Fleetwood Mac at The O2, Dublin on September 20th 2013

The scalpers were out in force at the O2 for one of Dublin’s most anticipated gigs of the year, but there wasn’t a spare ticket to be seen; the crowd worked hard for these tickets, and they weren’t letting them go. As thousands of Friday night’s crowd made their way into the huge warehouse, the buzz was audibly building – this was an audience clearly excited for the return of the great Fleetwood Mac, returning to Dublin for the first time since 2009.

As Fleetwood Mac take to the stage, the place is shaking; this only increases as the band start into their opening tunes which include two of their biggest hits, The Chain and Dreams. Polished, and pretty much perfect, this is a band who are incredibly well practised at what they’re doing, and extremely comfortable onstage. A little banter follows with the band announcing a few new recordings, one of which they delight the crowd with by performing. That song is Sad Angel, and it offers a wonderful ray of light to all Fleetwood Mac fans in the crowd, suggesting that there are more great tunes to come from these guys. As Buckingham himself exclaims “There’s a few chapters left in the book of Fleetwood Mac!”

The band move on to a celebration of the album ‘Tusk’, performing a number of tracks from the album that left their label perplexed at its revealing. The heavier Not That Funny shows us exactly what side of this album the label were shocked by, while Tusk is an amazing anthem, full of huge brass riffs – a celebration indeed. Moving into Big Love, the crowd gets a chance to appreciate the amazing skill of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham as he works his magic on this acoustic version of the tune in an absolutely mesmerizing way. Stevie Nicks follows with Landslide, providing a wonderfully soft and reflective contrast to its predecessor.

The band finish up their main set with Stand Back, a Stevie Nicks song from her own album ‘The Wild Heart’, and one of their most popular tunes Go Your Own Way, leaving the crowd calling for an encore before they’ve even left the stage. They quickly return, Nicks and Buckingham hand in hand – a slightly sickly sentiment to their apparent friendship – to perform World Turning, complete with a mammoth drum solo from Mick Fleetwood, before finishing up with Don’t Stop. A second encore is on the cards, and they return one final time for Silver Springs. It’s a surprisingly slow finish with the lesser known Say Goodbye, as Nicks and Buckingham have another little love in on stage for the benefit of the crowd.

There’s something plastic about Fleetwood Mac tonight. The clichés in the crowd banter that seem almost scripted, and the constant hugs and cuddles between Buckingham and Nicks are sickly sweet and so pushed upon the crowd they become a forced act. However, there is no denying the professional, polished and hugely enjoyable show Fleetwood Mac provide. The 12,000 strong crowd are behind the band all the way, with numerous standing ovations at several points throughout the show, as well as the largest display of finger-wagging dancing and joint-twitching ever beheld within the doors of the O2. To see a band still so much at the top of their game after all this time, as well as the promise of some quality new tunes on their way, is a treat. There’s a huge amount of love on display tonight, with a top notch performance complete with enough tunes to satisfy even the most music-hungry Fleetwood fan.

Fleetwood Mac Photo Gallery

Photos: Kieran Frost