Rumours of Fleetwood Mac•October 11, 2023•Maverik Center
Reviewed and Photographed by Josilyn Wakkuri Lybbert
I’d never really thought about what exactly shaped me into the “concert junkie” that I am today, but as I made my way to the Maverik Center on October 11th to see Rumours of Fleetwood Mac, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band, I couldn’t help but think about all of the tribute band shows I went to as a young child. Somehow my little hometown in Washington pulled in a handful of Beatles tribute bands throughout the years, as well as a few others ranging from The Beach Boys, The Monkees, and Elvis.
There was something about seeing a replica of the phenomenon that those bands were in their heyday, as well as singing along to my favorite songs that made it really special! For me, tribute bands have been a way to witness things I wish I could’ve been a part of. For others, it’s an opportunity to relive the magic of their earlier years. Running through those memories, it became pretty obvious that the concert lover in me originated years ago in the unique atmosphere that only a good tribute show can bring, so it’s needless to say that I was excited to see what the night held with Rumours of Fleetwood Mac!
When I walked into the venue, I was instantly impressed by the detailed stage layout from the array of instruments to the many screens that hung at the rear of the stage. As people trickled in, there were many people who were no doubt original fans of Fleetwood Mac, while others were more from my generation, and some in between! It was fun to see the variation in the crowd, the different outfits people chose to wear, and the pure excitement that people exuded when they reached their seats, especially those in the front row!
When the lights in the arena went out, I was surprised to see Mick Fleetwood appear across the screens. He noted that while he and the original band were not there, the spirit of their music was. He wished the crowd a wonderful night, and announced, with a drumroll, “safe in the hands of our dear friends tonight, ladies and gentlemen, give a warm welcome to Rumours of Fleetwood Mac!” Okay, how cool is that? How often do you see a tribute band not only introduced but essentially endorsed by a main component of the real deal? It was a first for me!
The English-originated band made up of Allan Cosgrove, Jess Harwood, James Harrison, Sophie Worsley, Etienne Girard, Scott Poley, and Steve Perry took the stage and kicked off the show with, “Big Love”. The crowd clapped along with the song. “Warm Ways,” was the second song in, and it was dedicated to the late Christine McVie. Pictures of the legendary band member were displayed across the screen while the sweet, mellow song played. Sophie did a beautiful job performing the song!
When the intro to the song, “Dreams,” began to play, the crowd erupted in excitement for the popular hit! Some people got up and started dancing during this one, it seemed like those who did remained on their feet for the rest of the night!
After a few songs, the lights went down, then came back up and the stage glowed red. The band members stepped away from their spots, closer to the crowd, and clapped, encouraging the fans to do the same! The lights remained mostly red but were joined with flashes of white. The build-up was for the song, “The Chain,” and by the end of it, more and more people were up on their feet, jumping and dancing to the song, especially towards the end of the song when it really picks up!
“Seven Wonders,” followed and a picture of young Stevie Nicks was displayed behind the band. I was in awe of the quality of Jess’ voice – she had been phenomenal all night but it was at this point that I thought, “She is really doing Stevie justice!” I didn’t know the song before the show, but quickly added it to my playlists, and it’s been on a heavy rotation ever since! It was a fun one!
They announced that the next song would be one penned by Christine McVie, and it would be a more stripped back version of the popular hit. The version of, “Say That You Love Me,” gave off almost a folky vibe, and it sounded so good! The vocals were sweet and strong, while the band’s bit sounded so complex yet so easy to listen to all at once.
James said, “Good Evening, Salt Lake City! Thank you for coming to see us!” The crowd expressed their enthusiasm in response, someone behind me even shouted, “You’re welcome!”
“One of Lindsay’s hidden gems,” is how James introduced, “Bleed to Love Her.” I wasn’t familiar with the song prior, but fell in love with it during the performance! He wasn’t far off when he referred to it as a gem! It was beautiful and endearing and also made its way to my music library after that!
As, “Gold Dust Woman,” began to play and Jess sang, I heard someone nearby in the crowd say to a friend, “Her voice is just really beautiful.” He was right!
Before they stepped away for intermission, the band performed a stunning rendition of, “Silver Springs,” and some of the fans added to the ambience by illuminating their cell phone flashlights and swaying them to the beat of the song!
During the intermission, I met Wendy and Peter Kenchington. Wendy and Peter had seen Rumours of Fleetwood Mac six times over the course of the last two years! They came to Utah from England to visit their daughter, Rachel, and to their happy surprise, the band happened to be in town, too! I couldn’t help but smile as Peter proudly displayed a poster they had made that showed all of the stops the two of them had been to, and even better, it had just been signed by the band themselves!
Wendy told me that the second half of the show was for dancing, and she was right!
“Black Magic Woman,” “Gypsy,” and, “You Make Loving Fun,” had more and more of the previously relaxed, mellow crowd up and dancing to the iconic songs!
The emotion-provoking, “Landslide,” made a hush fall over the arena as people took it all in. When it got to the chorus, it seemed like everyone was quietly singing along in such a way that it created almost a hum sound throughout the venue rather than your typical scream-singing concert sing-along. It was beautiful!
During, “Little Lies,” the band encouraged everyone to get up on their feet and they happily complied! This performance in particular just seemed magical from the chimes to the light reflecting off of Jess’ sparkly dress as she did some signature Stevie dance moves, Sophie’s vocals, and the general charisma between all members of the band. It was just so good!
“Go Your Own Way,” was the song where Wendy’s mention of dancing really came to fruition throughout the whole crowd! It was a joyful sight! Peter and Wendy, their family, and those around them dancing having an obviously great time, stole the show for me! I love being in a place where music lovers get to see the bands that they love! There’s no experience quite like it! The energy kept up through another classic, “Everywhere,” and picked up even more for, “Don’t Stop.” I just kept thinking that there was no better way to spend a Wednesday night because, gosh, it was fun!
After leaving and then returning for an encore, Sophie paid another lovely tribute to Christine McVie and sang, “Songbird,” as a single photo of Christine lit up the dark room. It was gorgeous.
Another hit, “Rhiannon,” followed and the captivating performance had the crowd in a trance!
Earlier in the night, Wendy told me that the last song, “Tusk,” was not to be missed, and, again, she was so right! Wow! It was high energy, so fun, and the perfect song, especially for the musicians, to show off their skills! It was a spectacle to behold, and the best way to end the night!
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac provided a night of nostalgic hits and facilitated a place to have a truly great time! They’re a skillful group who couldn’t be better at what they do! I’ll remember this night fondly for years and years to come, as I know all those who were there will, too! I second Mick Fleetwood’s sentiments that he gave at the beginning of the show, Fleetwood Mac fans truly are in safe hands to experience the band’s beloved music through Rumours of Fleetwood Mac!