Published On: Mon, Jun 17th, 2019

Fleetwood Mac LIVE REVIEW: Stevie Nicks and co at Wembley Stadium | Music | Entertainment


When a band, especially a multi-platinum selling one, suddenly announce a radical change to their line up more than eyebrows are raised heavenward in confusion, despair and hope.

However, being a band used to dealing with their own much publicised controversies and self-destructive tendencies, it was of immense interest to see how replacing the creative genius of main songwriter and performer Lindsay Buckingham with two musicians of impeccable pedigree would play out.

Recruiting the songwriting talents of Crowded House’s Neil Finn and the sonic skill-set of former Tom Petty band guitarist Mike Campbell: Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie pretty much played a masterstroke based on tonight’s re-assuring ear soothing evidence.

Taking to the stage, raised above the hallowed turf in this colosseum to football, The Chain rattled defiantly out of the speakers winning over the expectant and curious crowd.

Neil Finn sang Buckingham’s part as though he wrote and completely owned it. With Campbell confidently rolling out the riffs, the new boys slotted into the Mac fold with ease as John McVie purred out the most recognisable bass motif in recording history.

Introducing follow up hit tune Tell Me Lies, Nicks revealed that, “this is a big night for us” – being the bands first show in the UK for a considerable time – as Christine McVie delivered one of her many beautiful performances of the evening. This is the lady who wrote most of the band’s cherished and sublime big chart hits including a stadium cheering Everywhere.

Weaving and spinning around the stage in her black couture drapery, below a chandelier and a backdrop film of silhouetted dancers, Stevie Nicks mesmerised the full stadium with a transcendent Dreams.

Her voice, now lower in register, gives an extra emotional edge to her classic songs. And to the joy of the many Nicks inspired ladies in the stands, she further entranced on a spellbinding Rhiannon, Gypsy and a stunning Gold Dust Woman.

Any doubts about how Finn would fit in were further dispelled as he excelled singing and dancing around the stage to Second Hand News. His voice mixed in naturally on Buckingham’s songs as he traded vocals with Nicks; as Monday Morning also re-affirmed later in the set.

And what of ex Petty guitar-slinger Mike Campbell? Taking the lead vocal and the sound back to the group’s early blues years, he chugged out the portentous riff to Peter Green back in the day hit Oh Well commanding this ominous tune in incendiary fashion.

Slipping in another Green original, Nicks and McVie held supernatural court on a bluesy Black Magic Woman. McVie revealed her keyboard chops with a definitive electric piano solo straight out of the early 1970s blues rock book.

Finn’s Crowded House hit Don’t Dream It’s Over produced a stadium illuminated by mobile phone lights.

And a touching Tom Petty tribute encore of Free Fallin’, found a clearly emotional Nicks pouring out her heart to a backdrop montage of Tom Petty pictures. Poignant given her big hit with Petty on Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.

Notwithstanding the interminable overlong drum solo by skins-man extraordinaire Mick Fleetwood, by the time final song Don’t Stop pumped out of the surround sound speaker system, the whole stadium was ready to go their own collective way all over again with an upcoming second show at this stadium of dreams.

They thought it was all over, but tonight Fleetwood Mac played a blinder.



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