Live Review: Fleetwood Mac, Angus & Julia Stone, Stonefield

9 November 2015 | 1:40 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

"Landslide's lyrics resonate with the demographic and we holler, 'I'M getting older song too,' from the hillside."

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As the bus rolls into this picturesque winery setting we already know we're about to witness something special. Fleetwood Mac's On With The Show tour sees the band performing as a five-piece for the first time since 1998, with Christine McVie completing the line-up of original members — Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks — after a 16-year absence.

There's a lot of Stevie Nicks-inspired headwear on ladies' heads, which is noted as we settle into our seats. WhaddayaMEAN the youngest Stonefield sister is now the tallest!? Holly Findlay has grown into her bass. It looks like eldest sister Amy is concentrating on vocals these days and there's a dude on drums. She wears a divine, long-sleeved black velvet catsuit with the back cut out and tells us they've dreamed of playing a gig such as this, warming up Fleetwood Mac's stage. A few songs in, Amy gets behind the kit to demonstrate her multi-tasking skills. Such ridiculous talents, these young ladies are all hair and flares for days and dad plus one adds, "A couple of them have been in the bleach bottle."

The female toilet queue is so massive that it's necessary to invade the men's. Then we're stuck in the line for Bratwursts when Angus & Julia Stone take to the stage. Julia tells us the siblings used to fall asleep listening to bad versions of Fleetwood Mac songs since their dad was in a band. When Julia brings out her trumpet during Private Lawns, and expertly plays the instrument with her guitar still strapped on, she demonstrates dazzling ability. The pair have charming personalities and now it's Angus' time to shine on their whimsical hit, Big Jet Plane; it was always gonna be touching, but his pink sunnies add an abundance of feels. Introducing her version of You're The One That I Want from the Grease soundtrack, Julia shares that, as kids, the siblings used to get sent to their grandparents where they would watch the 1978 film on VHS. Her version divides people today and surrounding audience members can be heard whinging. They've assembled a band of players from as far flung as Brooklyn and Angus & Julia Stone close with A Heartbreak, about which dad says, "I love the beat, it's all bass-y."

According to Stevie Nicks and co, it's all about zhoozhing up your mic stand with ribbons and scarves. The Green erupts when the two blonde, female Fleetwood Mac members — Nicks and McVie — take the stage looking ever so elegant. The McVie-penned You Make Loving Fun, which rolls out at song two, is dreamy and couldn't be more fun to sway to in this outdoor setting. "I can't believe you're all still here!" Buckingham teases. There's an excess of onstage banter about how cold it is and Nicks tells us they "waited until [our] summer" to bring this tour. It's all good, though, we're dancing! Everywhere's harmonies inspire, but Nicks' Rhiannon is when everything crystallises (even though the melody is adjusted significantly to accommodate a lower register for her voice these days). 

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"We have all had to bleed a lot for each other and this is what this next song celebrates and addresses" — Buckingham has a lot to say before his Bleed To Love Her. We weren't really prepared for Tusk, a most unusual version of which is presented. It calls to mind a calliope on the corner of a back street in Amsterdam yet somehow still manages to sound way ahead of its time to this day. It sounds way better on record to this pair of ears, though. Nicks' Sara glistens, but then Buckingham's solo rendition of Big Love steals the show. It's everything! And those grunty sex noises don't even come over as creepy, which is a result. Buckingham's plectrum-free playing style produces an impressively unique, organic feel. Landslide's lyrics resonate with the demographic and we holler, "I'M getting older song too," from the hillside. Never Going Back Again is another highlight, but then Go Your Own Way totally takes us there. Fleetwood's extended drum solo is interspersed by his own calls of, "Don't be shy," to increase crowd reaction. His solo could've been shorter, but, then again, we've been spoilt by drum solos already this year thanks to Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) and Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper). "Much fun was had by all," Fleetwood announces before introducing all the members of tonight's ensemble, including the band's "musical mentor" Lindsey Buckingham. Fleetwood then introduces Nicks as the "eternal romantic" and reintroduces McVie: "Our Songbird has returned".

Don't Stop ("...thinking about tomorrow...") blows us away and it's a rowdy mass sing-along. McVie closes out the evening and takes her position on the piano stool wearing fingerless gloves (yep, we get it — it's cold!). Songbird is the perfect way to close Fleetwood Mac's set with a gentle moment of reflection and appreciation that McVie rejoined her flock for our viewing pleasure after all these years.