By Jake Ebdale
Artist: Mick Fleetwood Blues Band
Date / Venue: Thursday March 31st, 2016 - ASB Theatre, Auckland
Not even six months after being here with Fleetwood Mac, the man behind it all, Mick Fleetwood came back, seemingly unable to stay away from our hemisphere’s wondrous beauty.
Fleetwood, with his wonderful blues band which includes ex-Fleetwood member Rick Vito (though not the incarnation you’re thinking of – it was the early 90s one), stayed on stage for close to two hours, ripping through a number of Peter Green-era tunes, namely ‘Looking for Somebody’ and a blistering ‘Oh Well’ that had everyone on their feet. We got a few undercooked boogie woogie tunes too, which were OK until they seemed to blend into one unstructured jam.
The real cream of it came in the form of a stretched out ‘Black Magic Woman’, where Vito truly had a chance to show off his prowess on the guitar with perfectly formed blues runs and some wild distorted soloing. Mick’s big moment was the Buckingham/Nicks-era jam ‘World Turning’, which that band also did last year.
Fleetwood, a tall, fit-looking 68-year-old, proved why he was recently named in the top 100 drummers of all time (and he should’ve been higher). The guy’s pure groove, feel, and commitment to the kit – Fleetwood yipping and yapping throughout and extended drum off – was excellent, exemplary of why he’s lasted so long in the business.
Closing with a lovely, swaying version of ‘Albatross’, the gig was nothing short of spectacular, a perfect treat for Fleetwood Mac fans. I can’t understate how great Rick Vito, not to mention bassist Lenny Castellanos and multi-instrumentalist Mark Johnstone. But the real star was, of course, Mick. When hasn’t it been that way?
“In this crazy world,” said Fleetwood, bending down at the mic, “don’t forget to be kind to one another. Goodnight.”