Review of Rumours of Fleetwood Mac
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac at the Sage Gateshead
-a guest blog by Sarah Harrington of Tales From A Geordie Goth
I was ecstatic to be offered a press pass to attend Rumours of Fleetwood Mac on behalf of Nights Out In Newcastle. Since I am a confessed Fleetwood Mac fan considering they performed at the Sage Gateshead. Internationally renowned for it accusative quality. I anticipated for a fantastical performance.
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac have emerged as ‘The world’s ultimate homage to Fleetwood Mac‘. To date, the band have entertained over 600,000 fans worldwide. Gaining recognition from the founding member Mick Fleetwood’s, who complemented them on their ‘ extortionately emotive performance‘. Delivering Fleetwood Mac’s timeless music with renditions stretching from Peter Green London blues era to the band most iconic commercial success with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
We arrived promptly at the at 7:30 for doors opening. I was disappointed to learn meant there was either a miscommunication or understanding missing the entrance of the band had started playing. The band were part way through playing ‘Gypsy‘.
The seats were fantastic, located centrally in the row and several rows back, allowing us to see the performer comfortably. The auditorium atmosphere was very silent and relaxed with the audience’s intensely listening to the music. Then a surprising loud applause surrounded the hall. The band played ‘You Make Loving Fun‘ with Amanda Kostadinov’s who sang Christie McVies sang the lead.
Alan Huges addressed everybody highlighting that it was the fortieth anniversary since the realise of the Rumours album. The band would mainly play songs from that album. After reviewing the playlist included a few from Rumours mainly playing the iconic hits. This had no impact on the performance.
Once the started playing, ‘Isn’t It Midnight‘ was the moment, where band ascended from a good tribute into a new realm of capturing the spontaneous spirit of Fleetwood Mac and channelling into intense passionate performances. The ambience and tempo changed everybody became entranced with people moving their arms in their seat, even including myself. The stage lighting intensified the fan’s visual experience of the song with speed and colours changes reflecting the song mood.
The first half focused more on the two lead female singers of Stevie Nicks (Jess Harrow) and Christie McVie (Amanda Kostadinov’s). Both the ladies sound flawlessly identical to their counterparts and almost impossible to differentiate
Also, Alan Hughes had a major part singing and playing Lindsey Buckingham’s part. For me, Alan seemed to relaxed to match Lindsey Buckingham spontaneous and unpredictable staging. He was a too disciplined and focus on perfecting every melody. His guitar technique is superb. Alan’s vocals smoothly blended in with Amanda and Jess sounding superb.
Amanda played the keyboard skilfully complementing every note of the songs. I think once Jess left the stage for song or two. Amanda held the presence of the stage and captivating the audience with ‘You Make Loving Fun‘ was her best rendition demonstrating her crisper and songbird sound with the power to fill the auditorium.
The star of the night was Jess Harrow who dominated the stage with her presence and astounding performances of emulating Stevie Nicks. Jess sounded exactly like Stevie matching her distinctive hauntingly hoarse voice with its emotional pain. She captured Nick’s gyrating moves, use of the tambourine and romantic bohemian style were flawless. She dominated most of the show even when she had wasn’t the leader singer and during duets, her voice always blends seamless and but was the most prominent Jess performances of Seven Wonders truly demonstrated the vocal power reverberated the entire of Sage one.
As the night progressed the audience became ever more vicarious (possibly fuelled by alcohol and great music) joined in their a singing along with the band and clapping along with the melody especially ‘Tell Me Lies‘ really hit the spot with most of the audience. After each performance, the applause became louder and thunderous throughout the night with increasing number of whistling and shouting administration.
During the intermission, people were buzzing from the climax of act one and eagerly waiting for the next performance. The lights dimmed turning into more white rather the rainbow colours. Only the male musician appeared. The guitarist came closer. strumming their guitars they opened up with Green Manalishi. Setting the tone for most of the second show. With the main focus of playing Peter Green original blue hits and perform in a similar order to their release.
In this section, David Goldberg stepped from behinds his keyboard and took the role as the lead vocalist. He demonstrated the extent of his talents changing between guitars to keyboards. His vocals never matched Peter Greens style’s, his deep and gritty vocals suited the blue sound. His guitar technique was identical to Peter’s and match it chord for chord. The new sounds changed the dynamics of the show, becoming more explosive. The venue felt more intimated and transported to a dive bar in swamps of Louisiana. The sound differed to the feminine and ethereal feel of the first half. The music became darker, earthier and much rawer with heavier guitars riffs, which enticed more of the male viewers. The emphasis shifted to more of the intricate guitar chords being previously plucked and the epic guitar solos. The blues style suited the venue worked making most of the world-famous acoustics.
Each performance particularly ‘Black Magic Women‘ enthused the crowds with clapping and singing along to each word. Albatross the instrumental played the energy became more chilled and lighter with people slowly reclining back in their seats and absorbing the music. The band played a melded version of ‘Rolling Men‘ and ‘Shake Your Money Maker‘ the crowds went wild by rhythm more people getting out their seats and dancing with more dramatic gestures. One member of the crowd got so excited shouted to David Goldberg “you’re a Sexy Man”. The whole band stopped for a few seconds, he appeared in shock but flattered he politely smiled and continued playing.
The ladies returned with a costume change the lively atmosphere continued with the focus shifting back to Jess and Amanda. The audience clapped and whistled maintaining the fervid passion the highlight of the night were the band incredible performance of ‘Landside‘ and ‘The chain‘, the fans became exhilarated with the just hearing the chorus.
The last song was ‘Go Your Own Way‘, and the band worked their magic putting everybody under a spell to dance. The crowd stood up started either move and clap It ending with such a wonderful on high with everybody dancing to the medley it created such euphoric moment that continues through to the encore of ‘Tusk‘ being the most zealous performance of the night everybody moving the tribal beat of a song. Definitely my favourite with the use of the large screen the band’s performance was the most mind blowing part of the night. Sadly the night had to come to end. The band really left it their impact by sing the uplifting song with everybody bouncing and clapping, with every member having a great big smile on their face.
I love every moment of the band performance at times I forgot I watching a tribute band and felt I watching the real performances of Fleetwood, Mac, especially with the performance of Jess Harrow who encapsulated the spirit of Stevie Nicks. They really emulate the quintessence of the band and know how to work the crowd by building up the energy of the performance. I love how the show genius of Peter Green who deserves as much recognition. If possible I wold highly recommend seeing the band as you’ll be in for one fantastic night.
-a guest blog by Sarah Harrington of Tales From A Geordie Goth