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October 2, 2013 by Stefanie Keeling
As one of the biggest indoor arenas in Europe, it makes sense that the Phones 4u Arena plays host to some of the biggest artists and bands that music has ever known.
Tuesday 1 October will go down in history as one of the greatest nights the city of Manchester (and certainly this young writer) has ever experienced.
Why I hear you ask? Because in the words of the legendary Mick Fleetwood – “The Mac is back!”
Rockers and hippies
A 21,000-strong crowd bubbled and buzzed with nervous excitement as the prospect of watching Fleetwood Mac perform became something of a once in a lifetime event.
But it wasn’t all shawls, scarves and floaty skirts in the audience (well, except for one member of the Phones 4u HQ team)…
A mixture of the young and somewhat older, men and women, rockers and hippies came together to enjoy one common musical love.
And that’s the beauty of this British-American band. Their impeccable back-catalogue of ethereal rock songs and intertwining love lives has captivated – and continues to captivate – millions of people for over four decades.
So what is there to say? It’s taken a lot of self-restraint to not sit here and type ‘OMG’ for 400 words, because in all honesty, that’s exactly how I and my fellow 21,000 Mac-lovers felt.
Taking the stage
As the lights dimmed and the gentle, almost teasing strumming of Second Hand News filtered through the arena, a feral applause combined with raucous cheering overpowered anything and everything else.
And then, there they were…
Bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood looking like two English countrymen in flatcaps and waistcoats. Guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham clad in jeans and a leather jacket, and lead singer Stevie Nicks, who floated to centre stage draped in black with a glittery shawl around her shoulders.
Fleetwood Mac were indeed, back.
Drawing on classic tracks from albums Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk, there was also the treat of some new material in the form of song, Sad Angel – leading Buckingham to tell a crowd which was hanging on his every word: “There’s still some chapters left in the book of Fleetwood Mac.”
Soap opera drama
Perfectly in tune and with the energy of people more than half their age, the quartet harmonised and riffed their way through the epic set list, which included the likes of The Chain, Dreams and Rhiannon.
Songs aside, the mini soap opera between former power couple Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had the arena enthralled as thousands of eyes monitored the pair’s every move.
Hand holding, hugs and exclamations of ‘I love you’ from the two sent everyone watching into a frenzy, as a lone Buckingham then went on to perform Big Love. Armed only with an acoustic guitar, the result was a three-minute standing ovation.
Other highlights included another display of bittersweet love between Nicks and Buckingham during Landslide, before quite possibly the most awesome 7-minute drum solo from Mick Fleetwood ensued.
Closing the show with Go Your Own Way, the crowd and I were treated once again when the band performed not one, but two encores to rapturous applause.
Greatest night ever
So how do I round-up this review?
Watching Fleetwood Mac at the Phones 4u Arena is something I will never forget. The only thing that could’ve topped it off would have been an appearance from former band member Christine McVie.
Although the thought of watching Songbird, Little Lies and Everywhere might have just finished me off…
For tickets to other upcoming Phones 4u Arena gigs, click here
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