Fleetwood Mac goes on tour their own way

Fleetwood Mac starts over with every tour. Though Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks will celebrate their 40th anniversary together next year, they approach each tour as its own experience.

And the massive "Fleetwood Mac Live 2013" tour that launched last week and runs through October is no different.

"We never know what we'll play until we walk out the doors of the rehearsal hall," says Nicks. "We really don't plan it before that."

With so much legendary material to choose from, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers do have a process for building the tour setlist, she says.

"We know there are songs we have to do, because we have to do them," she says. "We're going to do 'Gold Dust Woman' and 'Go Your Own Way' because everyone wants to hear them — there's about 10 of those songs. We do about 20 or 21 songs in the show, so when we get there, everybody has a piece of paper with some unfamiliar songs that maybe we have never done or maybe we've done just a few times.

"Then, we sit around on couches with acoustic instruments, and we play all these songs," she continues. "I'll have my four songs that I want. Lindsey will have four songs that he wants, and we'll still have five or six songs left. You see your set start to come together."

With the recent 35th anniversary release of Fleetwood Mac's Grammy-winning "Rumours" album, one of the biggest-selling albums ever with 40 million copies sold and more expected to move this year after a new remastered box set of the album was released in January, there are some additional considerations for the band's show.

"Maybe we will add a song or two from 'Rumours,' " Nicks says. "It's about the set being the best set it can be. We are totally willing to try anything, and that's what we do. You can kind of feel what works and what doesn't work."

Another consideration is that, for the first time in a decade, Fleetwood Mac has some new material. Nicks says the band recorded two new songs — "Miss Fantasy" and "Sad Angel" — that they might play.

Early last year, Buckingham, Fleetwood and John McVie went into the studio to work on music and recorded several songs.

"I didn't go then because my mom had just died," Nicks says. "But I recently went into the studio with Lindsey, and we listened to the songs they recorded. I put vocals on two songs, and they came out great.

"They really sound like great Fleetwood Mac songs. Lindsey told me when they were recording, he had really tried to see through my eyes, to really be me, and he has the ability to do that.

"They're really a lot of fun."

Although the rest of Fleetwood Mac wanted to tour last year, Nicks, who wanted to spend the year promoting her solo album "In My Dreams" on tour, says touring in 2013 has actually worked out better for all of them.

"I told them in 1981, when everybody thought that doing 'Bella Donna' was going to break up Fleetwood Mac," she continues. "I sat them down and said, 'Listen, I am never going to leave you ... I just need another vehicle for songs, because I write way too many songs for a band with three writers in it that does a record every two or three years.' My solo work has never become more important than Fleetwood Mac. I never let it take over, and I never will."


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