There is a special atmosphere in and around Dublin on Saturday with an undeniable electricity flowing through the whole city.
With The Script occupying Croke Park and Fleetwood Mac returning after their record sell out tour in 2013 it can be sure it is the beginning of an extraordinary night. Marking their 93rd stop this year the demand was so high for the rock icons that after selling out in minutes two further dates for July were announced.
Opening the show with her back to the stage the enchanting Stevie Nicks sways with her signature shawl introducing the audience to her bewitching ways. Beginning with one of their biggest hits to date ‘The Chain’ the audience are elated to embark on what is to become a magical evening. Soaring harmonies from Buckingham and Nicks reminds us that despite their romantic separation their musical union is as strong as ever. The poignant lyrics of ‘You can never break the Chain’ are even more profound with the return of Songbird Christine McVie.
Fleetwood Mac has acquired such presence with their performance that the addition of a support band or over the top production is completely unnecessary because of course all the attention lies solely with them. Taking a moment to “Welcome their girl back” the band let Christine McVie take the lead on her song ‘You Make Loving Fun.’ Christine comes across as serene and seemingly calm amid the hurricane of chaos that is the rest of the band. Despite a sixteen year absence it is really hard to imagine the band without her as she is most definitely the missing piece if the puzzle.
Launching into their number one hit ‘Dreams’ with Nicks taking the lead with her distinctly husky vocals, her voice has remained as iconic and recognisable as her image. Leaping into each of their hits with immense energy Stevie’s haunting vocals in ‘Rhiannon’ is incredible along with harmonies with Lindsay. There is comforting looks exchanged between Christine and Stevie throughout the show presenting the uplifting relationship they still have even after a sixteen year absence.
For a band that have been at the forefront of music for nearly fifty years they would be forgiven for having egos the size of the 3 arena. This is evidently not the case with the band continuously reminding the audience how thrilled they are to be there a sentiment that seems genuine and warm. Despite it being there 93rd show on this tour Christine delights the crowd by saying how special Dublin is to her as it was where her Fleetwood Mac journey began again.
Reminiscing about standing in the clothes store the Velvet Underground in San Francisco in 1968 Nicks recalls standing where Janis Joplin used to and having a premonition about what was to become Fleetwood Mac. She expresses to the audience not to give up on their dreams and grab whatever it is that we want before starting into ‘Gypsy’ with her ethereal presence and mystic soaked style.
Lindsay charming the crowd saying how thrilled he is to be back he explains the band has had its ups and downs but that is what has made them Fleetwood Mac. It is a particularly special moment when he returns to the stage himself to play the first single from ‘Tango in the Night.’ It is truly rare that one man and a guitar can command as much attention and silence that Buckingham does during his performance of ‘Big Love’ which provides one of the highlights of the night. It is a reminder of how individually gifted each one of them are and how they bring their own talent to band.
Dedicating ‘Landslide’ to her Father it is a very touching and emotional sentiment particularly on Father’s Day for the audience with Stevie taking Lindsay’s hand for a poignant end. Ensuring that Mick got to share in some of the limelight he moves up to the front of the stage to a smaller kit to play a song that Christine previously wrote in 1976 called ‘Over My Head’.
There has been an enormous gold gong resting behind Mick’s head all night and we finally hear its almighty sound as Nicks appears on stage draped in a gold shawl for the aptly named ‘Gold Dust Woman’. With wind chimes and Stevie’s famed tambourine skills the song sees her get lost on stage to the music with its hypnotic and entrancing groove. Finishing off what has been an unbelievable night of music celebrating Fleetwood Mac’s back catalogue which has spanned over forty years they have the whole audience get on their feet to ‘ Go Your Own Way’. Aine Cronin-McCartney, GiggingNI.com