A personal account of the Fleetwood Mac show at the O2 in London on Friday 27th Sept 2013 as well as the meet n’ greet with Mick Fleetwood before the show commences……..
Mick Fleetwood – Meet & Greet
The meet n’ greet was scheduled at 17.00, waited for the outside the hall for the longest time whilst the band completed their sound check (supposedly there were having technical issues), so after about hour we get led into the hall and take our seats at the foot of the stage, Mick comes out and welcome us, apologies for the lateness and invites us all up on the stage for a chat and photos, for some reason I was first in the queue (of about 40 people), so I took the stage, stood in the corner by his drum kit, right next to the set list!, which of course hadn’t changed . One thing I noticed straight away was how beautiful Mick’s drum kit is, all brass and well polished, a thing of beauty. Mick then starts talking, a little rambling, mainly talking about his ‘new’ love of coffee as he asks his assistant for a refill, he talked about preferring coffee now instead of alcohol and that for many years his body rebelled against coffee, but now his body lives for coffee, also told us a nice story about when he was trying to court Jenny Boyd back in the mid-sixties that he used to wait for her to finish school whilst he sat in a coffee shop! The photos then start so I am first, walk over to the drum kit with Mick, I thank him for taking the time to do this and he thanks me for coming, two shots and then the next person, so I exit the stage and take my seat. Mick’s assistance is now collecting items for Mick to sign, I hand over two CD booklets, others have their VIP laminate and someone had the Tusk LP. Once Mick has finished the photos, he then comes down to the floor by the foot of the stage to start signing and taking questions. Again I am first with a question…….
Me: “As Chris appeared at the last show, did you record the show and will you release the show on DVD and audio, as we will buy it!”
Mick: No, he rambled about HD and that the audio was recorded and something will end up on YouTube, but no official recording will be made available”
Other questions were taken, one question/comment stayed with me and that was please tell Lindsey that he needs to tour the UK, Mick replied that it was intended, but the backing guitarist was very poorly and they couldn’t reschedule, and that was that, he were given back our signed items and led out the main concourse ready for the show. To sum up this section of the night, Mick came across as very likeable, genuine and interested that we had a good time, I felt is was defiantly worth the money as a potential one time only event, now to roll on the show…….
Photos from Show
So I take my seat, middle section A2, row G, so you would think seven rows from the stage, no it was actually the eighth row, row FF was inserted (not sure why), was a little disappointed that I was further away then I expected, now I knew that we were not getting front few rows, but row 8 was a little disappointing, I had the aisle seat so had opportunity to get up as and when I felt the need. The band took the stage and the normal set list commenced, opened with Second Hand News and then the rest, I got a few pictures (see above), the Lindsey pictures were pretty good, but the Stevie shots was a little over exposed (my fault for bringing a phone camera and not a proper camera). The show continued as the standard set list dictates, thought Sad Angel was really good live, lots more guitar sections, the Tusk section was great (Not That Funny, Tusk, Sisters and Sara), though Sisters was OK, but how do you top the ’82 version, Stevie actually says that the band last played this live in 1980 (she really needs a band history lesson, I’ll volunteer!!). Sara was really nice, lovely gentle guitar. Big Love was intense and awesome, where Landslide and Never Going Back Again were gentle and sweet. Mick and John rejoined with the small drum kit for Without You, Stevie rambled about the history of Without You, being lost twice, stolen on cassette, bootlegged, returned, lost and then found on YouTube, re-recorded recently and that the BuckinghamNicks thing was a really lucky point in their careers that Fleetwood spotted Lindsey and Lindsey took Stevie with him (she seems to have the story correct now). The song was better live then the studio version, next up was Gypsy and this was excellent, the small drum kit makes a big difference, more space for the vocals and the sublime guitar to shine. Back to the big drums for Eyes of The World and I’m So Afraid, very intense and great. Standback was OK, but I always wondered why this song is in the set, Lindsey appears to play the guitar, but I think he is faking it, the backing guitarist is playing the riffs. (One big notable difference this year over 2003 and 2009 is that backing players, Brett, Neal, Lori and Sharon are very much in the shadows on the stage, way off into the back, seems the band want to make a statement that this show is about Mick, John, Stevie and Lindsey only!)
Next up is GYOW (always tinged with a little sadness as the show is wrapping), Lindsey was on fire, did the whole shuffling down to the audience to let them strum his guitar. First encore and then World Turning, Mick has toned down the excessive bits now, stays behind his drum kit and does an awesome drum solo whilst Lindsey lies on the side on the stage. After that a brief pause and some commotion on Stevie’s side of the stage, loads of roadies appear and leave behind a keyboard setup, Mick and Lindsey joke about what’s happening and then Ms Christine McVie takes the stage and kicks into Don’t Stop, a phenomenal performance, it was fantastic seeing all five on stage and hearing the keyboards and Christine’s vocals, a great closer, the band with Chris takes their bows and then leave again, at this stage I turn around and see huge sections of the crowd leaving (what a waste, we have two songs left), the band return for Silver Springs, Mick and John leave and Stevie and Lindsey perform Say Goodbye, a nice touching end to a fantastic evening, final bows from Mick, John, Lindsey and Stevie, then Stevie does a beautiful little speech of us being her ‘Dream Catchers’ where she agonises over songs, releases them to us, we build our lives around the songs and then we give them back on nights like tonight, this was a lovely close to the night, Mick finishes with his thanks and then that’s it.
So, a fantastic night, the meet n’ greet was great, the show awesome, the setlist OK (I’m over exposed, listened to too many bootlegs and seen too many shows with the same bulk of songs), Lindsey was great as usual, Mick was very genuine and comes across as a great guy, Christine’s appearance was fantastic, but the highlight, the real highlight for me tonight, was Stevie, she was so sweet in her little rambling speeches, I have found a love for her again that I thought had gone, a great night full of memories till hopefully the next time……
Fleetwood Mac Tourbook and Photo