Have you seen Fleetwood Mac before?
Incredibly I hadn’t, despite having lived through their entire band history- from listening to The Green Manalishi with my brother in the days of Peter Green when the Mac were a bona fide blues-rock band, through their massive hit Albatross, Green’s mysterious disappearance, to whatever they are now.
I recently missed their shows in London, so a surprise late ticket from the GF was most welcome. Seated at the top of the Coopers Stadium, home of Adelaide United Football (that’s soccer – proper football) Club with the evening light gently washing over the city and hills to our front, behind us the sunset over the ocean, like a miniature LA. It was an idyllic setting – even in a stadium.
Aussie duo Angus and Julia Stone perfectly set the scene aurally, with their California-influenced soft rock sounds. Then it was the Mac – not so much a gig as a mass counselling session for the persons on stage, mainly guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, with ten thousand would-be psychologists patiently waiting for the next song. There is something mythical or majestic about the tangled personal inter-relationships and the self- and inter-destructiveness of this band, and yet here they are on stage together, still alive, still baring their souls and bitching about each other in song. But with three singer-songwriters in the band, this was always going to happen.
Musically, the audience could have no complaints. The band played all the hits from their present incarnation. Stevie Nicks had as many costume changes as the number of songs they played from Rumours – almost the whole album- but it gave her something to do when not singing. Kicking off with The Chain, then straight into Christine McVie’s delightful You Make Loving Fun it was clear the band was here to make our evening fun from start to finish, to the very end with drummer Mick Fleetwood’s eccentric English gentleman’s valedictory flourish.
Blues-rock or cheesy-pop, the question became irrelevant as Buckingham’s American roots-based guitar lighted up songs I had grown over familiar with, reasserting the band’s consummate songwriting and musicianship. I wonder what Peter Green makes of it all.