Fleetwood Mac fans finally got to see the classic Rumours-era line-up reunited last night as Christine McVie joined ex-husband John McVie and bandmates Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham on stage at Manchester Arena.
The singer – who is the songwriter and voice behind some of the band’s most enduring hits, including “Don’t Stop,” “Little Lies” and “You Make Loving Fun” – is back on the road with the band for the first time in 16 years for their On With The Show tour.
Fans were delighted to see her return – as was Stevie Nicks, who echoed the audience’s excitement as she squealed: “Our girl is BACK!”
None of the group showed any sign of the mystery illness that forced them to cancel their first show in Manchester last month as they played an unrelenting two and a half hour set.
Now all in their mid to late 60s except Christine, who is 71, they worked the stage with the energy of a group half their age, particularly Lindsey, whose virtuoso guitar playing stole the show.
There was no sign either of the turbulence that nearly tore the band apart during the making of Rumours, with ex-lovers Stevie and Lindsey sweetly clasping hands before dueting on a gorgeous stripped-back version of “Landslide” (we think we even saw Stevie wipe away a tear), while Christine and John appeared just as happy to be sharing a stage again.
“Our Songbird, you might say, has returned,” as Mick put it fondly – and there could only be one way to close the show as Christine sat down alone at a piano to sing her beautiful ballad.
The finale was the highlight of the show for many fans who had waited for years to hear her sing it again, but it was by no means the only standout moment.
From opener “The Chain” to the rousing singalong that accompanied “Go Your Own Way” and Mick’s manic drum solo, it was a five-star performance from start to finish. Even the weather seemed to agree, with fans leaving the arena to a “Dreams”-worthy chorus of thunder and rain outside.
Here is what fans thought about last night’s show:
christine mcvie alone at the piano singing Songbird.. The most beautiful thing I'll see this year! #FleetwoodMac
— Stephen Routledge (@ste_routledge) July 1, 2015
— Dan (@CrispySock) July 2, 2015
Still can't believe I got to see Fleetwood Mac last night. Such a magical and beautiful performance… https://t.co/KM9FhkJznJ
— Niamh (@niamh_stamper) July 2, 2015
On the hottest day of the year, I saw Fleetwood Mac play for two and a half hours solid. It made the day hotter and they've still got it!
— Ian Ellison (@MrIanEllison) July 2, 2015
Amazing that it was possibly thundering when Fleetwood Mac were singing 'thunder only happens when it's raining'.
— Cat O'D (@jammycrumpet) July 2, 2015
Emily Heward / Manchester Evening News / Thursday, July 2, 2015