For the beginner Lindsey Buckingham was the guitar player for Fleetwood Mac, who replaced Bob Welch, who had replaced Dave Walker & Bob Weston, who had replaced Danny Kirwan, who was a replacement for Jeremy Spencer, who had filled in for Peter Green. Oh, I think that's everybody, except that Lindsey left the band for a while and was replaced by Rick Vito and Billy Burnette, but then the band broke up and when they reformed Lindsey replaced the guys who had taken his place...got all that? It doesn't matter. For the purposes of this article Lindsey Buckingham is the solo artist who created such wonderful pop masterpieces as "Go Insane", "Trouble", and the recently released Gift of Screws.
He and his band played at Hamilton Place on Tuesday night and from my seat in the third row, it was one of the absolute best shows I've ever seen/heard. No fancy stage setup, just four guys and their instruments, and some lighting fixtures. When they started the audio wash was brilliant, clear, loud, and melodic. Loud? Yep! Painful? Nope!
The first two songs were from the new album, and the group played beautifully. I looked around and thought, "Where's the bass?" Three guitarists played guitars! Add the drummer, and where was the bass coming from. Supplemented by tracks which featured sound effects, bass lines, and maybe some additional harmonies (although that was hard to decide) the sound was full and rich. They ran through a history of Buckingham's songs, including "Trouble", "Go Insane", the Mac years were represented with "Tusk", "Never Going Back Again", "Big Love", "World Turning" and more. The new album received its fair share of attention too.
Buckingham's acoustic side was featured in a short unplugged set. Well, not quite unplugged! Using Renaissance guitars built by Rick Turner the guitarist was able to replicate even nylon string sounds electrically. The guitars sounded fabulous.
The major disappointment of the night was the lack of an audience. Only about 800 fans in a hall that holds 2200 left lots of empty seats, but Buckingham played as if the room was full. Flailing his guitar, sometimes hunched over it, he seemed like a man possessed. Passion? It was there in buckets! What a show! Right down to the encore, more Mac, more solo, more news stuff! What a performer!
NEW CDs? Lindsey Buckingham's Gift of Screws, Dion DiMucci's Heroes (a tribute to old time guitar rock that rocks), James Taylor's Covers (Taylorized oldies, excellent), and David Gilmour's Live in Gdansk (beautifully played and recorded, and even presented, but I think it's time for some new material Dave! After all, how many versions of the On An Island album do we really need?)