By Eric Heisig | Daily Herald Correspondent
Reunion tours can be seen a few different ways.
On one hand, a big-name reunion can be counted on to fill a concert hall with fans who are paying to hear the hits and only the hits - not some obscure b-side from the single nobody bought.
On the hand, it's tempting to see a reunion tour as a shameless cash-in on past accomplishments, giving the band a chance to say, "Hey, look what we did. It's been a while, but we did it!"
Fleetwood Mac ends up somewhere in the middle.
The band comes to the Allstate Arena Thursday, March 5, and Friday, March 6, on the third stop of its "Unleashed: Hits Tour 2009."
Touring for the first time since 2004, Fleetwood Mac also is hitting the road for the first time without a new album. Instead, the band will be hyping a soon-to-be-released box set of 1977's acclaimed "Rumours." In short, the group is putting out a new-old record (which has a lot of its greatest hits) and touring behind it.
"We're so happy to get back out on the road, perform everyone's favorite songs and see our fans," band members said in a press statement.
Formed in 1967, Fleetwood Mac started off as a blues combo with drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie in the lineup. Christine McVie soon came on board, but the "Unleashed" setlist stands to be post-1975, when singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist/singer Lindsay Buckingham joined the band.
The group was falling apart as its music was taking off. John and Christine McVie's marriage broke up and Nicks and Buckingham split as "Rumours" was being recorded, giving emotional weight to titles like "Go Your Own Way" and "Second Hand News."
Keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie decided to stop touring years ago, and the "Unleashed" tour is no exception. For a short time, there was talk of Sheryl Crow joining the tour to fill McVie's spot, but that never materialized. For now, it will be Fleetwood, Buckingham, Nicks and John McVie.
Tickets are still available for the two Rosemont shows. Concert promoter Live Nation has reported being impressed with the numbers and has added a second leg to the tour.
Tickets at the Allstate Arena range from $49.50 to $149.50, and while that's a bit pricey for the best seats, it's much lower than, say, The Rolling Stones or Madonna.
Since most of Fleetwood Mac's hits come from the 1970s, expect to hear plenty of songs from "Fleetwood Mac," "Rumours" and "Tusk."
Still, the band has a slew of albums and fine music to choose from. Later hits such as 1982's "Gypsy" or 1988's "Everywhere" would be great additions to the setlist, as would material from Lindsay Buckingham's strong recent solo output. But again, this is a greatest-hits tour, and that's what most fans will be paying to see.
Is it OK to simply hear favorites like "Don't Stop," "Go Your Own Way" and "Landslide?" If it is, then you should be in the audience, hanging on to every word.