Tuesday, April 14, 2009


In their first tour in five years, Fleetwood Mac unleashes a greatest hits parade

By Len Righi | Of The Morning Call

Six weeks into Fleetwood Mac's "Unleashed" tour, its first in five years, singer Stevie Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie appear to have reined in their combustible personalities and have confined the fireworks to the concert stage.

At least until the last week, when Stevie Nicks questioned Britney Spears' rock-star credentials during an interview on the tabloid TV show "Extra."

The 60-year-old vocalist also created a stir when she told People magazine she whittled almost 60 pounds off her her 5-foot-1 frame using an exercise device called the Power Plate.

But those flare-ups aside, all seems to be harmonious among the members of one of rock's longest-lived bands as Fleetwood Mac prepares to visit the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

"Lindsey's been in incredibly good humor since we started rehearsing on the fifth of January," Nicks, the band's only female since keyboardist Christine McVie retired from the road in 1997, reported during a teleconference. "When Lindsey's in a good humor, everybody's happy."

Added Buckingham: "Knowing that we did not succeed as well as we could have last time we did an album and tour together ... we have something to shoot for that is a little higher. ...

"We are a group of contradictions ... [with] the whole being greater than the sum of its parts."

For this tour, Mac has no new record to promote, so its concerts are two-hour-and-20-minute hit parades, relying heavily on material from the '70s and '80s heyday of the band, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Nicks, Buckingham, Fleetwood and McVie, supplemented by two musicians and three female backing singers, have been opening with 1975's "Monday Morning" and ending with "Silver Springs," an outtake from 1977's "Rumours" LP.

In between, they've beenplaying trademark tunes such as "Go Your Own Way" and "Don't Stop," as well as Nicks' "Gypsy," Buckingham's "Go Insane," "The Chain," "Tusk," "I Know I'm Not Wrong" "Sara" and "Landslide." The Peter Green-era is represented by the blues track "Oh Well."

Said Buckingham of playing the classic Fleetwood Mac material.

"It frees you up to enjoy each other as people," said Buckingham. "Let's have a good time and value the friendships and history ... It takes the pressure off ... and allows more fun than we would normally be able to have."

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