It’s been quite a month in the world of Fleetwood Mac. The longstanding rock band started October off with the first dates of their current tour, introducing North American audiences to a new look version of the group with Crowded House/Split Enz member Neil Finn and former Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell filling in the massive hole left by the ouster of Lindsey Buckingham. Then came the announcement that Buckingham was suing his former bandmates for his expulsion from the fold earlier this year, citing a loss of tour revenues and breach of oral contract.
The online furore and potential legal wranglings haven’t served to dull the Mac’s momentum at all, as the group has just announced dates for three European shows, including stops at Dublin’s RDS Arena and London’s Wembley Stadium (tickets) in June of 2019.
What should make this announcement doubly exciting is news that the group has been diving deep into their catalogue, plucking out gems from the years before Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the fold in 1974. And they’ve thrown in a couple of surprises with tunes from Finn’s past to boot.
But as the tour moves outside the U.S. and Canada, we’d like to see the Mac move outside their comfort zone a bit and make some changes to their current setlist. We know you’ve got to play the hits for the punters, but for us true believers, why not play a little more to the strengths of the band?
Rather than the old standby 'I Got You,' drop in a version of 'Message To My Girl’, a brilliant 1983 track that sounds more like Fleetwood Mac than anything else in the Split Enz catalogue. The same goes for the Crowded House favourite 'Weather With You’, a Mac-like tune that would make great use of the backing vocals of Nicks and Christine McVie. And, with a guitar player of Campbell’s calibre standing on stage every night, they could toss out the flashy 'Oh Well' and instead go for a meatier, heavier Peter Green-penned hit 'The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)’.
As for the Petty tribute that the band has been playing in their encores, there’s simply no logic to the choice of 'Free Fallin’ when you could easily do a version of 'Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around' with Christine McVie filling in for the late rocker. We’d also like to hear some better showcases for Christine’s dulcet vocals, including the lovely 'Show Me A Smile' from Future Games, her first album with the band and the groovy ‘Homeward Bound’ from 1972’s Bare Trees. Throw in a few familiar favourites left off the North American setlists and we could have a Fleetwood Mac show for the ages…
The dream set-list:
I Don’t Want To Know
Say You Love Me
Message To My Girl
Tell Me All The Things You Do
Show Me A Smile
Think About Me
Weather With You
Gold Dust Woman
The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)
You Make Loving Fun
Go Your Own Way
Don’t Dream It’s Over
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
Fleetwood Mac June tour dates. Tickets go on sale Friday 26 October at 9am.
06 - Berlin, Waldbühne DE
13 - Dublin, RDS Arena, IE
16 - London, Wembley Stadium (tickets)