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Story and Photos By Andy ArgyrakisDuring its first tour in four years, Fleetwood Mac didn't have a new studio album to unveil, but the legendary classic rockers still had a product to plug. Though it's hard to believe 35 years have passed since the band's landmark album "Rumours" was released, a newly remastered edition just hit stores to honor the occasion, rounded out by a slew of bonus tracks and even some rare DVD footage (exclusive to the super deluxe edition).
As a result, it was no surprise to see much of that masterpiece on display at a sold out United Center, and even though the decade that's passed since the Mac's last original album is inexcusable, no one could deny the past's ability to once again connect in 2013. Come the opening cries of "Second Hand News," the defiant rocker "The Chain" and the always enchanting "Dreams," it was evident the time in between recordings or tours hasn't deteriorated the unbreakable chemistry shared between founders Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, alongside longtime collaborators Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
While the long ago retired songbird Christine McVie was certainly missed in the equation, it forced the current core to dig deep into its vaults, not just addressing many of the most obligatory hits, but also key album tracks and even a sneak preview. The yet-to-be-released jangle popper "Sad Angel," the experimental oldie "Not That Funny" and the previously lost song that was recently unearthed on YouTube "Without You" were welcome additions to the set and slid snuggly beside the sweet "Sara," the hypnotic "Big Love" and the sentimental "Landslide."
Nicks weaved her magical spells on many occasions throughout the two-and-a-half hour night, swirling with seductiveness throughout an understated version of "Gypsy" and spinning with her signature shawl outstretched during the synth-driven solo smash "Stand Back." The sometimes underrated but unbelievably agile Buckingham showed off his vocal and six string chops throughout "I'm So Afraid," while capping off the initial finale of "Go Your Own Way" with a bang.
Encore wise, "Rumours" continued to rule the highlight reel with "Don't Stop" bringing out the Mac's continuously cherished harmonies and "Silver Springs" serving as an emotive vocal/guitar interplay between Nicks and Buckingham, especially in light of their romance so many years ago. Fleetwood and McVie bowed out a tune early to let the two former lovers reflect on yesterday with the overlooked acoustic ballad "Say Goodbye" from 2003's "Say You Will," suggesting the band still has what it takes to craft a gorgeous narrative in the current millennium after indisputably establishing itself as one of the best selling bands of the last century.
Fleetwood Mac returns to town on Friday, June 14 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. For additional details, visit www.livenation.com and www.ticketmaster.com.
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