The announcement last year that Christine McVie was to rejoin Fleetwood Mac after a 16 year absence, left fans salivating at the prospect of having the original ‘Rumours’ line-up back together again. A brief appearance at their London gig in 2013 for ‘Don’t Stop’ whetted the appetite for a full on reunion, a reunion which now forms the “On With The Show” tour that has sold out arenas worldwide.
A thunderous rumble from John McVie’s bass sets ‘The Chain’ in motion and gets the show off to a flying start. The fans don’t have to wait long for Christine McVie’s return, as a radiant ‘You Make Loving Fun’ follows and finds the singer in buoyant mood. “Welcome Birmingham and welcome back Chris”, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham announces in what transpires to be the first of many references to McVie’s celebrated return. The show continues along a ‘Rumours’ route with ‘Dreams’ and ‘Second Hand News’, with McVie’s vocal adding a richness to the higher register harmonies of Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. With the stage cast in an emerald light, Nicks sways and stoops for the mystical ‘Rhiannon’. An energetic Buckingham heralds a “new prolific chapter” for the band before the rousing ‘Tusk’ charges out from languid ‘Albatross’ style guitars, followed by the second of McVie’s penned songs, the bluesy, sun kissed ‘Say You Love Me’.
The evening enters a more down tempo phase, with Buckingham waxing lyrical about their transitional 1987 album ‘Tango In The Night’ before a mesmerising acoustic version of ‘Big Love’ blows the venue apart. ‘Never Going Back Again’ is slowed right down to a breathy paean to heartbreak that comes close to running out of steam but is saved by the Buckingham/Nicks chemistry. A simple drumbeat with accompanying cowbell brings ‘Gold Dust Woman’ to life, which is one of the highlights of the night. Taken from the ‘Rumours’ album, Nicks’ take on excess is one of her signature tunes. True to form, she becomes completely absorbed within it, stretching it out into the realms of self-indulgence as she dances across the stage, allowing for McVie’s flushes of Hammond organ to take it down a psychedelic path. ‘I’m So Afraid’ brings some more fancy fretwork by Buckingham before the set closer ‘Go Your Own Way’ has the arena on their feet and singing their hearts out, as he offers his guitar to feverish hands in the front row. An encore of ‘World Turning’ finds a place for Mick Fleetwood’s staple drum solo before the triumphant ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Silver Springs’ brings the evening to a close. Christine McVie’s return to the band is a cause for celebration and marks yet another twist in the ongoing Fleetwood Mac story.
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