The Town Hall – New York City, N.Y.
Dec. 4, 2018
Lindsey Buckingham walked into the stage at Town Hall as if he had something to prove. Dressed in his signature black jacket and jeans, he got quickly got down to business on “Instrumental/Don’t Look Down” and “Go Insane” from the 1984 album of the same name. Taking a breather after a few “F**k Stevie’s” were shouted from the crowd, he addressed his recent firing from Fleetwood Mac in a roundabout way adding, “It’s been a surprising year, we’re aiming to look forward and not behind and this is the beginning of something new and a new album next year!”
He then proceeded to rock the roof off the Hall in a two-hour set of solo material from his new solo anthology, that he added “still sounded modern and current,” and a few Mac chestnuts proving once and for all who provided the inspirational magic behind the bands mid-‘70s classic output. Switching from acoustic to electric guitars his performance kept the crowd on its toes as he challenged them to think, feel and then rock.
Taking on pieces from his 1981 solo debut, Law and Order, to 2011’s Seeds We Sow, he took the crowd in a sonic journey from the bubbly bad boy pop of “Trouble” to “I Must Go” that became an anthem of the night. The quirky novelty number “Holiday Road” from the movie National Lampoons Vacation was a bouncy roll down the highway. The latinesque “Slow Dancing” caught a nice, breezy beat that Buckingham cut into with a brilliant slice of jangly cosmic pop.
Within each number his playing sparkled going from the loudass and seething to some delicate acoustical thunder. He worked “Never Going Back Again” into a slow and brooding dirge of masterful fingerpicking that went down like a eulogy to his ex-bandmates. On “Big Love” he switched guitars for a nylon stringed one, capo-ed on the third fret for all you guitar freaks out there, and frantically strummed it thru to its orgasmic finale. Jungle beats kicked off “Tusk” then turned it into a tribal chant.
“I’m So Afraid” — from the first Fleetwood Mac album that Buckingham played on in 1975 — started off slowly then built into a psychedelic showdown as he paced the stage like an axe wielding shaman lacing into some blistering solos that was the showpiece of the night. Gently luring the crowd into submission at first, he let it rip into some blood curdling riffage as the band laid out its twelve bar blues with a cathartic battle of stinging leads. Conquering the number, he genuflected to the crowd’s applause like the Dali Lama of rock ‘n’ roll.
“Go Your Own Way” had the crowd in its feet as Buckingham offered his guitar to the lucky few up front for a strum as he worked stage right to left. “Treason” was the solemn closer that took us back to his folksy roots. With a killer performance like this it might not be such a bad idea if he let his old mates, who are currently on tour and using TWO guitarists to replace him, go their own way.