During his June 9 performance at Tarrytown Music Hall, Lindsey Buckingham, Fleetwood Mac guitarist since 1974, explained that he tries to find a balance between what he calls the “Big Machine” (the multi-million-selling rock group) and the “Small Machine” (his far less lucrative solo career).
That balance was on display, if sometimes precariously, throughout his 13-song, 75-minute solo set, in which Buckingham exchanged guitars with his roadie after every song and used foot pedals to trigger drum loops and other programming that backed his scintillating guitar playing and strong singing.
Opening with “Cast Away Dreams,” an ethereal acoustic number from his 2006 album Under the Skin, Buckingham tore through a few obscurities—at least to those who came hoping to hear the “Big Machine” hits—including Mac album cuts “Bleed to Love Her” and “Come,” an old Buckingham/Nicks tune, “Stephanie,” and solo songs “Not Too Late” and “Shut Us Down.”
Buckingham’s singular finger-picking style runs the gamut from soft strumming to straight-out hard rock. The dynamic range he gets out of six strings and his voice is astonishing, and was stunningly shown during revamps of his 1984 solo hit “Go Insane”—nearly transformed into a dirge—and the 1987 Mac hit “Big Love,” which Buckingham shrieked and jammed his way through.
The concert climaxed with a slew of Mac favorites—“Never Going Back Again, “Big Love,” “I’m So Afraid” and “Go Your Own Way”—that found Buckingham shredding his guitar, especially in the latter pair’s dynamite solos, which were gestures to the arena rock he regularly performs with the “Big Machine.”
For his lone encore, Buckingham calmed things down with nicely unadorned versions of his first solo hit, 1981’s “Trouble,” and the title track from last year’s Seeds We Sow. If the abbreviated show lacked true deep cuts—tracks like “Walk a Thin Line,” “That’s All for Everyone” and “Save Me a Place” from Tusk would have been most welcome—the sated audience didn’t seem to mind.
Lindsey Buckingham in Concert
Tarrytown Music Hall
June 9, 2012
Upcoming tour dates:
June 12 – Washington, DC
June 14 – Baltimore, MD
June 15 – Munhall, PA
June 16 – Columbus, OH