Wednesday, October 15, 2008

REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham’s rock ‘n’ roll heart shines in Northampton

Lindsey Buckingham: A Chip Off The Old Fleetwood Mac"
By SHERYL HUNTER
The Courant
October 16, 2008

But for now, as he tours in support of his latest solo effort, the rocking Gift of Screws, Buckingham is playing smaller, more intimate places like the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Mass., where he performed Tuesday night.

But the size of the venue did not matter to the 60-year-old musician, who admitted during the show that his solo work, while bringing him great satisfaction, has been “more esoteric” than his Mac output and, as a result, has reached fewer ears.

Buckingham turned in a two-hour performance that touched on all stages of his career with an intensity and passion that cemented his status as one of rock’s enduring iconic figures. He and his tight three-piece band played loud and hard, tearing through old classics and also showcasing plenty of material off the new album.

They got the night off to a strong start with two new songs: “Great Day” and “Love Runs Deeper.” During the latter, Buckingham swapped harmonies with guitarist Neale Heywood and guitarist-keyboardist Brett Tuggle.

Two of his biggest solo hits, “Trouble” and “Go Insane,” followed. But it was “Tusk,” with Buckingham’s oddball shrieks and Walfredo Reyes Jr.’s drumming, that brought the first of the evening’s many standing ovations.

Buckingham performed more Fleetwood Mac hits during a three-song solo acoustic set that opened with “Never Going Back Again,” followed by an aggressive version of “Big Love.” He introduced that song by saying it was the last single he recorded with Fleetwood Mac before leaving to “regain my sanity.”

Buckingham frequently dazzled with his guitar technique, a self-taught, finger-picking style capable of unique sounds, whether taking an extended, wailing solo on “I’m So Afraid” or playing the catchy new single “Did You Miss Me.”

The crowd’s loudest cheers were saved for old favorites like the set-closer, “Go Your Own Way,” off the mega-selling “Rumours” album. Buckingham encored with a three-song set that ended with the lovely new “Treason.”

That was supposed to end the night, but Buckingham, acknowledging one fan’s constant pleading, returned to play “Bleed to Love Her.”

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Lindsey Buckingham’s rock ‘n’ roll heart shines in Northampton

The Republican Entertainment Desk
By Kevin O'Hare
October 14, 2008
Masslive.com

NORTHAMPTON - Lindsey Buckingham has got his rock ‘n’ roll heart pumping again.

The phenomenally talented guitarist from Fleetwood Mac, released a relatively quiet solo disc called “Under the Skin,” in 2006 and his subsequent tour was colored in some of those more subdued tones.

He’s back with the more rockin’ follow-up, “Gift of Screws” which brought renewed vigor to his performance before a crowd of approximately 800 fans at the Calvin Theatre Tuesday evening.

Prior to 2006, it had been 14 years since Buckingham’s last solo release and he appears to be enjoying the opportunity to do some artistic exploration with these shows before he embarks on a planned reunion with Fleetwood Mac next year.

Backed by a small but superb band which included Neale Heywood on guitar, Brett Tuggle on guitar, bass and keyboards and Walfredo Reyes, Jr. on percussion, Buckingham mixed songs from throughout his solo albums - with an obvious emphasis on the latter pair - as well as mixing in some Fleetwood Mac classics.

Dressed in a black leather jacket, he opened the night with the new album’s drum-thumping “Great Day,” which was co-written by his son Will a couple of years back when Will was all of eight-years-old.

With three guitars soaring and no bass, the band nevertheless delivered a huge sound on the harmony-filled “Love Runs Deeper,” before Buckingham stretched back to 1981 for “Trouble.”

An early highlight was a breathtaking blast through “Go Insane,” which found Tuggle switching between bass and keyboards, before blue lights washed the stage as a moody preamble to a dramatically re-worked version of one of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits, “Tusk.”

One of the oddest songs in the 20-song, two hour performance was the title cut from the new album. With its bizarre sound effects and Buckingham screaming a times, it was certainly hard to envision that the song actually can trace its roots back to an Emily Dickinson poem.

Mid-set standouts included “Never Going Back Again,” which found Buckingham playing with the phrasing and the melody; “Big Love,” one of the last songs Buckingham did with Fleetwood Mac before taking a break from the group in the late 1980s “to get my sanity back;” the shimmering “Under the Skin;” and the hook-filled “Did You Miss Me,” which his label has been promoting as the single from the current disc.

While the band was definitely tight, that did not stop the troupe from opening up into some improvisational splendor as during the richly atmospheric “I’m So Afraid,” which started slow and built to a loud, extended, frenzied guitar blast at the end.

As the night wore down, Buckingham and company delivered such familiar fare as Fleetwood Mac’s mega-hit “Go Your Own Way,” from the “Rumours” album, and encores highlighted by “Second Hand News;” the beautiful ballad which closes the new album, “Treason;” and a final, audience request “Bleed to Love Her,” which he played solo acoustic.

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