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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisThere's been no shortage of Fleetwood Mac concerts over the last few years as the core four of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks racked up rave reviews and countless sell outs surrounding the 35th anniversary of their landmark album "Rumours." And while it seems a little soon for an encore, the entirely new "On With The Show" outing is just as monumental considering it features the homecoming of co-vocalist/keyboardist Christine McVie for the first time since 1998.
Regardless of the 16 years apart, the classic line-up sounded like they picked up just days after "The Dance" reunion record and tour dropped off, and though this outing doesn't feature any new tunes, the group's incorporating several previously omitted Christine standards, alongside many Lindsey and Stevie staples. After resurrecting their distinctive layers of harmonies on "The Chain," Christine's charming "You Make Loving Fun" made a welcome return, putting instant smiles on fans' and even fellow bandmates' faces.
The 150 minute marathon also found Stevie serenading with "Dreams" and "Rhiannon," Lindsey plowing into "Tusk" and "Big Love," plus Christine sweetly delivering "Everywhere" and "Say You Love Me" (in spite of a clumsy false start). While "Rumours" understandably earned the most air time (including less frequently performed treasures "Never Going Back Again" and "Gold Dust Woman"), 1987's last complete band long player "Tango In The Night" also earned four shout-outs (like the surprising melodic gems "Seven Wonders" and "Little Lies").
Besides showcasing their softer side, the players also took plenty of time for meaty rock n' roll, culminating with back to back renderings of guitar-charged jams "I'm So Afraid" and "Go Your Own Way." Out of the several encores, "Don't Stop" once again benefited from the full group's indissoluble chemistry, though there was just as much to celebrate during scaled back collaborations between the immensely talented members.
Nicks and Buckingham turned their immortal "Landslide" into a gorgeous vocal/acoustic guitar interplay, while Christine closed out the show behind a baby grand (flanked by a softly strumming Lindsey), to expertly rekindle frequent show closer "Songbird" with beauty and purity. Put it all together, and "On With The Show" isn't just a fitting sequel to "The Dance," but it's also shaping up to be one of the most celebrated reunions since the last time these five legendary musicians rolled down the road together.
Fleetwood Mac returns to Chicago's United Center on Friday, October 3. For additional details visit www.livenation.com and www.ticketmaster.com.
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