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Watch Fleetwood Mac perform ‘The Chain’ and ‘Gypsy’ with Neil Finn

Watch Fleetwood Mac perform The Chain will Neil Finn

Fleeetwood Mac appeared on US TV’s Ellen show yesterday, debuting their new line-up which features Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

The band played two tracks: ‘The Chain’ and ‘Gypsy’. You can watch both below. Let SDE know what you thought of the performances and whether the new personnel worked, by leaving a comment below!

57 responses to Watch Fleetwood Mac perform ‘The Chain’ and ‘Gypsy’ with Neil Finn

  1. Helmut says:

    Fleetwood Mac was a british blues band led by Peter Green. When he left, the remaining band struggled, went to America and tried different people to replace him. But with very limited success. In Europe they were nearly forgotten. That only changed, when Buckingham/Nicks appeared. Listen to their own album from 1973 and also some existing live recordings of later FM-songs and it’s obvious, that “Fleetwood Mac” in fact became “Buckingham/Nicks”. Their unique sound defined all those great FM-albums and also added to the songs of Christine McVie. She never wrote a huge hit without Buckingham before or in between. And when she left, she wasn’t even replaced…. So this line up is no longer “Buckingham/Nicks” – and that is the problem.
    The new line up has good players – no doubt. It’s a bit like “Supertramp”. When Roger Hodgson left that band, “Supertramp” kept the name and filled the big halls – but in the end people were dissappointed, when Hodgson’s unique voice and his songs weren’t there or sung by some additional player , btw also in that case a musician from “Crowded House”….

  2. This was actually pretty, pretty, pretty good. MUCH better than the Behind The Mask line-up.
    (Neil Finn sounds excellent, more excellent than Stevie Nicks? Oh yes)

  3. Terry Duckworth says:

    Fleetwood Mac has often been referred to as a Rock ‘N’ Roll ‘soap opera’.
    Well, they now certainly do mirror Coronation Street and what it has become.
    Both once great, both once iconic, both once filled with great players and characters…
    But now both a running joke and well past it.

  4. tom says:

    I love Fleetwood Mac but am no connoisseur and thought that was great…especially loved those middle aged women dancing in the audience but that could jut be my age!

  5. Paul Taylor says:

    It took two people (Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart) to replace Steve Marriott in The Small Faces so that phenomenon is nothing new. As much as I gawped when this was originally announced (I’m a huge Split Enz/Crowded House fan) I think Neil might freshen things up a bit. Nobody is indispensable

    • Jake says:

      And I think people tend to forget FM was originally, and for many years, a two-guitar band, often with differing styles between the two. So I’m not sure why some people seem to want go down this “it takes two people to replace Lindsey” slam as if it’s so unusual. In the whole history of the band, it’s not.

      From things I’ve been reading about Mick recently, he seems kind of keen to shine a light on the pre-Buckingham/Nicks era. No doubt the recent loses of some former band members got him a bit nostalgic. I think in one interview he alluded to a new release or box set focusing on the early years.

      The setlist for the upcoming tour will be interesting. If you see more early-era songs in the setlist, the choice of two guitarists wasn’t so much about it taking two to replace Lindsey, but a desire to reconnect with their early history. (Whether audiences want that is another story.)

      Even going back to The Dance, there were more than just the five core members on stage. There was an extra guitarist, keyboardist and percussionist. I assume that was endorsed by Lindsey, so even he recognized that, in a live setting, it was going to take more than just him to recreate the songs as closely as possible.

      Granted, Lindsey is amazing. Soooo under-rated. They’ll miss his quirkiness especially if they decide to do a new album.

      • Nick Love says:

        Yeah a lot of people consider the Lindsay Buckingham/one guitarist era to be a badge of honor for him but when he was hired initially they didn’t know that Bob Welch was leaving, so it was initially supposed to be a two guitarist line up at the time. Also, during the Then Play On era, the lineup had three guitarists (Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan) and Peter Green was inarguably a more skilled and musical guitarist than Buckingham, yet I don’t see anyone criticizing him for having two additional guitarists on board.

