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London, United Kingdom  Wembley Arena  November 6, 2009

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Keeps Getting Better

Written by Michele Dec 08, 2009 at 01:44 PM
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Well, I attended this show hoping against hope that there might be some glimpse of Christine. There was none, but I did hear the band acknowledge her, which was itself quite heartwarming.

When Lindsey first addressed the crowd he said he wanted to say hello to all of their friends in the audience, especially Christine. He said, "We love you."

When Stevie dedicated Landslide she said that she wanted it to be joyous not sad. And even though she was feeling joyous she wanted Christine to know that she misses her every day. She misses how funny she is and how brilliant it feels to be in her presence.

I thought Mick would mention Chris, when he took the mic at the end of the show, but he didn't. Instead, he said he had the flu and that all of them were staying away from him and he felt devastated by the exclusion. He was speaking at Lindsey's mic and had to pull it up to talk. He was befuddled by the problem, exclaiming: "Lindsey can't be this short!"

Stevie ended the show by saying that they went "balls to the walls" and that it was a great rock and roll. I would have to agree with her assessment.

As they took the stage, I noticed that Lindsey was in his red shirt again. So, I didn't get to witness that Watchdevil blue of his in person.

How did that guy manage to tell Christine they loved her without adding, "but you burned your bridges?"

After Lindsey acknowledged Christine's presence, of course I couldn't help woindering where she might be sitting. I tried to see of they fixed their gaze at any particular part of the audience -- assuming they even knew where she was sitting.

I got the feeling she was out towards the center somewhere, but some people around me thought she was sitting to the side on Stevie's side of the stage. They kept pointing an enthusiastic woman out. She wore part of her hair flipped to the side with a red/blue ribbon about it. It reminds me of a style Chris wore in her younger days. I didn't think this woman was her, but it would be lovely if it was, because that lady was really enjoying the show. She was animated, but then so were Lindsey and Stevie.

After saying "We love you" to Christine, Lindsey launched into his forward moving speech and the bit about not having a new album out "yet." John and Stevie always express their silent disagreement during this little moment.

When Stevie introduces Gypsy she says that because they opened for Hendrix to a crowd of 75,000 and Joplin with a crowd of 30,000, when they joined Fleetwood Mac, they did so with just a little bit of confidence. She said that after not seeing Lindsey for 2 years, the drummer in Fritz called her because Lindsey does not like to make phone calls. She said this song harks back to their little house, to their bedroom "and to the Gypsy that he and I love." So, Lindsey is loving the gypsy too? Well, I did kind of get that impression from Donovan's song, but nice to have her concur.

She says that when she and Lindsey opened for others, they were number 8 on the list, but the benefit of being last is that they got to watch everyone else and to learn from them.

Lindsey started off the show biting his nails, as if he had a catch or hang nail on one of his fingers. He turned that into high comedy by filing his nails before Big Love started. When the audience laughed, he stretched out a hand, asking them to wait just a moment, while he finished.

Stevie dedicated Landslide to Christine by saying it was a joyous moment, not a sad one. But I did sense a sadness in her eyes anyway. At the end when they took their bow, Lindsey walked away quickly while she was still facing him. When he got his guitar and started the next song, the opening notes were unfamiliar to me and I wondered if they had added a surprise song to the setlist. Maybe for Christine? Silly me. The song was just NGBA, with a slow, cautious intro. Lindsey actually played that beginning like he wasn't sure what he was doing. But then he broke out into the familiar tune and everyone responded.

I cannot tell you how rousing and intimate their interaction on both Sara and Storms is now. When they turn their mics towards each other and lock eyes, it might not be real romance, but it is two bandmates saying, "let's give this all the emotion we have, for the crowd." It's a couple, acting in tandem to not only harmonize, but to create a feeling, a mood. And I've got to tell you, it works. So maybe the hug is staged, but even the way they commit to the singing is moving all by itself.

Someone here already brought us pictures of Lindsey and John doing a little jamming together, but it happened a lot, during 3 or 4 songs. That's something I hadn't noticed during the American leg. In those shows, John always did smile at Lindsey and point after "Oh Well" and he did the same this time. Lindsey also pointed back at John and Mick.

I was a little nervous about SYLM because of Christine, but they did it well and with intense smiles. They just looked very happy. The song rocked and I even heard a group of people singing it on the way back to Wembley Station. Chris should give them a gold star.

When Mick introduced the band, he said that Stevie had to put up with the three of them and that she was outnumbered, but a trooper. He introduced her as Stephanie Nicks and then said "Stevie" too. Thank goodness: that eliminated certain confusion.

Before the first encore, I saw Lindsey and Stevie standing together. He was already holding her hand and she was whispering something in his ear, before they started to walk out to the stage. When they got to the center, Lindsey took her gloved hand and pretended to wipe the sweat off of his shirt with it. She gave a look of mock consternation and rung her hand, as if to rid it of fake perspiration. It was pretty cute.

I can't resist the ship and must say that Lindsey kissed Stevie's head 3 different times. He kissed her twice when they all took their first bow as a group and then when they pulled apart at the end, to say their goodbyes to the audience, he cupped her head in his hand and kissed her again, as if this really was the end of the tour and he might not be seeing her for awhile. Guys, remember Australia and New Zealand?

When Stevie started her intro to Storms, she said that they started rehearsals on January 5 and did 53 shows in America and I think she said she thought they did 16 in Europe. When she discussed wanting to do Storms for the first time, it made me wish that Lindsey would dust off one that he's never done before too. He just got off a solo tour with new songs, but I still wish he'd take an old one that's been overlooked (i.e. TITN) and give it to us.

Speaking of the Tango album, he started groaning during Oh Well in a way that reminded me of his Big Love grunts. The longer the tour continues, the more primal it gets.

When they all took their bow, they were standing in a line as always, but then Mick stood apart from them and came around and bowed towards them, instead of with them. I didn't understand it then, but he later explained they didn't want to be near him because he had the flu.

Lindsey thanked the audience for being at the last show of their tour. Um, someone needs to tell them they have a few dates scheduled in December.

Lindsey left the stage. Stevie came to the mic gleefully and said they had gone "balls to the walls." She stayed behind to here Mick and she covered her nose with her paws again. Very playful.

Oh, and as the crowd dispersed, someone (maybe a radio station) was playing Need Your Love So Bad over loud speakers. That was a nice touch.

Very bouyant. A beautiful show. Well worth the trip, despite the rain and the cold and the snotty All Access guy.

I would go anywhere, anywhere. Ask me and I'm there.
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Overall Rating

Still rocking with passion

Written by David Norman Nov 08, 2009 at 11:24 AM
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

6 years after I last saw them at Wembley Arena, I wasn't sure what to expect. What Fleetwood Mac delivered exceeded my expectations: there were most of their best songs, several of them freshly wrapped, and an atmosphere of pulsating passion and joy. This was a gig that really rocked and resonated with an audience scanning the spectrum from teens to the same generation as the band.

Lindsey Buckingham was bathed in sweat and his voice and back were flagging by the end after an electifying performance; Stevie Nicks shimmered beneath her shawls and bewitched us again; Mick Fleetwood overcame a bout of flu to rally the faithful with a virtuoso drum solo during the encore; and John McVie just did his thing flawlessly.

A superb finish to the European tour!
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