Last Updated on November 24, 2014
Fleetwood Mac – Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC – November 18, 2014
“The Chain” is the only song in Fleetwood Mac’s catalogue for which all five members are listed as writers and so it was fitting that this anthem would open the show, especially with the return of Christine McVie after a 16-year absence. The band was now complete. The beginning of that song with the pounding of the drums, the brilliant guitar licks that follow and harmony was perfect. Lindsey singing “I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain” and then the bass kicking in. The Mac is definitely back. They had chemistry and played well off each other on this night. “You Make Loving Fun”, “Dreams” and “Second Hand News”, songs from their 1977 critically acclaimed “Rumours” followed. That album still “jumps right out of the speakers at you” today just as it did then when it was reviewed by music critic Robert Christgau for The Village Voice. It was like being in a time warp. The current “On With The Show” tour features only songs from 1975 through 1987’s “Tango in the Night”, the last album to feature Lindsey Buckingham (Guitars, Vocals), Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards, Vocals), Mick Fleetwood (Drums, Percussion) and John McVie (Bass).
McVie’s hearty voice on “You Make Loving Fun” was magical, her return acknowledged at the end of the song. “Welcome back, Chris. Where’ve you been?” screamed Nicks.
Gone are the rumours and the secret lives of Fleetwood Mac of the past. It was apt that John McVie would come up with the title “Rumours”. It seemed at the time that everyone in the music business had the exclusive inside dope on the band. They said that Stevie was sleeping with Mick; that Christine had run off with Lindsey; that Stevie was seeing both John and Mick on alternate Wednesdays; that violent fistfights were commonplace in the studio. What we do know is that there will be a new album in 2015 and that is no rumour.
Stevie Nicks is the band’s witchy goddess and was at the front of the stage and to the right of Lindsey Buckingham. Her voice was in great form as she sang “Rhiannon” before giving way to Christine McVie, one of the band’s key creative forces. “Thank you for your fantastic welcome this evening” McVie stated. “It’s great to be here”, thanking Stevie, Lindsey, John and Mick “for letting me come back and do this again. It’s been a long time and I’ve missed it and I’m so glad to be here tonight. Thank you. And this one’s for you.” Holding three maracas, she sang “Everywhere”, shaking and striking the instruments against the palm of her hand.
The best story of the night belonged to the woman of lace and paper flowers, Stevie Nicks.
“So this next song has its own little introduction because it has to do with the beginning of all this. Lindsey and I lived up in San Francisco before we moved to Los Angeles in 1971 and he lived there his whole life. My family was transferred up there in 1965. So in 1968 when I’d been in junior college for 2 years, Lindsey and his band called and asked me if I want to join their band”.
“Now mind you, we were in the most amazing musical place and most amazing musical time in our opinion, of all time. It was San Francisco. It was all the big bands, and it was the place to be. And we were there. So after I joined this band, my life completely changed. We started opening for all the big bands. We opened for Jimi Hendrix, 75,000 people. We opened for Janis Joplin at Frost Amphitheater, Stanford University, 30,000 people. And we opened for Chicago at the Fillmore West during their big album, “Colour My World”. Granted, we’re 8th on the bill. But nevertheless, this allowed us … the perk was to sit on the side of the stage and watch that artist play their whole set. So Lindsey and I were pretty much touched by this and being in this magical place and being able to be in a really good band that was making money. So I had heard this rumour that there was this amazing store in San Francisco and it was called the Velvet Underground. And this store was where all the famous and most possibly rich rock and roll women bought all their clothes.”
Stevie continued, telling the audience that it was a tiny little store with a beautiful hardwood floor and that she stood there knowing that she would never be able to afford to buy anything there. She then had what she liked to call a “seizure/premonition” and her head started swirling, that something was coming and that it was going to be big. What she saw in her psychic head was Fleetwood Mac. And that she would be able to walk in that store and buy anything off those racks. And back to the “Gypsy” she was.
One of the highlights of the night was Lindsey Buckingham jaw-dropping, destructive-chaos like performance of “I’m So Afraid”, quite atypical of a Fleetwood Mac song. Absolutely incredible live because its length doubles the recorded version. This song has also been a staple during his solo tours where Buckingham plays smaller venues.
Fleetwood Mac dominated the seventies. They dominated tonight. No more running in the shadows, and hopefully, never breaking that chain again.
You Make Loving Fun
Second Hand News
I Know I’m Not Wrong
Sisters of the Moon
Say You Love Me
Never Going Back Again
Over My Head
Gold Dust Woman
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way