Music Gear

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Guest writer @LilVik reviews @FleetwoodMac in #SanJose

Fleetwood Mac in San Jose

Tuesday 25th November 2015, the first time I have specifically travelled out of the UK to see my favourite band.

In 2013, I unfortunately missed out on Fleetwood Mac tickets in the UK as I was travelling Australia. Then they announced the gigs over there, only to be cancelled due to John McVie’s cancer scare!  I swore then that the next tour I was going to be there wherever it was. Bring on San Jose, California.

As predicted the venue, SAP Arena, was bigger than those in most UK cities. We were perched on the side from stage up in the high tiers which was perfect except every now and then the staging would revolve and get in the way. Luckily this was not too often.

The usual ‘sounds’ of the Mac taking to the stage were played and the crowd erupted.  They opened with a frenzied performance of Chain. Immediately I was envious of those that could fork out money for the front floor tickets, especially as my area of seating was somewhat subdued!

After the opening, Christine took to the mic to say ‘Hello, San Jose’. A few cheers came, and then Stevie repeated this and the crowd went crazy. This made me feel for Christine a bit but I believe the crowd were definitely excited to have their main girl back, as Ms Nicks was a student down the road at the University and San Jose is where it really began for THIS particular line-up of Fleetwood Mac, as we would be told throughout.

But as soon as Christine took to the lead of You Make Loving Fun it wasn’t long until San Jose took full approval.

A lot of people that have been to a Mac show always say that it seems to be a Buckingham-Nicks show but considering that they have more movement on stage to ‘get to the crowd’ it is no wonder. And with the ever story telling role of Stevie, she had the crowd and myself in her grasp.

Lindsay’s guitar playing is forever outstanding and he took every chance to get his solos in.  As ever they were mesmerizing and probably was the biggest crowd pleaser throughout.

If anyone knows me they know that I am a very big Stevie Nicks fan I must admit I was more in awe of the return of Christine McVie. It was so nice to see the place of the keyboard player back to an original Mac member and hearing the classics that were missing due to McVie’s vocals.  Though the past few tours Stevie has done wonders on Christine’s parts on Don't Stop but it was nice to hear the original back on there.

As Fleetwood Mac have announced their European tour dates including many UK ones I will not spoil the set list but if you have ever been to a Mac show you will not be disappointed.  All the classics are there. Three numbers had me on the verge of tears as I never thought I would live to see the day they would be sang live before my very eyes and ears.

There were a few surprises in vocals acrobatics in Stevie’s solos that I have never witnessed in the shows.  Mick gets  his drumming solo in and makes work of the stage and the crowd. And as always, John takes the quiet role but his bass playing surely makes up for it.

The graphics on the screens were also something else. I have been to many Mac shows and never seen the screen come alive so much.  As Mick says at the end, “the Mac is back!” is no understatement and without echoing other reviews too much, it is true to say that Fleetwood Mac, after a 16-year absence of Christine, is now more complete than ever.  And being a true Mac fan the way the show ends will grab you by heart.

I look forward to my shows in London and Manchester when the Mac return to the UK and I know you will not be disappointed if you have your tickets. It’s one of the must sees of 2015 and definitely a highlight of 2014.

Words and photography : Victoria Ling 

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