Home » Fleetwood Mac, back on tour, heads our way

Fleetwood Mac, back on tour, heads our way

Mick Fleetwood at Izod Center in 2009, hard at work. (Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger)

By Tris McCall
The Star-Ledger
Friday, April 05, 2013 9:17 AM

Last year, drummer Mick Fleetwood was ready to take the band that has borne his name for 40 years out on tour.

His bandmate had other ideas.

Stevie Nicks, the singer-songwriter who joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, was still supporting In Your Dreams, her most recent solo set. Dreams, a highly personal album for Nicks, was a deliberate return to the radiant, sorcerous sound that the Mac made world famous in the mid-’70s. Both Mick Fleetwood and Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham contributed to the set.

“To her credit, she really stood by it,” says Fleetwood, 65. “We delayed taking Fleetwood Mac back on the road because she was so involved with the album. I know everybody was getting huffy and puffy and wondering if we were ever going to do this. In retrospect, the delay wasn’t so bad, because it allowed us to do things that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

“And it’s such a lovely album. We’re going to do one of the songs from it on our tour.”

That tour stops at Madison Square Garden on Monday and at Prudential Center in Newark on April 24. It’s the first national circuit for a legendary group that found common ground between blues, rock, experimental pop, and folk, and laid much of the foundation for contemporary country. In the mid-’70s, Fleetwood Mac was a subtly radical act: Here was a pop-rock group in which men and women raised their voices together, in harmony, and with equal authority. The members of the group told stories of joy, magic, and romantic dissolution in dialogue with each other, and each one had a distinctive instrumental signature, too. There’d never been anything like it before — and arguably, there’s never been anything quite like it since.

Buckingham took advantage of last year’s delay by launching a solo tour of his own. Fleetwood fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening a restaurant. Fleetwood’s on Front Street overlooks the Lahaina Roads, the Hawaiian strait that separates Maui from Lana’i.

“Having the restaurant has gotten rid of what’s left of my hair,” says the drummer, “but I get to play there whenever I want.”

This February, Fleetwood was joined in Hawaii by another old bandmate: Christine McVie, the talented electric pianist whose sensuous and madly romantic songs provided a necessary counterweight to Buckingham’s wild experimentation and Nicks’ crystal visions. McVie retired from Fleetwood Mac after the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, and has been reclusive ever since. Yet Fleetwood coaxed her up onstage to perform “Don’t Stop,” one of her most enduring compositions. The impromptu performance made musical headlines, and encouraged fans to dream of a full reunion of the band’s classic lineup. Fleetwood would love to see that happen, but he doubts it will.

“We’re going to see her in London. I told her, ‘This time, you must get up and play the songs with us,’ ” says Fleetwood. “But she’s definitely not in the mode of coming back.”

Last year, Fleetwood Mac celebrated the 35th anniversary of the release of Rumours, the 1977 album that remains one of the best selling — and best loved — pop-rock sets in history. In January, Rumours was reissued in a three-CD package that contained outtakes, demos and live performances. Next year, the band will celebrate the anniversary of another landmark. Dismissed upon release as a bizarre indulgence by a group of detached rock stars, Tusk, the Mac’s 1979 double-disc, is now recognized as an album ahead of its time — an echo-drenched, ravished, wildly percussive response to punk rock and new wave that is bold and brilliant.

“It was almost suicidal to decide, as we did, not to make another album like Rumours, ” says Fleetwood. “But if you ask me now what my favorite of our albums is, I’ll say Tusk. ”

It was the guitarist who drove Fleetwood Mac toward the experimentation on Tusk. But once he was satisfied that Buckingham wasn’t trying to make a solo album while still in Fleetwood Mac, the drummer went along willingly.

“I just became really, really open-minded,” remembers Fleetwood, whose drums on the set are thunderous, and pushed to the front of the mix. “We did all sorts of crazy stuff. It reminded me of some of the work I did with (early Fleetwood Mac guitarist) Peter Green.

“If it wasn’t a drum kit, I was hitting a Kleenex box, or slapping the side of a piece of leather. We set up an old Sony ghetto blaster that was limiting the hell out of the drums, and that’s the microphone we used. We had a huge door to an echo chamber, and we’d open and close it to varying degrees while I was playing. And we got these quite fantastic textures that added up to this eclectic piece of art.”

After a long layoff, the members of Fleetwood Mac have returned to the recording studio. According to Fleetwood, they’ve written several new songs, and they’ll be premiering them during their spring circuit.

“We’re going to do a couple,” says the drummer. “But there are songs we know we always have to do, and we’ll be sure to do those, too.

“We know we’d literally be taken out and shot if we didn’t.”

Fleetwood Mac

Where and when: Monday at Madison Square Garden, 32nd Street at Seventh Avenue, New York; April 24 at Prudential Center, 165 Mulberry St., Newark; both shows at 8 p.m.

How much: $49.50 to $179 for both shows; call (800) 745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.



Stevie Nicks

MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO

Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY

JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI

JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

European Tour

JUL 3, 2024
Dublin, Ireland

JUL 6, 2024
OVO Hydro
Glasgow, UK

JUL 9, 2024
Co-op Live
Manchester, UK

JUL 12, 2024
BST Hyde Park
London, UK

JUL 16, 2024
Sportpaleis Antwerpen
Merksem (Antwerpen)

JUL 19, 2024
Ziggo Dome

^ Non-Live Nation show