Fleetwood Mac’s music, beyond relationships

Fleetwood Mac

8 p.m., Monday, June 10. $49-$175, plus fees if purchased online.

Philips Arena, One Philips Drive, Atlanta


Fleetwood Mac fans won’t have to worry about the band phoning things in on its 2013 tour, drummer Mick Fleetwood said.

The band spent six weeks rehearsing for this year’s tour, aiming to be in peak form from opening night forward.

“We know the nuts and bolts are all in place, and we have confidence in that,” Fleetwood said. “But we also have like a garage band-like mentality where we go, ‘We’re actually playing down at the local town hall next week. We better be good.’

“And [that nervousness] doesn’t really go away, which is a nice thing. We’re not all jaded and so showbizzed out that we’re all super slick and go ‘Ah, piece of cake.’ We’re not like that at all.”

The band became arguably the biggest rock act of the late 1970s after three straight blockbuster albums, “Fleetwood Mac” (1975), “Rumours” (1977) and “Tusk” (1979). Those discs also established the lineup, which has changed over the years, as the classic edition of Fleetwood Mac: Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, John McVie, and Christine McVie, who retired in 1998.

Fleetwood said the band’s show for this tour will feature its signature hits.

“We know that we have a body of songs that, in truth, if we didn’t do them, we’d probably be all lined up and shot. So we have eight or nine songs that no matter what, we know people are going to want for us to do them, and we are totally cool with doing them.

“If we walked on the stage and didn’t play ‘Dreams,’ I think people would be shocked. So…what we do is we take the prime songs, ‘Go Your Own Way,’ ‘Dreams,’ songs like that, and then build a new show around the fact that we, of course, are going to be doing those songs.”

This is Fleetwood Mac’s first tour since 2009. The band doesn’t regroup that often in part because Buckingham and Nicks both make time for their solo careers. Following the last band tour, Buckingham released his album, “Seeds We Sow,” while Nicks released her CD, “In Your Dreams.” Both toured extensively to support the albums.

The personal history and inter-band dynamics within Fleetwood Mac also create challenges for a reunion, Fleetwood said.

“When we do do it, we work really hard at it and we’re committed to it,” he said. “We fundamentally have to be happy to be doing this because we’re all ex-lovers and all the stuff that is well worn news out there.”

Buckingham and Nicks were a couple when they joined Fleetwood Mac. The McVies were married. But the relationships soon frayed, and the “Rumours” album was written in the midst of those breakups.

Fleetwood and Nicks later became a couple for a time, while Buckingham married and started a family. But the personal history makes every Fleetwood Mac reunion significant.

“[This is] a bunch of people who aren’t just connected by the music, but connected by spending huge amounts of time. Lindsey, Stevie and their journey. No, they’re not in love [now] and Lindsey has an incredibly wonderful family. But the story they tell as two people is huge. And you know, there I am with Stevie, and me and Stevie had a long-lasting love affair. She’s the godmother of my children and it’s a trip. It’s a trip.”

This year’s reunion contains the kernal of a possible new album.

Buckingham, Fleetwood and McVie got together for a writing and rehearsal session and recorded a batch of songs. Nicks has since added vocals to several of them, four of which, have been released on an EP, “Extended Play,” available on iTunes.

“I truly hope by the end of the year or the beginning of next year that these tracks that are coming out now will fold over into a completed piece of work, which will be a new Fleetwood Mac album, which would be fantastic,” Fleetwood said.

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