      • jd says:

        3 guitarists to replace Lindsey. There was a 3rd guitarist in the background playing acoustic + a 2nd keyboardist on the opposite side. I found it lacking energy wise (’cause Lindsey was the focal point of the group) and his unique voice and guitar playing style. It was fine but sounded like a good cover band. I won’t be buying a ticket that’s for sure.

    • Albert says:

      Nobody is indispensable, unless they’re the great John Bonham.

  6. Tom says:

    I am curious about the personnel. Unless I am mistaken, they added a third guitarist, as mentioned, an extra keyboard and two extra female singers not mentioned in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Fleetwood_Mac_members
    to produce this tape. It reminds me of Ian Anderson’s current production of Thick As A Brick, where he gets band members to come in and help sing some of his old parts. I understand the desire to do this and they get A+++ for effort but… the clock is so vicious and unforgiving.

  7. Ken.e says:

    Neil and Mike did very well. Totally impressed as Neil sounded very much like Lindsay (which I didn’t expect him to emulate him to that degree) and Mike is a great guitar player. Wait until the loosen up a bit.
    I wonder if they’ll do Oh Well. Tom Petty does a great job of it on his 4CD live set. I know when FM did it with Lindsay I was very disappointed with it.

  8. Neil says:

    Give the new band line-up a break!

    It was only their first performance in front of an audience.

    I’m sure that after a few performances they will really start to gel and deliver some great shows.

    Yeah, Lindsay is not there, I can understand why some people are upset about that, but things in life inevitably change so let’s just enjoy the moment….

  9. David Stanley says:

    Many are being loyal to Lindsey but he isn’t exactly loyal to the band or the FM fans, preferring probably rightly to do his own tour playing his own material (and flogging a new compilation). Yes, Lindsey made “magic” with the FM recorded sound, but this is a tour and not the making of a new album. The band will be playing songs that have already been produced and arranged, so the real judgment should be in what these two very accomplished and distinct talents bring to that material in a live setting. And if they play “Into Temptation”, “It’s Only Natural”, “Runnin’ Down a Dream” or other song associated with the new players, that would be a great bonus.

  10. CJ says:

    I actually think Neil Finn sounds more like Lyndsey Buckingham than Lyndsey Buckingham has in the last couple decades. That said, “The Chain,” especially, feels a bit under-rehearsed–like they are still trying to hit all their cues. I’d be curious to see how they sound as a group after they’ve been playing out for a few months.

    • Chris Squires says:

      Ha that reminds me what someone said about Robert Reed sounding more like Mike Oldfield than Mike Oldfield has done in 35 years.

      Give this lot a few months and it will be waaaay better. It’s not as if Neil is a novice at this game. He knows his chops.

  11. Ann Jenson says:

    Just awful. Please, hang it up. I love Mike Campbell. I love the work that he did with Petty, and I love the songwriting he did with other artists like Don Henley. But his guitar sound in no way matches the guitar sound of the Buckingham/Nicks era of Fleetwood Mac. I find it funny that the Mac had to hire 2 guitarists each time that Lindsey left the band. He covered that much musical ground as a musician. And he covers even more ground as a producer and songwriter when they go into the studio. I 100% agree with Lindsey. Fleetwood Mac has “lost their way.” Instead of getting in the studio and trying to create something new and fresh, they have now become a Vegas show. I love Stevie’s voice, but she is one of the most shallow and insecure artists in the history of the music business. Her entire self esteem is based on the amount of albums she sells. Instead of approaching music as a form of art where an artist must create and has no other choice, Stevie can’t see the point of creating a new album if it will only sell 250,000 copies. Whereas real artists like Lindsey, Neil Young, Bowie (if he were still living), Springsteen, etc., create new music because they have to. I will never forget seeing Nicks on her knees in the “Destiny Rules” DVD, literally “praying to the commercial Gods” because she was so insecure about whether or not “Say You Will” would sell in large numbers. Who the hell cares? Aren’t you past the money and fame? As Bowie once said, the only purpose of financial success is that it gives you more artistic freedom in your life to do what you want creatively. It gives you the ability to take more risks and chances.

  12. RJS says:

    I like Tango in the Night and a couple of their seventies albums but they’re not a band I would go and see live but nonetheless, musically I think they sound fine here with Stevie Nicks’ voice, particularly on Gypsy, being the weakest link.

