If you could be any singer, alive or dead, who would you be?
It’s a question I like to ask people. For a music junkie like me, how one answers this question tells me a lot about them. I mean how seriously are you going to take a guy who says he would be Justin Bieber? Maybe there’s something attractive about having a pet monkey, but wouldn’t you rather swoon like Paul McCartney – one of the greatest artists of all time?
So one Easter as I sat in the car on the Auckland motorway, bumper to bumper, barely moving and cringing with distaste at how many hours longer my trip home to New Plymouth would take than normal, I turned to my passengers and asked the question. They’re my friends for a reason. Their answers were Adele, John Lennon and Cat Stevens.
What’s my answer you ask? It’s easy. Stevie Nicks.
So you can imagine my excitement yesterday when Fleetwood Mac announced they’re returning to New Zealand in December to play Auckland’s Vector Arena. Now I’ve calmed myself down enough to write I have four words for you. YOU CAN’T MISS IT!
The band was last here in 2009 when they played New Plymouth’s Bowl of Brooklands and boy oh boy what a concert. I fancy myself as a bit of a concert connoisseur and this gig was easily at the top of the list.
It was a miserable December night for an outdoor venue but the faithful fans gathered in a sea of blue and yellow plastic rain ponchos. The rain never let up and the natural grass amphitheatre quickly became mud. But no worries, the crowd never lost faith and they had good reason to put up with the conditions because as soon as Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood hit the stage the weather was the last thing on their mind for the next three hours.
I still remember it like it was yesterday. Starting off with Monday Morning, The Chain and Dreams, the crowd was whooping and singing every word within seconds. And it didn’t let up the whole set. Nicks is exactly as you’d imagine, wearing a sparkly ‘gyspy’ dress and shaking her body like a true hippy. Buckingham has amazing stage presence, strumming that guitar like his life depended on it. Often the drummer gets lost on stage, but not Fleetwood, he’s as much a part of the performance as the others.
They sang the classics and backed each other up in their solo pieces. Tusk, was perfectly timed. As the sky opened up people stomped their feet in the mud dancing like mad, every time one slipped onto their bum the people around cheered louder and sang louder.
Everyone stood dead still as ex-lovers Nicks and Buckingham sang a chilling rendition of Landslide, a song Nicks wrote when their long relationship was coming to an end, to each other from separate ends of the stage. All before coming together and wrapping up with upbeat crowd favourite Go Your Own Way and power ballad Silver Springs.
It took about three days to wash the mud out of my clothes, but every scrub was worth it.
Fleetwood Mac are a must see in concert so take my advice and go, I’ll see you there!