Nov 24, 2003
Review of the November 22 Fleetwood Mac concert in Newcastle, UK at Telewest Arena.
Mac gig was sheer class
By Gordon Barr, The Evening Chronicle
It was billed as one of the biggest shows at the Arena this year, and the 10,500 ecstatic fans who left the venue after a full two and a half hours of top-notch music must surely have agreed.
Here were legends on the stage. A band who, more than three decades since first churning out the hits, proved they can still cut it like the best of them.
True, there is now no Christine McVie on the keyboards, and occasionally you wished she would somehow miraculously appear, but Stevie Nicks more than compensated for that, tackling the McVie vocals with aplomb.
Few hits were missed out, the main omission being Little Lies (now that IS a McVie masterpiece and perhaps it was right to leave it out!)
But from start to finish this was a classic concert, with the veteran rockers moving around the stage like performers half their age.
Tickets weren't cheap for this gig, but you certainly got value for money as, from the opening bars of The Chain to the final encore, it was sheer class all the way.
The hits were mixed in with about half a dozen tracks from Mac's latest album, Say You Will, and were warmly received.
But, naturally, the biggest cheers were saved for the hits, and it says something when a band can take to the stage for more than 150 minutes and play well-known numbers of the majority of that time.
Nicks has great presence, she is obviously relishing this tour, as are all the main players.
Drum solos can often be somewhat boring. But not when Mick Fleetwood is at the helm, with his strap-on electronic drum kit, and covering every inch of the stage.
There was banter with the audience, even some audience participation, but for the most part Fleetwood Mac let the music speak for itself.
And it really was music to the ears. One of the encores was Don't Stop, and it summed up the evening.