  13. Jake says:

    I don’t think afternoon TV shows like these are the best venue for a lot of bands. The behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into making talk shows kind of kills the naturalness that a band has during their own shows. I know all bands are supposed to be professional, but like athletes, they can be creatures of habit and like their pre-performance routines which are totally out the window when taping for a TV show.

    Plus, it takes time to gel as a band in general and they’re still getting used to each other.

    So I’m not going to judge them too harshly on this. I didn’t think it was bad, but it didn’t wow me either. Although I love the song Gypsy and I wouldn’t have ever bet that would be a song they’d play on national TV when there are so many other better-known songs that you’d think would have been obvious choices.

    I’m not really familiar with Neil’s past work, but I thought Mike was an inspired choice. As others have said, the combo of the two kind of feels like they can cover Lindsey… Neil with the vocals (and guitar) and Mike primarily with the guitar chores. I actually think this is going to be a great line-up. But sticking them on a daytime talk show isn’t likely to bring out their best, or the best in just about any other band.

  14. Furniture Music says:

    I enjoyed these clips. I think Neil Finn and Mike Campbell do kind of make one Lindsay Buckingham. It will never be like it used to be but I am glad they are still playing.

  15. Not Available says:

    At some point, people will realise that Fleetwood Mac Is Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, and whoever they decide to have play with them. The band has continuously been evolving right from the start. This performance however, looks like a band that should have retired LONG ago. Stevie looks fat and has no power left in her voice. No one would have noticed if Christine wasn’t there. And Neil Finn being in this line-up really makes me question the credibility of a musician who I’ve really loved, up until this. This is a sad, (hopefully) last gasp.

    • Chris Squires says:

      “Stevie looks fat”

      Whoa there sunshine – Stevie Nicks is a 70 year old lady who is still out there doing stuff that makes many people happy. Been there, done that kinda girl. She can be whatever she bloody well wants to be. Without trying to please people who have little else to say but comment on weight.

      From first impressions the line-up and music was a lot better than I thought it would be all things considered and a cold TV studio is NEVER going to be the place to show something like this off to it’s best.
      Neil was also a good fit and the whole thing brought a smile to my face. But what do I know. I’m fat.

  16. The Golden Age Of The Mac?! says:

    I disagree with everything the naysayers have nayed.

    I`m a fan of Lyndsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac. Kinda like Crowded House a lot and have always been a fan of Mike Cambell`s guitar playing. I also think MC will nail and surpass LB`s guitar parts and improve on them. Neil Finn is a great singer himself as proved on those two clips.

    Those going to the tour dates are in for a treat, listen without predjudice. I won`t be going, I`ve given up on the enormodomes which are almost as bad as Customs Control at airports for being treated like cattle. I think I`ve just contradicted myself, `treat`, `cattle`, but I think you know what I mean.

    I enjoyed those two clips and will look forward to a Bluray release from the tour.

    The downside is of course Lyndsey not being with The Mac, and so we may never get a FM album of new material again
    BUT who knows. Neil Finn is a great musician and songwriter, maybe he will inspire SN & CMc to write new and good material.

    The upside, we should get another LB studio album to go with his already great discography and fans get the chance to see both on tour.

  17. Paul says:

    OH GOD!!!!! this is awful and a travesty Neil Finn is trying too hard to sound like Lindsey Buckingham and failing miserably. As for Stevie Nicks as much as I still love her she cant sing anymore.. This is even worse than the Rick Vito and Billy Burnette Lineup. Neil Finn should go back to being Neil Finn and not a Lindsey Wannabe

    • Wayne Klein says:

      I don’t think that Neil is trying to sound like Lindsey at all. It’s clearly and recognizably Neil Finn from the first moment of the song.

  18. Will W says:

    These are interesting performances, love Fleetwood Mac, Crowded House and TP & The Heartbreakers, but this didn’t quite gel for me. I thought Stevie was in fine voice, but Neil Finn needed more confidence singing the iconic songs. Mike Campbell appeared a little unsure on The Chain. I don’t think Lindsey is FM, but the new boys didn’t quite fill his position in the band. I really hope they continue to rehearse and succeed as a line up.

