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Wembley Arena, 31 October 2009

Fleetwood Mac
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It's been some twenty years since I last saw the Mac at this very venue on the Tango In The Night tour.  An album largely written by Lindsey Buckingham, but he refused to do that tour and he place was taken by Ritchie Vito and Buckingham songs were left in his guitar case for that tour.

In 2009 keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie has long since retired to the Kent countryside, but Lindsey Buckingham is back in the fold.  The history of Fleetwood Mac has always been a chequered one and well documented.

For the record the line-up of Fleetwood Mac since 2002 is long stayers John McVie (Bass) Mick Fleetwood (Drums), back comes Stevie Nicks (Vocals) and Lindsey Buckingham (Guitars and vocals).  For this tour helping out on keyboards in the background is Brett Tuggle whom some of you may remember played in David Lee Roth's band on the 'Skyscraper' album and tour.

Fleetwood Mac, photo by Mark Taylor

For this tour it is being billed as 'Unleashed - The Hits', well it's not hits exactly as only one song written by Christine McVie is played tonight, a stripped down version of 'Say You Love Me'.  Most of the material tonight is written by Nicks or Buckingham or both and as the show wore on, this became the Buckingham Nicks show, and what a show it turned out to be.

Fleetwood Mac have made their millions by being perfect radio friendly fodder, but most of the songs tonight were drawn out out into different dimensions by the excellent execution by Buckingham who interpreted these songs and gave them a new lease of life.  When it comes to guitar greats Buckingham is rarely seen on the list, but the guy was on fire tonight stomping his feet on the ground at the end of every great accomplishment.

Fleetwood Mac, photo by Mark Taylor

It's halloween night and there's no place I'd rather be than to watch Stevie Nicks casting her spell and twirling her scarfs to the likes of the majestic 'Rhiannon'.

Christine Mcvie may have wrote some fine poppy songs, but the material from Nicks and Buckingham is deep and heartfelt.  'Tusk' starts slow and moody with the lyrics ''Why don't you ask him if he's going to stay?'' from Buckingham before building up and up into a tsunami that crashes over the Wembley crowd.

At the end of 'Sara' Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham embrace each other in a message that lets bygones be forgotten that gets a rapturous applause from the audience.

Fleetwood Mac, photo by Mark Taylor

My only complaint tonight is that no material from the rather good 2003 release 'Say You Will' is performed meaning that the newest song is a acoustic driven 'Big Love' which is 22 years old. 

You couldn't hear a pin drop during 'Landslide'. Stevie Nicks says the band for this tour wanted to play a song that they hadn't performed before on previous tours, for which we got - from the 'Tusk' LP - an enchanting 'Storms'.

'Gold Dust Woman' was beautifully drawn out, Buckingham took us back to the Peter Green days with a rocking 'Oh Well' and his frenzied guitar solo at the end of 'I'm So Afraid' got a standing ovation.

For the encore Nicks and Buckingham walked on stage hand in hand, and although it was maybe a little scripted, even the writers of BBC's Eastenders couldn't write a happy ending like that.

With a thrilling and energetic drum solo from Mick Fleetwood during 'World Turning', this was a pulsating performance.  All four band members were clearly enjoying being back on the stage.  This is a drama that will go on and on.  The Mac is back.  Gig of the year.

Review and photos by Mark Taylor

Set list; Monday Morning / The Chain / Dreams / I Know I'm Not Wrong / Go Insane / Rhiannon / Second Hand News / Tusk / Sara / Big Love / Landslide / Never Going Back Again / Storms / Say You Love Me / Gold Dust Woman / Oh! Well / I'm So Afraid / Stand Back /Go Your Own Way .....encores...World Turning / Don't Stop / Silver Springs


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