Photos by Damien Crocker @damien_crocker
Last Sunday night at Perth’s RAC Arena, there was a lot of mystery and intrigue was in the air for yours truly, as I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle Fleetwood Mac’s performance without Lindsay Buckingham in the lineup. That being said, I went in with an open mind and, lo!, I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
Fleetwood Mac kicked things off like they did on Friday Night, with ‘The Chain’ and ‘Little Lies’. It’s a real love-in when Fleetwood Mac are playing isn’t it? You can feel it in the air. These songs were the soundtrack to many of these crowd members lives through times of triumph and heartache, it’s clear the music has been there for everybody through the years. ‘Dreams’ ‘Second Hand News’ and a big highlight was Stevie Nicks’ performance of the Peter Green era track, ‘Black Magic Woman’.
Ah, Stevie Nicks. She is all class. A superstar. She’s a vocalist but boy, she lets that charisma of hers shine! She’s not even trying and it just oozes from her soul and you feel it no matter how far away your seats are. It must be nice to be as beloved by all that she is.
‘Everywhere’ was Christine McVie’s time to shine. A beautiful song, and a stronger vocal performance from her this time around than earlier in the set. The Mac have formed such a tremendous backing band behind them as well. Double the keys, a second percussionist, a third guitarist up back, and backing vocals to the side. All in all, 10 people on that stage playing these classic songs. Mike Campbell was one of the axemen up front and boy has he got some chops, he was carving up a storm if I’ve ever seen one!
Neil Finn stole the show Sunday Night. Especially when he and Stevie played the Split Enz hit, ‘I Got You’, the crowd came unglued and it was a standout moment of the night. I don’t think they could have picked a better person to replace Lindsay; Neil really opened my eyes and made me realise just how talented he is. Not that I took it for granted beforehand, but Sunday was complete confirmation that he’s one of the all time greatest songwriters and performers there has been.
Midway through the set we were treated to a Mick Fleetwood drum solo, which was impressive, and gave the rest of the band a opportunity for a much-deserved rest before they continued on.
‘Rhiannon’ was another highlight as you’d expect, and was followed up by ‘World Turning’ and ‘Gypsy’. Then we were treated to a song Fleetwood Mac haven’t played Live in 50 years, ‘Man Of The World’. It always seems like Perth gets these rare gems, and it was wonderful for them to do that for us. They followed that up with ‘Oh Well’ before Neil Finn took centre stage and played ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, with all the phones and their torches in the arena lit up, it was a mesmerising and emotional moment.
‘Landslide’ was next followed by ‘Hold Me’ and another rare gem, ‘Blue Letter’ which Fleetwood Mac hadn’t been played live since 1990. ‘You Make Loving Fun’ and ‘Gold Dust Woman’ were two easy going numbers before they tore into ‘Go Your Own Way’ to end the set. They came back out for the encore, an amazing rendition of Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’ before the ever so positive and passionate ‘Don’t Stop’ which ended the show on the highest of highs.
I am so glad and thrilled I got to see this band at least once in my lifetime. They’re all getting older now, most of the core members are in their 70’s, but is doesn’t appear they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. That train just keeps a-rollin’.