  19. The Geordie Expat says:

    Stevie obviously needs a little more rehearsal time. . .
    Mr Finn sounds surprisingly good – singing someone elses songs.
    Did Mike Campbell break a string ? Or did he just break out that exquisite ‘burst for the solo?

  20. Jon says:

    Wow…amazed at all the comments…”this is not Fleetwood Mac”….the band is more then just Lindsey. They enjoy touring and performing so why not continue the band. It’s rather insulting to the band that people are saying “Fleetwood Mac without Lindsey is not Fleetwood Mac”. They have a right to continue in any manner they wish, just because one band member quits doesn’t mean they lose their right to continue on. If you don’t care for FM without Lindsey simply don’t go. I don’t think they would mind your absence. Nick does really well with the FM material as evidenced by their great performance on Ellen.

  21. Bill Light says:

    I thought Mike ‘s outro guitar solo on the Chain was very tentative.

  22. TheFrenchDuke79 says:

    Lots of opinions on here as always and it’s always good to read. I really like Fleetwood Mac although I wouldn’t say I love them. My first exposure to them was Tango in the Night so LB and his sound really makes the Mac for me but I appreciate that everyone comes from different perspectives, experiences and histories with a band/artist.

    This situation is really a Curate’s egg though as far as I can see. In my opinion, Fleetwood Mac lose so much from the absence of LB. They gain a lot though if you like Neil Finn or his body of work. You’d get to see a Supergroup which would be fantastic and I understand why people like it. Even as a neutral you could be interested if you really like Neil Finn. Personally I don’t like Neil Finn or Crowded House. That’s just my taste but in that lies the rub. This change leaves me very very cold and, from my conversations with music fans I know, many people feel like this.

    Someone else said on here that you wouldn’t pay to see the Stones if Keith wasn’t there but I think you might if Keith was replaced temporarily by Eric Clapton. It’d be a fascinating dynamic. However, that really depends on how much you like Clapton or Keith.

    Interesting times.

    • The Golden Age Of _ _ _ _ _ _ ` _ says:

      Considering someone is backing up Keith on guitar your comment about replacing him is redundant.

    • TheProgster says:

      I agree with you to some extent even if you don’t care much for Neil Finn who is without any doubt a very talented musician that is perfectly capable of merging into this band…and also Mike Campbell although not a singer is very good on knocking out some stonking good riffs and licks…No neither are not going to be like Lindsey but if they do record any new music along with Fleetwood Mac then it could prove to be very interesting to hear.
      Fans of Lindsey need not worry just follow his solo stuff he will do both his music from Fleetwood and his solo offerings in concert…As far as paying to see Keith Richards I wouldn’t even go if it was free he’s not that good the stones are just a rock n roll band with no textures and layers like Fleetwood Mac.

  23. andrew R says:

    Bills to pay for all of them, just like the rest of us i suppose ?
    Modern world no-one has the dignity to turn an offer down
    You are branded a fool if you won’t sell your soul .
    And so…

  24. Nick Love says:

    Great to hear them play but as much more of a Neil Finn fan (and his brother Tim) than Fleetwood Mac I’m a little concerned about what it will do to his legacy. He has played on a plethora of brilliant albums (Time and Tide, Temple of Low Men, Woodface, Together Alone, Finn Brothers, Try Whistling This) but I’m afraid he will forever be known to the masses as that guy who played in Fleetwood Mac after Lindsey left again.

  25. Mick Lynch says:

    Agree fully with most of the comments. When Lindsey left in 1987, their next two albums weren’t great. its no coincidence that when they joined in 1975, the white album took them to another level. That’s the reason he’s gone. they’ve only had one studio this century. Mick wants to tour the back catalogue whereas Lindsey is a musician and wants new material…and so do the fans. Looking forward to his solo anthology and tour. I wont be going to see FM again. Fleetwood Muck more like.

  26. Alan B says:

    Talking of Neil Finn. I pre ordered his latest CD (with his son Liam) with a signed postcard from his official web store. Nearly 2 weeks after its release date they dispatched it and it arrived today without any signed postcard. So I’ve waited nearly 2 weeks after its release to receive only the bog standard, buy it anywhere CD. I am not amused. Waiting on a reply from Music Glue who handle the store. And to top it all they charged £2.90 postage to send a CD – via snail mail. They’ll be making more profit off the postage than the CD itself. You can post an LP for that.

