Fort Wort, TX
August 24, 2012
By Ron Dempesmeier
Cast Away Dreams | Bleed to Love Her | Not Too Late | Stephanie | Come | Shut Us Down | Go Insane | Never Going Back Again | Big Love | I'm So Afraid | Go Your Own Way
Trouble | Rock Away Blind | Seeds We Sow
When you are a voice and a songwriter inside a big machine like Fleetwood Mac, you must feel somewhat anxious to stretch out and impress the world with your own voice. Lindsey Buckingham may have felt like an equal, but he’s been the first among equals when it comes to his influence on the production and arrangements of the mighty Mac. Although his former paramour Stevie Nicks has had the far more popular solo career, the more experimental and technically impressive songs have graced Buckingham’s solo albums.
Appearing in a black leather jacket, black v-neck shirt and dark blue jeans with his still unruly hair (although higher on the forehead), Mr. Buckingham’s lean physique was practically wired as he unleashed cascading torrents of arpeggios and searing solos on the more aggressive songs. There was nearly a standing ovation after each song – the audience at the Cendera Center was into his music and his instrumental and vocal prowess.
His set featured a lot of recent selections from his later solo albums like 2006’s “Under the Skin” or last year’s home recorded “Seeds We Sow”. “Cast Away Dreams” started the evening off peacefully enough with delicate finger picking and yearning lyrics. “Bleed to Love Her” ended with a very long solo that got the audience primed to rock. When Buckingam performed “Not Too Late” his constant picking pattern became almost a pure glissando as he ruminated about his solo career in comparison to belonging to Fleetwood Mac.
When he performed “Go Insane” he slowed down the nervous, quirky pulse of the original and featured a spookier mood to the song. Buckingham explored a wide range of dynamics in his songs, going from gentle and low to brash and loud. Some lyrics on “Never Going Back Again” were performed at nearly a whisper and the audience quieted down and hung on to each syllable.
“Big Love” had the very guttural sound where the “oooh, aaah” section was sung and Buckingham accentuated the aah part almost like an animal. When he introduced the song, he said it was written as he was at that time and about how he was pushing love away in his life. Now “Big Love” is more a remembrance of that time and a reminder of the independence he was seeking to do more unique work.
“Go Your Own Way” from Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” album was the most joyously received song of the evening. Buckingham played it with great fervor and enjoyment and the crowd clapped and sang along. He then briefly ran off stage leaving the audience wanting more.
When he returned for the encore, he started out with his highest charting solo single “Trouble”. The lack of the lush backing vocals was replaced by his dexterous picking. He was cajoled into playing “Rock Away Blind” by three fans that kept shouting for it and holding up a sign with the song’s title. Although he said he hadn’t prepared for it, the song did not suffer a bit. Finally, he ended with the gentle title song of “Seeds We Sow” that is about as lovely a ballad as you’re going to hear.
Did the Little Machine show how it powers his contributions to the Big Machine? Yes – very much so.