One of my ear­li­est music mem­o­ries is Peter Green singing Need Your Love so Bad, and his own com­po­si­tion Green Man­al­ishi (with the two prong crown), which to my pre-teen brain sound­ed bewil­der­ing­ly mys­ti­cal. Strange to now see Fleet­wood Mac, in their present form, live in 2013, over 30 years later.

Mick Fleet­wood and John McVie com­mand the audi­ence’s atten­tion as the band opens with Sec­ond Hand News. This posi­tion is swift­ly usurped by flam­boy­ant per­form­ers Ste­vie Nicks and Lind­sey Buck­ing­ham. Nicks and Buck­ing­ham: the two for­mer lovers hold the audi­ence’s atten­tion through­out the per­for­mance, their body lan­guage indi­cat­ing that dra­ma, ten­sion and chem­istry are alive and well. We can only watch and make of it what we will. Lind­sey peri­od­i­cal­ly moves to the front of the stage, crouch­ing down with his gui­tar, to the obvi­ous delight of the fans clus­tered at his feet.

Ste­vie Nicks has, grat­i­fy­ing­ly, lost none of her hip­py charm, she’s all drip­py scarves, but­ter­fly ges­tures and long hair (at 65 – yes, it still looks great). A tanned Lind­sey Buck­ing­ham looks as if he’s been whisked straight from a Cal­i­for­nia health spa.

The Chain and Dreams sat­is­fy some of the crav­ing for old mate­r­i­al before Buck­ing­ham intro­duces a recent num­ber, Sad Angel – it sounds clas­sic Fleet­wood Mac in struc­ture. This is fol­lowed by the glo­ri­ous Rhi­an­non. Nicks adapts the key to suit her voice, which is now less capa­ble of hit­ting the high notes. How­ev­er, as the con­cert unfolds, her voice appears to gath­er strength.

Buck­ing­ham announces they’ll be play­ing some num­bers from Tusk – this includes a clunk­ing ver­sion of Not That Fun­ny which, with the over­rid­ing drum beat and shouty voic­es, just does­n’t come together.

John Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac

It’s no secret that Chris­tine McVie is sched­uled to make an appear­ance, although it seems like tempt­ing fate to pre­sume it will hap­pen. And when Nicks ded­i­cates Land­slide to Chris­tine, a ‘sweet girl, like a sis­ter’ I did won­der if that was a sub­sti­tute for her appearance.

Nev­er Going Back Again is ren­dered play­ful­ly, with Buck­ing­ham slow­ing the folky gui­tar riffs right down – his gui­tar play­ing is superb, sup­ple, assured, with a per­fect sense of tim­ing and con­trol. Anoth­er high­light of the evening is Gold Dust Woman  – giv­ing full weight to Nicks’ throaty and more ‘coun­try’ vocals, and its pow­er­ful­ly dark lyrics.

The gig is almost draw­ing to a close when there’s a short intro­duc­tion and Chris­tine McVie joins her for­mer band mem­bers on stage, to pre­dictably rap­tur­ous applause. She plays key­board and sings for one num­ber – Don’t Stop. Her voice sounds as it did all those years ago. It feels like a spe­cial and very emo­tion­al moment.

Fleetwood Mac
Fleet­wood Mac, all on stage together
Fleetwood Mac at the O2
Fleet­wood Mac, the 02

Buck­ing­ham intro­duces the final song, a num­ber he wrote 10 years ago, appro­pri­ate­ly enough called Say Good­bye  – it’s about illu­sions, about let­ting them go in order to grow.

Fleet­wood Mac: 02 are­na, tick­ets approx £90

O2 Arena

An invet­er­ate gig goer, I have, nev­er­the­less, nev­er set foot with­in the O2’s por­tals, well, not since it was The Dome – a sort of kid’s adven­ture learn­ing space – back in The Mil­len­ni­um. And if Fleet­wood Mac would only play down­stairs at my local pub I would­n’t have had to ven­ture there at all. How­ev­er, the acoustics were excel­lent, seats rel­a­tive­ly com­fort­able and the view unim­ped­ed – I was on the 4th lev­el up. It’s still a soul­less way to expe­ri­ence music, though. And despite the £90 price, it seemed there were sev­er­al who were there to drink, talk loud­ly and pay scant atten­tion to the music.

Trav­el Next to North Green­wich tube sta­tion on the Jubilee Line.

Food, drink Plen­ty of food out­lets. Bar prices e.g. Wine, 250ml glass: £5.50.

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6 thoughts on “Review: Fleetwood Mac joined by Christine McVie 02 Arena, final night

  1. “Thun­der only hap­pens when its rain­ing” is actu­al­ly called “Dreams” and John Buck­ing­ham should read… John McVie. Good Review!

  2. I agree with almost every­thing said – Christie com­ing on stage was a real­ly emo­tion­al moment that bought tears to my eyes…however I thought Not that Fun­ny was amaz­ing and has gone down as one one of my own real high­lights of the evening – fun­ny how per­son­al opin­ions can be so dif­fer­ent! So pleased that you had as mar­velous as time as I did! 🙂

    1. It was indeed a very teary moment when she came on, I felt quite over­whelmed. I think we wit­nessed some­thing pret­ty spe­cial. I’m intrigued that you enjoyed Not that Fun­ny, for me the only num­ber that did­n’t quite ‘do it’. Thanks for your com­ment and I’m glad you had a fan­tas­tic evening too!

  3. It’s tak­en me this long to get to read this one ! Saw Fleet­wood Mac at Wem­b­ley Sta­di­um around four years ago .… Fan­tas­tic sound, ecsta­t­ic audi­ence, plen­ty of danc­ing, plen­ty of singing along, but atmos ? No chance at Wem­b­ley. It’s just like a foot­ball sta­di­um ? X

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