    • Nick Love says:

      Did you notice Mick Fleetwood drums on several tracks? I believe the Neil/Mick connection is what got him involved in Fleetwood Mac.

  27. Dave Sullivan says:

    bigeyedfisher – we’re all entitled to our opinion, but sorry i can’t agree when you say that the Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac were ….” not much at all to think about until Lindsey and Stevie joined ”
    Songs like , Man of the World – Albatross – Black Magic Woman – Oh Well etc etc, one of the great british bands of the 60’s

    Though i would go and see this line up, big fan Of Neil Finn and Mike Campbell

    • Nick Love says:

      I agree. Peter Green had a litany of classic tunes under his belt, especially when you consider it was maybe a two and a half year period before succumbing to mental illness, drug abuse etc. and in that period he left an undeniable legacy. Both Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch had many stellar songs during their tenure also. Just because they lacked the hooks and commercial appeal of the Buckingham/Nicks duo doesn’t mean they weren’t extremely talented in their own way.

  28. bigeyedfisher says:

    I’ve said this before on here. This is and will never be Fleetwood Mac. A Fleetwood Mac without Lindsey Buckingham is no Fleetwood Mac of any importance. I’m a huge fan of theirs, but only the Lindsey era. While I can appreciate their earlier work as a band before Lindsey and Stevie (some songs are good but mainly with Lindsey singing them when he joined them and sang some of the older songs live), they were not much at all to think about until Lindsey and Stevie joined. And lets not forget, Stevie only got in because Lindsey gave Mick that ultimatum! This is why I’m going to see Buckingham in Collingswood, New Jersey on his solo tour and not going to see Fleetwood Mac. They can spin it anyway they like, but they are not that good without him. He made them who they were with his production and song writing abilities. They need 2 people to replace him, that alone should speak volumes. Sorry ranting a bit lol.

    • Simon Lim says:

      I agreed with you , just like the Eagles without Glenn Frey isn’t The Eagles anymore, no matter who you add, unless…Felder or Meisner.

  29. foxee says:

    Hey this was a very pleasant surprise.

    Nicks sounds in great form, as ever, and the Mike Campbell guitar is hot! Neil Finn needs to gain confidence but did a decent job on The Chain. Couldn’t here the McVie harmonies to be honest, but all in al I thought this was a fantastic set of performances by people, who, let’s face it, are very senior in years. The magic is still there in my opinion and just fervently hope the ere will be more studio output from the band and Nicks solo career in the future.

  30. DaveM says:

    @Rich G. Agree, pleasantly surprised at how good the line up is.

  31. -SG- says:

    It is a room full of great musicians, the Fleetwood Mac All-Stars. Definitely the best post 1975 non Buckingham lineup. If the truth ever comes out, I am certain the skinny jeans is what made the band turn on him. That aside, it would be great to hear some of the neglected early 70’s stuff sung by Neil. He could definitely do Sentimental Lady justice. It is a shame Buckingham is out, but he isn’t dead, so who knows, maybe next time… however as a band, it is truly amazing they are still touring at all, so good for them.

  32. Bob Burrows says:

    Got to be honest i found both songs dull and lifeless, they sounded under-rehearsed and Mike Campbells emulation of Buckinghams guitar lines at the beginning of Gypsy were nothing short of woeful. This whole Fleetwood Mac firing Lindsey Buckingham doesn’t sit well with me. I understood them without Christine because they brought no one in to try and take her place or emulate her, but in all fairness both Mike and Neil are in the band to emulate Lindsey not to evolve the band or its sound.

  33. James C says:

    We definitely need to give this line-up a chance. As much as I was thrilled to see the Rumours five-piece back together, with little prospect of new material another tour with those guys would, quite frankly, be exactly the same as the last.
    Neil seems a good fit and Mike’s guitar playing is top notch… and this new tour could see gems from all earlier incarnations of the band crop up, from the Peter Green era through to Bob Welch’s. And, hey, if they pop a couple of Crowded House numbers into the setlist, who’s complaining!
    I do feel for Lindsey in the manner he was dropped; I can perfectly understand why he didn’t prioritise the band this year, after working so hard on songs for a new Fleetwood Mac album only for Stevie to bail on sessions and the resulting LP being released under the Buckingham / McVie banner instead (the fans knew it was the Mac minus Stevie, but without the FM name on the sleeve you’re just not going to get the same impact / level of sales).
    Here’s hoping both Lindsey and the new look FM are playing on these shores sometime soon!

