– by Hannah Nissen
We don’t get musicians like we used to anymore. Welcome to the age of indulgence, where we consume more music than we can listen to, where we have access to playlist after playlist of ongoing electrically engineered background noise 24/7. The future does not seem to favour longevity. Where have all the classic musicians gone?
On a frightfully miserable night last Friday I found them. For the first time in 16 years, the complete Fleetwood Mac was standing on a Perth stage, with not a dry seat in the house. Talented songwriter and keyboardist Christine McVie was back after parting ways with the band in 1998, completing the post 1975 quintet in quintessential Fleetwood style. With raindrops igniting with the blue lights as they fell between the drenched crowd and the legendary band, from the moment the mythical Stevie Nicks walked out with her signature tassled tambourine, she mesmerised and magnetised the 25,000 fans as though they had never even left us.
Kicking off with ‘The Chain’ as the wind blew, Christine, ever so coolly tucked neatly and mysteriously behind her keyboard gave a timeless rendition of ‘You Make Lovin Fun,’ before Nicks spoke about an exchange between herself and her limousine driver earlier that day. “He said to me ‘it never rains in Perth…..well….we bring the rain!”
“So, let’s get this party in the rain STARTED!”
The night delivered spontaneous, torrential rain unto Domain field, but spirits were high, Lindsey Buckingham offered a sincere and authentic reflection of the bands past escapades and scandals;
“We would bleed sometimes but I think what you have to say is that below the struggles we seem to rise with a great deal of love.”
Buckinghams talent would at times mesmerise the audience in such a way that there was nothing else in the world but him and his guitar. And you could see the energy pouring out from him, as he would scream and celebrate in victory of playing that song then, and there, in front of us, it was an intense quality that I have rarely seen in a performer before. His renditions included ‘Secondhand News,’ a flawless solo of ‘Big Love’ and an eternal favourite ‘Tusk.’
The nigt saw such favourites as ‘Dreams,’ ‘Rhiannon,’ Everywhere,’ Sara,’ and ‘Landslide,’ and the fond feelings were somewhat nostalgic. Nicks was captivating. From her outrageously dark yet beautiful outfits, to her priceless top hat, it was like seeing someone that I had adored my whole life, a lot like seeing a unicorn, and my heart nearly leapt out in existential fondness when she humbly smiled, while uttering her beautiful prose “Children get older, I’m getting older too.”
From Nicks anecdote about the velvet underground, and starting out as a struggling artist in San Fran before ‘Gypsy’, to Mick Fleetwood’s electrifying bust down which in itself induced some Tesla like orb of positive energy, the sheer force of Fleetwood was out in full, and for a moment I would have believed that they could in fact, conduct this mystical, dreary night, that they could, in fact, bring the rain. Nicks even reflected on the strange connection that was made from that stadium, as the “strangest, most dramatic, most memorable rainiest night of this tour.
Overall, the night gave off love. From the distinct fondness between Nicks and Buckingham, to the subtle, humbling glances shared between the long-time aquaintences that you couldn’t pick up if you weren’t watching. Almost like the innocent, carefree friends they had been 40 years ago. There was a melancholy vale of memories that we all got to share in on, and though it was sad to see how times change, how real they stood in their skin, not unscathed, but unafraid..It was beautiful.
The leader, the poet, the songbird, the secret weapon, and Mr Fleetwood himself reminded me last Friday night that music just can’t be as poignant from a computer, sometimes what can come from one human being can be far more advanced than the best technology, and sometimes what can come from five, in a lifetime, well…it’s almost enough to shift us to our core and even control the weather itself.
Photo Credit: Matthew Picken