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Info 101: Musicbits 62: Fleetwood Mac goes On With the Show

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FLEETWOOD MAC: "ON WITH THE SHOW" TOUR 2014 featuring Mick Fleetwood, Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, John McVie and Christine McVie.

8 p.m., Sept. 30, 2014, Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., downtown Minneapolis, MN, $49.50, $79.50, $129.50 & $179.50. Tickets go on sale at Target Center box office, www.axs.com, www.targetcenter.com, or 1-888-929-7849 at 10 a.m., Monday, April 7, 2014.

Fleetwood Mac began as an offshoot of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in 1967. They were a four-man blues band who hired studio musicians as needed, one of whom was Christine Perfect. Ms. Perfect had her own band called Chicken Shack but happily filled in on keyboards with Fleetwood Mac. As events unfolded, she married bassist John McVie and, as Christine McVie, officially joined Fleetwood Mac during the 1970-71 Kiln House tour. She had played on the album and had drawn the artwork for the album cover.

Bands featuring female performers were extremely rare in those days. The only other prominent international acts were the Dutch band Shocking Blue (1967-1974) and ABBA (1972-1982). There were and would be others in the years following but Mariska Veres and Christine McVie were pioneers of sorts.

Christine enjoyed a long and powerful run with the band until 1998 when she decided to retire from touring. She continued to contribute musically but had essentially vanished to enjoy a quieter life. Well-deserved, one might add. Her absence was profoundly felt during the three major tours that followed.

Enter 2014 and the "On With The Show" tour and album. Christine McVie is back with the band in studio and on stage. It's incredibly good news to hard-cores who loved her vocals, especially from "Future Games", "Bare Trees", "Mystery to Me" and "Heroes are Hard to Find". It's like having an old friend return and she and her band-mates are starting the tour here in Minneapolis on Sept. 30. If you've never seen this band live you are missing out on one of rock's finest performing units ever.

The band will be featured on TODAY's Summer Concert Series on the Plaza at Rockefeller Center on Oct. 9, 2014.

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