  34. Eileen Harris says:

    It’s not just about the music with a band like FM – it’s the entire experience- people of a certain age watch and listen with memories and if you expect performers to perform like they did years back you need to go and see Paul Rodgers – one of the few singers who really does sound like he did when he was 20

    • Roel Glas says:

      Well said Eileen. Paul is still No: 1.
      Having said that I thought Neil Finn’s performance of Chain was very good. It will only get better as the “oil in the engine” starts to get warmed up

  35. webvan says:

    I was very disappointed to see them “fire” Lindsey but I must say I am very pleasantly surprised by Neil Finn’s singing and how close it sounds to Lindsey’s. Can’t say the same of Mike Campbell’s guitar playing that seems very tentative…I suppose he could play Lindsey’s guitar parts if he wanted to but might be trying (or has been asked?) to add his flavor ?

    It will be interesting to see if they get out of the post-1975 material, I doubt it since one of the reasons Lindsey left is because Stevie refused to work on new material saying it wasn’t worth her time (“you can’t make money with albums anymore” !)

  36. John Lloyd says:

    Kudos at least to Mick for getting that drum skin okayed on American TV…

  37. Jason says:

    Surprisingly they sound really good. Neil’s voice fits well. I was very disappointed when Lindsey left, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how good this line up sounds. I also agree with alot of Rich G’s comments.

  38. Mike the Fish says:

    Hmm, not sure. It’s great seeing Mick Fleetwood having so much energy still, but it feels a bit covers band ish. I’m no guitar expert, but I felt Lyndsey’s playing was missed. And sadly, inevitibly the voices can no longer hit the big notes.

  39. Richard says:

    I don’t see any chemistry between the members … i’m a huge FM fan … seen them many times live … but this is just … just like the Rolling Stones without Keith … for me it’ doesn’t work

  40. Rich G says:

    I think they did really well. I think there are quite a few people upset about Lindsey leaving and therefore knocking this out of principle. I loved Lindsey’s stuff (band and solo), but from the past (walking out before the Tango tour etc.), I am inclined to believe he is very hard work. He cancelled a UK solo tour a few years back and never rescheduled. At their age, saying “I won’t tour for a couple of years” if that is roughly what he told them, is tantamount to saying “I won’t tour”, so what are they supposed to do? This is way better than no FM tour and actually could breathe new life, as they might not be so tied to the “1975 onwards greatest hits” sets that they have usually had to stick to. On the last tour FM had the extra guitarist at the back so it’s not “3 guitarists replacing 1” as some have said on various forums. Mike is a great guitar replacement for Lindsey but doesn’t sing. Neil plays great guitar, so why not have him play too. Most FM records have loads of guitars on them, so this line up will be better able to reproduce those complexities live. The vocals sound great. Neil sounds quite a bit Lindsey-ish without totally anonymizing himself. All good and a very high pressure “everything to prove” TV slot too. The live gigs they can loosen up a bit, I’m betting. Great stuff.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Tend to agree with everything you’ve said…

      • speek says:

        For me this is not Fleetwood Mac it’s another line up of Fleetwood Mac and they just doesn’t cut it. You may as well be watching a Fleetwood Mac tribute band.
        It’s not just about Lindsay leaving (again). Don’t forget both Christine and Stevie have had their moments away from the band too resulting in the disastrous ‘Behind The Mask’ (without Lindsay), ‘Time’ (without Lindsay and Stevie) and the okay ‘Say You Will’ (without Christine, although I think she appears on one track?).
        The collective of John, Mick, Christine, Stevie and Lindsay is unique.
        Unfortunately the chain has broken again but then it wouldn’t be Fleetwood Mac without some kind of saga.

    • Stephen Leigh says:

      Amen, well said.

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