Fleetwood Mac are back on Australian shores with a fresh line-up
Fleetwood Mac are no strangers to changing line-ups. Since forming in 1967, the GRAMMY-award-winning collective has featured numerous talented members and sold over 100 million records worldwide. And while the Rumours-era version of the band remains undoubtedly one of its best, it was only the 11th iteration of a band that is now on to its 19th official ensemble.
So although the departure of guitarist and frontman Lindsay Buckingham caused a media storm in late 2018, in the grand scheme of the band’s history it wasn’t as unexpected as some made it out to be. Now the legendary collective are back on Australian shores with a line-up including longtime band members Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, as well as newcomers Neil Finn and Mike Campbell.
Frontman Mick Fleetwood assured fans in a statement to the press that the newest members of the band, Crowded House frontman Finn and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Campbell, would be fantastic additions to the band’s storied “creative evolution” and that he was looking “forward to honouring that spirit on this upcoming tour.”
“Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents,” said Mick Fleetwood. “We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realise that this is the right combination to go forward within Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound.”
The band added in a joint statement that they were thrilled to welcome the musical talents of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Fleetwood Mac family. Letting audiences know that although Buckingham is no longer a part of the collective the band will still be performing all the hits that fans love to sing along to, as well as introducing some new upbeat and surprising tracks from their incredible catalogue of songs.
Considering that it was on this side of the world that the newly minted collaboration first began, it’s rather fitting that the band’s freshest members are being celebrated with a headline tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Mick Fleetwood and Neill Finn have met several times over the years, but it wasn’t until the pair had a serendipitous encounter at the New Zealand Music Awards that the two music legends had a real chance to deepen their friendship – which they cemented further when Fleetwood agreed to spend a week in a small studio playing the drums on a project Finn was working on with his family.
And it wasn’t until much later on, while he was actually preparing to play several live shows in New Zealand, that Finn received a call inviting him to join Fleetwood Mac and head over to Hawaii for a jam session with the band and Mike Campbell. "It was very strange but kind of exciting," Neil told ABC’s 7.30. Adding that, as he’d just turned 60, it was kind of like a birthday gift.
Fleetwood Mac and their recent additions have already played 62 shows in the United States and Europe, not to mention their first few Australian shows, so crowds can be sure that while the current version of Fleetwood Mac might be a new experience for long-time fans, the ensemble is more than comfortable playing together.
Set lists are never set in stone, but for the most part it seems like the show is a well-practised pièce de résistance. Hits like Little Lies, Dreams and Second Hand News are sure to impress fans, with the latter proving the perfect opportunity for Finn to show that he and Nicks can sing a spine-tingling duet together just as well, if not better, than she once did with Buckingham. Covers including Split Enz’s I Got You, Crowded House staple Don’t Dream It’s Over and Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ will also undoubtedly have the crowd on their feet, while 1982 single Hold Me emerges from the depths of the band’s discography to surprise and delight.
For more information about Fleetwood Mac’s 2019 Australian and New Zealand tour visit www.fleetwoodmac.com.