DeKALB — With a puff of smoke and dim lights, five figures rushed into view and onto the stage of the Egyptian Theatre.
They picked up their instruments and, with the boom of the drums and an epic guitar introduction, played “The Chain,” by Fleetwood Mac.
The band was Rumours: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute Show, who performed a legendary set of songs by Fleetwood Mac 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St.
Rumours was formed in 2012 in Los Angeles and consists of Taylor Locke as guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, Nic Johns as bassist John McVie, Rebecca Fishman as keyboardist Christie McVie, Jesika Miller as vocalist Stevie Nicks and Ned Brower as Mick Fleetwood, according to the group’s website.
Rather than just covering Fleetwood Mac, the five musicians paid tribute to the group by dressing, dancing, speaking and acting just like the band.
Locke gave a monologue about how the record “Rumours” was doing on the charts as if he was speaking in 1977.
“The Chain” was a fantastic start to the show and created a strong sense of atmosphere.
Throughout the first act of the show, the band dressed like the members of Fleetwood Mac in 1977, with Fishman wearing a flower child outfit, Johns sporting a baseball cap, jersey and denim shorts, Brower in an all-black outfit with a black beret, Locke wearing a hawaiian shirt and his hair in an afro and Miller wearing a billowing black dress.
Throughout the set, Miller had portable fans pointed toward her, and she would twirl onstage, causing her dress to wave in an angelic manner.
The song began with the thump of a bass drum accompanied by Locke’s masterful finger-picking guitar introduction on a Les Paul.
The vocal harmony of Fishman, Miller and Locke came through magnificently as they sang the immortal lyrics, “Listen to the wind blow. Watch the sun rise, running in the shadows. Damn your love, damn your lies.”
This was concluded by Brower’s drum work alongside a killer bass riff by Johns on a Fender bass, which evolved into a guitar solo from Locke leading to the triumphant statement “chain keep us together.” The crowd erupted in applause and the two hour show continued.
Other highlights from the first act of the show included the song “Dreams,” which was written by Nicks detailing her breakup with Buckingham during the making of “Rumours.” Christine and John McVie split up during this time as well as Fleetwood with his wife Jenny Boyd, making this song applicable to any of the three relationships. Miller started out the performance by saying “This next song is about a relationship I just had to get out of.”
The song was tranquil and somber which worked to the show’s advantage. Throughout the concert, there was a healthy balance of slow ballads and hard rock songs which always kept the audience on the edge of their seats.
The concert then flashed back to 1992 with a performance of “Don’t Stop.” Not only is this song integral to the album “Rumours,” it was also Bill Clinton’s campaign theme in 1992 when he pursued the presidency. After winning the election, Bill Clinton got the lineup of Nicks, Buckingham, both McVies and Fleetwood to perform together for the first time in six years at his inauguration on Jan. 20, 1993 which would result in the group reuniting for more tours.
After several more tracks were played, all the members of the group left the stage except for Fishman, who played a beautiful rendition of “Songbird,” written by Christine McVie. Purple lights shone around her creating an otherworldly presence and her vocals were soft and welcoming like a mother welcoming her child home.
After the 15 minute intermission, the members of “Rumours” returned, only this time they resembled Fleetwood Mac during the early 80s, just after “Tusk” had come out in late 1979. Locke’s hair was shorter, Fishman’s attire had changed to all black, Johns tucked his hair back under a golfer’s cap, Brower wore a more colorful selection topped with red cap and Miller wore a white dress with an orange shawl on top.
The band started the second half with the triumphant “Tusk,” which had an incredible drum solo by Brower in the middle of the track. When the vocalists of Rumours shouted the titular word, the audience responded in kind, creating a back and forth relationship between the musicians and their audience.
Besides playing songs by Fleetwood Mac, Rumours also branched out and played solo efforts by members of the group. This included Buckingham’s “Holiday Road,” which was the theme song of the film “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Hearing this track brought back vivid memories of the classic where Chevy Chase tries too hard to make the perfect family vacation only for it to blow up in his face.
Also covered was Nicks’ anthem “The Edge of Seventeen” from her 1981 album “Bella Donna.” The track was fantastic and Miller stole the show with her emulation of Nicks’ stage persona.
One of the concert’s highlights was when Fishman, Brower and Johns departed from the stage and left Miller and Locke to perform “Landslide.” By this time Miller had discarded her shawl, leaving both her and Miller dressed in white. The performance saw the pair contemplate their relationship as Nicks and Buckingham.
While the song was written two years before the breakup of Nicks and Buckingham, it offered the audience a glimpse into the pair’s love life. The performance concluded with a hug and the crowd was stunned by the beauty of Fleetwood Mac’s most heartfelt song.
Concluding the night was two of Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic rock songs. First there was “Rhiannon,” which, as Miller and Nicks put it, “tells the story of an old Welsh witch.” The track started off slow and with a fantastic combination of guitar and keyboards from Locke and Fishman and Miller on lead vocals. The song then transcended into an epic guitar solo with aid from the rhythm section of Brower and Johns.
Following “Rhiannon” was the track that helped propel the album “Rumours” to number one on the Billboard Hot 200, “Go Your Own Way.” The track was written by Buckingham and offered his perspective on the relationship between him and Nicks. The song was fantastic and provided an epic conclusion to a night of fun and celebration of the music of Fleetwood Mac.
Each of these musicians were phenomenal and truly made one feel as though it was 1977 and Fleetwood Mac just released their latest album. Fishman, Locke and Miller were fantastic vocalists and harmonized perfectly. Fishman’s work on keys cemented just how valuable Christine McVie was to Fleetwood Mac.
Locke perfectly captured the fingerpicking technique of Buckingham and also made the show lively by having conversations with the audience. When members of the audience told Locke how they wished Buckingham was still with Fleetwood Mac after being fired in 2018, Locke replied “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m right here with the band. It is nice to know that I have such loyal fans.”
Similarly, Brower spoke to the audience as well and spun a cool story about how he was missing Fleetwood’s signature beard. He talked about how his friend had a pair of clippers and how he lent them to Fleetwood. “Now I’m as bald as a f—king baby,” Brower said. Brower perfectly captured the characteristics of Fleetwood, including the manic expressions he made on the drums.
Johns kept the rhythm going with his fantastic bass skills and was a great presence, especially when he and Locke would meet at the drum riser and face each other while engaging in an epic faceoff between the guitar and the bass.
Finally, Miller resembled Nicks to a tee and accurately portrayed Nicks’ stage presence. The way she danced and twirled was hypnotizing and she made one thing perfectly clear: no one can replace her.
Rumours: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute Show absolutely rocked the Egyptian Theatre and gave a large audience a taste of that old time rock and roll. There’s nothing better than that.