Fleetwood Mac packed the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto monday night, filling the venue to capacity at nearly 20,000 in attendance. Fans from multiple generations could be seen through out the venue. It had me thinking of just how long have they been around and later realized it’s been over 50 years! That is pretty mind blowing. Considering the bulk of the band members are in the seventies, they are still going strong!
There was obviously a missing link with the recent dismissal of singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The latest incarnation of Fleetwood Mac brought Crowed House’s vocalist Neil Finn as well as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell to the lineup to fill in the gaps that was left with Buckingham’s departure. Although there was controversy over the means of his departure, it really didn’t seem to affect the enthusiasm of the crowd that evening. As a matter of fact, while leaving the venue, I heard a lot of compliments regarding the new line up and how it works well.
Their stage performance is exactly what would be expected. No fancy lighting or big stage production, just the performers and a video monitor in the background, displaying moments from their past endeavors. It’s all about the music and they delivered on that promise.
While co-founder Mike Fleetwood introduced the band, it was met with obvious appreciation from the crowd, but not surprisingly as he introduced Stevie Nicks the crowd went absolutely wild.
As much as I can appreciate the musicianship of this incredible act, I found that singer/keyboardist Christine McVie’s vocals where simply not on point. Although this was the first time seeing her perform, I was told she generally puts on a stellar performance, however that night she was a bit off vocally.
The evening was peppered with hits of years gone by, such as Dreams, Black Magic Woman, Gypsy, Landslide, Go Your Own Way. As a matter of fact their set list was a whopping 22 songs. I think out of all the songs, there may have been 1 that I didn’t recognize. It goes to show the footprint they have on the music scene. Included within the set was a Crowded House cover of Don’t Dream It’s Over and a Tom Petty cover of Free Falling.
During the song World Turning Mick broke out in a extended drum solo that seem to last forever. It was reported that the night before it lasted a whopping 14 minutes long. Although I didn’t time that aspect, it certainly felt like quite a while. It wasn’t your typical bashing the skins drum solo, rather beats while engaging with the crowd. He repeated the phrase “Let the hounds out” on multiple occasions, and the crowd seem to eat it up. The solo progressed with him moving off the drum kit to the front of the stage, where he played a bongo. As much as I can appreciate a good drum solo, I felt it was a bit of a time filler.
During the song Gold Dust Woman, Stevie Nicks stole the show with her performance and interpretive dance. Her ability to draw in the crowd is unwavering. As much as Fleetwood Mac is a group endeavor, Nick’s is the star of the show.
Overall it was a great show, if you get a chance to see them live, you won’t be disappointed.