This was the longest time I have ever gone between purchasing a ticket and actually attending a show. As we joined the many thousands of other Fleetwood Mac fans flocking to the beacon that is The O2 I could feel the butterflies building.
It’s 35 years since Fleetwood Mac’s first started making music and this week marked their first return to the UK and the London stage since their 2009 Unleashed tour. You would never had guessed the amount of water under the bridge between this band. Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham stood side by side, while Mick Fleetwood beat out the drums behind them, John McVie noticeably kept his head down during the almost three hour set. Yet the sense of emotion – not just from the fans – but emanating from the stage was undeniably real.
Despite starting late they played their full set as promised, not leaving the stage before 11pm and including almost all the classics – except to mine and the chanting crowd’s great disappointment, ‘Everywhere.’ Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham also dug out an old love song, which apparently started life as a love poem and was recorded and lost in the heady days of the 70s, until it was rediscovered and appeared on YouTube – a phenomenon of which Stevie claimed to have no knowledge of or to even owning a computer for that matter.
She also claimed that the song included the nicest things she had ever said about Lindsay. While the sceptics out there might think the band are only playing nice for the £s, I have to say that their emotion and energy towards one another and the music seemed genuine to me.
For a band that started making music long before I was born and that are still making music now, it’s impossible not to be impressed by their vigour and passion. Even more impressive still, the sight of the ageing (gracefully) Mick Fleetwood performing a 5 minute drum solo!
The entire set was incredible, but like the other 20k fans in the arena, I expected nothing less. Lindsay Buckingham barely left the stage, and played with the energy of his 20 year-old self – so much so that I am now starting to wonder if we were watching a hologram?
Talking of special effects, the show was true to the old days, with the only ‘special effects’ being the now lost image phasing of VH1’s 1980’s music videos. The set even included drapes, and of course Stevie Nicks in her legendary crushed velvet.
For me it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a band that formed part of the soundtrack to my childhood, live on stage, unless that is, the ‘rumours ‘are true…