Gone His Own Way

Lindsey Buckingham

At the Arlington Theatre, Sunday, November 5.

Reviewed by Brett Leigh Dicks

While billowing smoke, electronic snare, and blasts of overstated keyboards at times may have seemed a bit retrospective, for the most part Lindsey Buckingham’s Sunday night performance defied time and place. Take the rendition of his Fleetwood Mac masterpiece “I’m Not Alone,” for instance. Backed by a three-piece band, the veteran rocker prowled the foot of the stage throwing forth a bellowing guitar solo that didn’t want to end, proving his guitar hero antics would have worked in any of the three decades Buckingham has musically traversed.

But just as theatrics play a major role in a Buckingham performance, so too does contemplation. Opening his set with “Not Too Late,” a song drawn from his recent solo recording, Under the Skin, Buckingham stood alone onstage and led us through a meditative display of guitar and vocals. Notes cascaded. His voice rose and sank. And through embracing songs like “Trouble” and “Never Going Back Again,” the music freely wandered from his solo ventures to his undertakings with Fleetwood Mac. Among these offerings, none were better than “Big Love,” during which Buckingham belted out a worthy rendition of one of contemporary music’s greatest achievements.

As splendidly as Buckingham’s compositions shine within the world of pop music, they do so with an underlying darkness. A song like “Tusk” has always lurked in the emotive shadows, and Buckingham and band threw forth an explosively sinister rendition. In contrast, the infectious “Go Your Own Way” had the audience on their feet and punching the air.

At the end of the proceedings, his three colleagues bade farewell and the stage was again left to Buckingham and his guitar. As he eased his way into “Bleed to Love Her,” the collective vigor might have gone, but the dynamics were stronger than ever.

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