Rumours of Fleetwood Mac• The Worlds Finest Fleetwood Mac Tribute Concert•November 12, 2022• Maverik Center
Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe
RIP Christine McVie
I was so saddened to hear of the passing of Christine McVie, iconic member of Fleetwood Mac. Her songs and persona were so understated compared to the other band members. Whenever I hear one of her songs, I always think, “I really like her songs. They’re so underrated.”. And they are. Utah Concert Review never had the chance to cover a Fleetwood Mac concert or Christine McVie. I would have loved the opportunity. Recently we did have the opportunity to review Rumors of Fleetwood Mac, a tribute band that Mick Fleetwood himself endorses. At that concert when the Christine songs were performed I again thought, “I love her songs”. This is my review of that night. Rest in Peace, “Songbird”. You are greatly missed.
Rumors of Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac is a band that for whatever reason has not been to Utah in a very long time. Stevie Nicks has played solo shows here. But according to setlist.fm Fleetwood Mac hasn’t been here since 2009. So when it’s been that long, we need another way to get our Fleetwood Mac fix. That’s where Rumors of Fleetwood Mac comes in. There are two types of tribute bands. The type of band that does everything to look and sound and act like the band they’re paying tribute to. You’ll find that a lot with tribute bands for The Beatles. They have so many iconic looks that it makes sense that these bands will try to wear all the costumes from all the eras.
Then you’ll find tribute bands that don’t try to look or sound like the band at all. There’s a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers band called Petty Theft. They make no attempt to sound like or act like Tom Petty. But hey play his songs and it’s a great show. Then there’s Rumors of Fleetwood Mac.
I supposed they’ve carved out their own category. They do sound a lot like Fleetwood Mac. In fact, some might even mistake them for the real deal. They sound that good! But Jess Harwood, who sings the Stevie Nicks songs, isn’t trying to sound like Stevie Nicks. Emily Gervers isn’t trying to sound like Christine McVie even though she sings all of her songs and plays the keyboard. James Harrison plays Lindsey Buckingham’s trademark guitar solos and riffs to perfection and sings his songs impressively. Yet he isn’t trying to pretend to be Lindsey. I think I like this version the best. Rumors totally captured the essence of Fleetwood Mac without attempting to be complete replicas. It was a great way to enjoy the show.
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac took the stage, opening with “Second Hand News”. That was followed by “Dreams”. The crowd seemed surprised to hear that iconic song so early in the set. But as I heard “Never Going Back Again” start playing right after “Dreams” I knew, as I’m sure you do too, what they were doing. They were playing the album Rumours in order, in its entirety. It was a great idea but in a way a bold move. So many of Fleetwood Mac’s best and most well-known songs are from that album. “Don’t Stop”, “Go Your Own Way”, “Songbird”, “The Chain” “You Make Loving Fun”, “Gold Dust Woman”, are you getting the idea? So many humongous Fleetwood Mac songs played within the first ten songs of the show. Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome. But will there be enough heavy hitters later in the show?
The crowd was ecstatic hearing hit after hit. It’s one of the greatest albums of all time and it was really cool to hear it in order. They even included “Silver Springs”. Which was part of the Rumours recordings but not included on the album. It ended up a B-side to “Go Your Own Way”. Needless to say, the first half of the show was nonstop crowd favorites.
Following the playing of Rumours, there was a brief intermission. Any concerns about lack of big songs for the second half were quickly squashed when I heard “Gypsy” begin the next set. Rumours of Fleetwood Mac played a song made famous by Santana, “Black Magic Woman”. The song was written by Peter Green an original member of Fleetwood Mac. It was a great tribute to him.
As you might expect, “Landslide” was a showstopper. I absolutely loved hearing Jess Harwood sing this song. She has an amazing voice. She did the song justice and I think Stevie Nicks would love hearing her sing it. The Maverik Center crowd clearly had a similar opinion as I did. I didn’t have a timer out, but if I had to guess it was the longest ovation of the night.
The song “Everywhere” was a big highlight for me. In a band with such big personalities, I think Christine McVie can get lost in the shuffle. That is until you hear her songs. “Everywhere” was a huge hit with the crowd. People were dancing and singing along. It was as if we all took a collective moment and thought “Oh yeah, Christine has some great songs!”. Emily Gervers performed all of Christine McVie’s songs admirably. She has a great voice and a style of her own. I liked her vocal interpretation of the songs.
Following another great Fleetwood Mac song, Stevie’s “Rhiannon” the band left the stage. It seemed as if the audience wasn’t sure if they were coming back. They cheered anyway and sure enough Rumours of Fleetwood Mac returned to play two more songs. They ended the night with “Tusk”. I never really thought about it before but “Tusk” was a great closing song. People were on their feet clapping along to the driving beat. The crowd roared and as the band waved goodbye and left the stage I could see a number of people mouthing the word “Wow” to their friends. Wow was right.
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac are definitely worth seeing. They have figured out the perfect way to honor a great band without trying too hard to be just like them. If I was to make one suggestion, I think they should play the album Rumours in the middle of the show. Play some hits, then play Rumours, then play some hits. Similar to what U2 did on their Josua Tree 30th Anniversary tour. That being said, it was a really fun night with some amazing music.
Second Hand News
Never Going Back Again
Go Your Own Way
You Make Loving Fun
I Don’t Want to Know
Gold Dust Woman
Isn’t if Midnight
Rooms on Fire
As Long as You Follow
Black Magic Woman