By Thomas Conner
It's difficult to get excited about this go-round -- even for me, a lifelong Mac addict undeterred even by the "Time" album. The biggest news out of the tour so far is that the band is performing "Sisters of the Moon," a 33-year-old "Tusk" track.
The last time Fleetwood Mac toured the tambourines and scarves, in 2009, singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham told me that, even after all these years, it felt like "a proving ground." (Two years later, he reported it a "freeing experience.") But this time, even the band doesn't seem exactly juiced about their jaunt.
"We know we're going to do certain songs," namesake drummer Mick Fleetwood said in a recent online interview, "and if we don't do them, the audience will shoot us."
"We always have to play 'Dreams,' 'Rhiannon,' 'Don't Stop,' 'Tusk,' 'Big Love,' 'Landslide' and all our most famous songs," Lindsey Buckingham told Rolling Stone. "For now, I have no particular vision of what this tour is going to be."
Actually, guys, you don't have to.
In fact, I call upon all Fleetwood Mac fans to join me in declaring: Lindsey, Stevie, John, Mick -- we release you! Whatever social-setlist contract you think exists between us is officially now and forever nullified, voided, torn asunder. You are pardoned.
Please: Play whatever you want. Forgo the hits, play the misses. Play jazz, play bluegrass. Throw out the setlist altogether. Try improvising. Try failing.
Anything but this put-upon resignation to the slavish "demands" of your fans -- because, frankly, it makes us sound like jerks.
"2013 is going to be the year of Fleetwood Mac," Nicks told Rolling Stone.
Here are five ways the Fleetwood Mac crew could announce a tour that would actually make a dent in the absurdity of that statement and once again activate my salivary glands:
Get the rest at Chicago Sun Times
• 8 p.m. April 13
• United Center, 1901 W. Madison
• Tickets: $49.50-$149.50; (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com