Any of the animosity that may have existed during the tail end of Fleetwood Mac’s reign seems long buried, and the members appear genuinely happy to be around each other once more. Even Christine McVie, who hadn’t been part of the group for sixteen years, was back at her keyboard – completing the most potent version of Fleetwood Mac for the first time since 1997.
On this night, the fifty-first stop on their current tour, and just one day removed from the thirty-eighth anniversary of the “Rumors” album – the most successful in the group’s history thus far, the reunited seemingly enjoyed themselves as much as the more than twelve thousand in attendance did.
Fleetwood Mac had no need for an opening act to warm up their audience – instead opting for a three hour output of energy and storytelling, as each member stepped up to the microphone between songs to spin a yarn of days passed, including an extended addressing to those that remained after their lengthy set had concluded. Something so few would do.
I was surprised to see Fleetwood Mac starting off the night with “The Chain”, a song I had hoped would be played as an encore – I suppose that shows the depth of the band’s catalog. As the brilliant bass lines of that song rung out, it was evident that this would be a night to remember.
Comprised of tracks mainly selected from the group’s 1975 self-titled debut and the aforementioned “Rumors” album, released in 1977, with nothing newer than selections from 1987’s “Tango In The Night” – the band let fly with hits galore as well as lesser known material that never felt like filler. It was a well selected crop that gave each of the main members a chance to shine on the microphone and under the limelight. All the tracks you would expect to hear were played, like “Go Your Own Way”, “Dreams”, “Don’t Stop” and “Rhiannon”, but for me, hearing songs off of “Tango In The Night” was a fantastic treat as that was my introduction to the music that played a large role in my childhood memories.
Empty seats were sparse but perhaps left vacant by the many that had taken to the aisles and any concrete spot large enough to stomp down a few dance moves on. Some stood in front of the assigned seats while silhouettes could be seen swaying to the groove on the upper balconies entrance ways.
Two encores to top off a mammoth musical ride with encouraging praise of one another, a long winded romp from Stevie Nicks thanking the fans and the universe for magically willing Christine McVie back into the fold and a promise of new music from the band, who are now into their fortieth year together, left the city of Montreal on cloud nine for their commute home, probably letting them forget the chaotic charade that we all had to brave in order to get into the building – one person at a time, metal detectors and all – were they expecting a riot of silver haired delinquents to break out and run rampant about the Bell Centre? Sure, our city has a reputation for rioting just for the fun of it at times, but that was taking security a little too far.
All in all, Fleetwood Mac were simply wonderful.
Review – Kieron Yates
Photos – Steve Gerrard