat, mid-tempo affairs with needless, false harmonies. (They all hated each other!) It wasn’t just a question of age — the Rolling Stones were old — it was that Fleetwood Mac’s music felt fluffy and smug. At least it did from the vehement hauteur of the spiky, directional 80s.

Now, though, 30 years on, one of their newer songs, Sad Angel, is pacier than you’d imagine. And there is widespread respect for Fleetwood Mac’s awkward, angry Tusk album of 1979. Tonight the title track exudes bitterness, evil laughter and deranged keyboard horns: there is nothing pat about it.

Arguably it was Courtney Love who first rehabilitated Fleetwood Mac — or at least Stevie Nicks — thanking “Rhiannon the Welsh Witch” on the sleeve of Hole’s Pretty on the Inside album (1991), and often declaring Nicks her hero. At the O2 Nicks recalls being Buckingham’s “hippie girlfriend”, accepted into the Mac package when Fleetwood hired Buckingham.

She is the sort of woman who paints angels, and wants to set Welsh epic The Mabinogion on the screen with the help of the Game of Thrones creator, but down to earth with it. Tonight her buddy Christine may not be here, but Nicks’s throaty husk sounds masterful on Gold Dust Woman. And — living up to billing quite spectacularly — she has a different shawl for nearly every song.


Kitty Empire / The Guardian / Saturday, September 28, 2013

stevienicks

LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

Billy Joel and Stevie NicksStevie Nicks

FEB 10, 2024
Mark G Etess Arena
Atlantic City, NJ
TICKETS

FEB 14, 2024
UBS Arena
Belmont Park, NY
TICKETS

FEB 17, 2024
CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore, MD
TICKETS

FEB 21, 2024
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Greenville, SC
TICKETS

FEB 24, 2024
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood, FL
TICKETS

FEB 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA
TICKETS

MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE
TICKETS

MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR
TICKETS

MAR 9, 2024
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
Billy Joel
TICKETS

MAY 3, 2024 – MAY 5, 2024
Lovin’ Life Fest
Charlotte, NC
TICKETS

MAY 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO
TICKETS

MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK
TICKETS

MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
TICKETS

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX
TICKETS

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA
TICKETS

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA
TICKETS

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT
TICKETS

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO
TICKETS

JUN 4
Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN
TICKETS

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT
TICKETS

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY
TICKETS

JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA
TICKETS

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI
TICKETS

JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL
TICKETS

Two Icons One Night presented by Live Nation
^ Non-Live Nation show


Previous 2023 dates

March 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Los Angeles, CA
SoFi Stadium

March 15, 2023
Seattle, WA
Climate Pledge Arena

March 18, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
T-Mobile Arena

May 12, 2023
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

May 16, 2023
Knoxville, TN
Thompson-Boling Arena

May 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Nashville, TN
Nissan Stadium

May 22, 2023
Atlanta, GA
State Farm Arena

May 25, 2023
Orlando, FL
Amway Center

June 16, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Philadelphia, PA
Lincoln Financial Field

June 20, 2023
Toronto, ON (Canada)
Scotiabank Arena

June 23, 2023
Chicago, IL
United Center

June 27, 2023
Louisville, KY
KFC Yum! Center

August 5, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Columbus, OH
Ohio Stadium

August 8, 2023
Milwaukee, WI
Fiserv Forum

August 12, 2023
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

August 15, 2023
Austin, TX
Moody Center

August 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Kansas City, MO
Arrowhead Stadium

September 23, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Foxborough, MA
Gillette Stadium

September 27, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
PPG Paints Arena

October 1, 2023
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden

October 4, 2023
Buffalo, NY
KeyBank Center

October 7, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Baltimore, MD 
M&T Bank Stadium

October 28, 2023
Memphis, TN
FedEx Forum

November 1, 2023
Savannah, GA
Enmarket Arena

November 4, 2023
Allentown, PA
PPL Center

November 7, 2023
Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Arena

November 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Bank Stadium

November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

December 5, 2023
Palm Desert, CA
Acisure Arena

December  8, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Phoenix, AZ
Chase Field

December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
Golden 1 Center

December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
Chase Center



2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
September 8, 2022
September 10, 2022

Pine Knob Music Theatre
Clarkston, MI
September 13, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Xfinity Center
Mansfield, MA
September 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Bangor, ME
September 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sound on Sound Festival
Bridgeport, CT
September 24-25, 2022

Ohana Festival
Dana Point, CA
September 30, 2022

Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
October 3, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Woodlands, TX
October 9, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Alpharetta, GA
October 12, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ascend Amphitheater
Nashville, TN
October 16, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Credit One Stadium
Charleston, SC
October 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

PNC Music Pavilion
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
October 28, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Orion Amphitheatre
Huntsville, AL
October 31, 2022

RESCHEDULED SHOWS

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands, TX
November 2, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
November 5, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton