Home » REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac, Reunion Tour, O2 Arena

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac, Reunion Tour, O2 Arena

Balance restored as a magnificent five-piece, but they could still talk less.

Rating: 4/5 stars
To begin at the very bizarre ending. Fleetwood Mac, finally reincarnated as a five-piece with Christine McVie back stage right on luscious vocals and keyboards, had just thrashed out a show of great finesse for two hours. It had all gone peachily. McVie, the band’s original songbird, was given a last lovely encore – “For You” – sung solo on a grand piano. It should have been the last word. Many were already going, or gone.

But after one last bow Stevie Nicks, looking as ever like an accident in a taffeta factory, had a rambling tale to tell about McVie’s prodigal return to the band after 16 years. This bathetic oration lasted about three minutes. Then Mick Fleetwood, perhaps refusing to cede the last word to anyone else, came out to tell one and all to “take care of yourselves and be kind to one another”.

The band that launched a thousand documentaries has overdosed on the talking cure. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” said Lindsey Buckingham. And of course richer. The reincarnated Mac have been touring since September – this return to the band’s first home was their 82nd date. The McVies have the the right idea. Christine said it was nice to be back, while John, looking like a London dustman after a makeover, never opened his gob. You always know he’s there, though. Fleetwood Mac takes its name from its rhythm section, and last night at the O2 they were loud in the mix from the first thuds of Fleetwood’s bass drum and McVie’s iconic running bassline in “The Chain”. Too loud sometimes: “Rhiannon” should be all about Nicks but was as much about drum and bass.

The return of Christine McVie has restored Mac to equilibrium. A mulch of British rhythm and blues and San Franciscan flower power was held in balance by the more grounded of its two songbirds. For years there’s been nothing to bridge the gap between Fleetwood’s leaning-on-the-lamppost shtick and the larval gush of Californian bullshit coming from moon-sister Nicks and karmic old stoner Buckingham. As the first three songs rolled out from Rumours – “The Chain”, “You Make Loving Fun” and “Thunder” – the band’s three voices were back in sync. McVie’s lovely mumsy alto is still the only known antidote to Nicks’ magnificent mystical foghorn.

Rumours was, as only right and proper, at the heart of this reunion. It still casts a hell of a spell even if no one – not even the three graces on backing vocalists – had the whoomph to hit the high harmonic line in “Second Hand News”. But the oldies don’t have to be carbon copies. In the acoustic interlude, Buckingham led a clever if slightly self-indulgent reinterpretation of “Never Going Down Again”, full of slow slide vocals and delayed entrances.

Such is the giant shadow cast by Rumours that Buckingham wasn’t entirely disingenuous to mention “an album called Tango in the Night”. “Big Love”, full of inchoate back-to-the-woods all-American yowls, was prefaced by his now usual blurb about what the song meant then and means now. There are two Buckinghams, the shaman and the showman. When he wasn’t sharing the fluff in his navel, he spent the night duck-walking in skinny jeans and wigging out like a teenager, climaxing the main set with a guitar solo in which he was, basically, beating off.

There were several sniffs of the band as a work in progress. Fleetwood came to the front to bash a smaller kit for the fivesome’s not-that-great first ever single, “Over My Head”, affording a tantalising glimpse of what it would be like to see them play a club. “Landslide” – Nicks’s lovely lyrics about ageing now truer than ever – was a moment of peace in a stormy night. At the song’s end, she wiped a finger across Buckingham’s sopping brow. There was that much love in the room.

Rumours’ bloated successor Tusk was quoted. The title song, with its marching-band brass blasted out on synths, remains impressively weird. “Sisters of the Moon”, with a colour-boosted Celtic landscape on the back projection, felt like Nicks’s hippy-dippy signature. As the show entered its last quarter, you could be forgiven for assuming Christine McVie had left the band all over again. The set ended with “Go Your Own Way”, before the encore brought what many must have thought they’d been spared, Fleetwood’s demented-magus drum solo. “Don’t Stop” restored order, only for Nicks and Fleetwood to take the song’s message a little too literally with those closing speeches. Not that you should doubt the sentiment. This band has broken a lot of chains in its time. With the links back in place, they are a thing to behold.

Jasper Rees / The Arts Desk / Thursday, May 28, 2015

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LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

Billy Joel and Stevie NicksStevie Nicks

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

FEB 14, 2024
UBS Arena
Belmont Park, NY

FEB 17, 2024
CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore, MD

FEB 21, 2024
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Greenville, SC

FEB 24, 2024
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood, FL

FEB 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA
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MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE
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MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR
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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
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MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK
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MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
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MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX
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MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA
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MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA
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MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT
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MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO
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JUN 4
Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN
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JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT
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JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY
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JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA
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JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI
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JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL
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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