Live Review: Fleetwood Mac, Leeds, 30th June 2015

FM6

Few bands can truly be called timeless. Few bands are so beloved by every generation in the way that Fleetwood Mac is. ‘Rumours’ is one of the finest albums ever made and it is a grand jewel in the crown that is their glorious discography. After renowned vocalist and keyboardist Christine McVie’s triumphant return to the band after a hiatus of over 15 years, the classic line-up has embarked on a gargantuan world tour to celebrate. I consider myself truly blessed to have been in attendance.

No support act, not messing about, it was straight down to the hits (and they sure had plenty to choose from). ‘The Chain’ opened proceedings, slowly building to one of the greatest and most recognisable baselines ever. It kickstarted a whistle-stop tour of some of the highlights of Rumours and beyond. The distinctive harmonies that had made the band great were as good as they’ve ever been. Each member of the band is a musical icon in their own right, but together they are unstoppable. They all had the energy and passion of a band half their age. Their enthusiasm shone throughout the show on the exotic rumble of ‘Tusk’, the utterly bewitching ‘Rhiannon’ and the bright shuffle of ‘Everywhere’.

Until now I never really appreciated what an underrated guitarist Lindsey Buckingham is. His furious fingerpicking was precise and soulful. My fingers hurt just from watching the frantic acoustic guitar on ‘Big Love’, it was utterly mesmerising. Later on he demonstrated that he was also a virtuoso with an electric on ‘I’m So Afraid’. What he was playing was far simpler but the emotion and power of his solo was breathtaking. He didn’t completely steal the spotlight though as Mick Fleetwood maintained an intricate, thunderous backdrop. There’s a reason the band is named after him, even in his late 60s he’s still one of the finest drummers going. His drum solo, and his call-and-response with the audience, was one of the highlights of the show and got one of the best receptions of the night.

The one that well and truly captivated the audience though was Stevie Nicks. Her voice is just as beautiful as it was when all these songs were recorded, many years before I was even born. On ‘Gold Dust Woman’ she was a woman possessed. The shimmering lights may well have been actual floating embers as she was on fire during that performance. But even that was a patch on ‘Landslide’, which was simply magical. Utterly enchanting. Christine, closing the show with the elegant ‘Songbird’, joined her reunited band mates onstage for a final bow. Mick Fleetwood, the gentle giant behind the drum kit, was the last to leave the stage and said exactly what everyone was thinking: “The Mac is most definitely BACK!”

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