Music

Lindsey Buckingham Finds a New Beginning on His Own

Photo courtesy of Grandstand Media

The former Fleetwood Mac guitarist makes a tour stop in New York City to promote his new Solo Anthology collection.

"I'm someone who very much tends to want to keep looking forward, and not so much behind me. Certainly that served me very well this year," singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham said from the stage during his show in New York City—a comment that was immediately followed by a reaction of cheers and applause from the audience. That remark is somewhat of an understatement given what had happened between him and his now-former band Fleetwood Mac after a much-publicized split earlier in the year. But to Buckingham's credit, any lingering bitterness from what had recently transpired was not evident during this particular solo performance at the Town Hall. Rather, that show—and his current tour in general—represented a new and revitalized beginning for the veteran artist.

Even with the fame and success Buckingham had attained with the Mac, his solo music is rather under-appreciated. The recent release of Solo Anthology, a three-CD collection of Buckingham music outside of the Mac—from his 1981 solo debut Law and Order to last year's collaborative Buckingham McVie album with Christine McVie—sought to remedy that oversight. That compilation showcased more of the experimental and daring side of Buckingham's music (which could be traced to Fleetwood Mac's 1979 masterpiece Tusk, the follow-up to the hugely popular Rumours) that didn't necessarily conform to the commercial and pop-friendly nature of the parent group. Take a deeper look into his catalog, and one will find some of the most idiosyncratic, melodic and meticulously-produced rock/pop music from the last 37 years.

Like Solo Anthology, the Town Hall show in essence was a balanced and far-reaching overview of his career both as a solo artist and with Fleetwood Mac. Backed by a four-piece band, Buckingham kicked off the night with "Don't Look Down", from 1992's Out of the Cradle, arguably his best solo album ever (If you have not yet heard it, please stop reading this recap and stream it now). In fact, a majority of the songs from the set list drew from that particular record, including "Surrender the Rain", "Doing What I Can", "Turn It On", "Soul Drifter", and the compelling and haunting "Street of Dreams".

That wasn't the only pleasant return: after performing stripped-down, rearranged takes of his '80s solo hits "Trouble" and "Go Insane" from his previous tours, Buckingham refreshingly brought them back to their original full-band-sounding versions this time around at the Town Hall. The show seamlessly flowed from uptempo band rockers like "I Must Go", "Holiday Road", and "Slow Dancing", to reflective yet dazzlingly-played numbers such as "Shut Us Down" and "Not Too Late", where it was mostly just him and his guitar.

Of course, Buckingham played some of the songs he wrote for Fleetwood Mac alongside his solo material—among them "Never Going Back Again" (which he sang the verses in very whispery tones), the bombastic "Tusk", and the dizzying and awe-inspiring solo version of "Big Love". The showstoppers occurred near the end of the evening with the barn-burning "I'm So Afraid" and his signature "Go Your Own Way", both performances offering plenty of Buckingham's rip-roaring guitar. Interestingly, the show ended with the folk-sounding "Treason" from the 2008 Gift of Screws album. With its chorus of "Deep down there's freedom / Deep down there will be a reason / At the end of the season / We will rise from this treason," one can interpret the song's inclusion as either a timely commentary on this current political climate, or a subtle take on what happened between himself and the Mac.

And it's this sense of freedom and liberation that Buckingham conveyed through his inspired musical performances —which were many—during the set, as well his heartfelt and thankful remarks to the audience for their support. Already he had moved on, as he indicated that a new solo album is in the works. "It certainly has been a surprising year," Buckingham admitted to the audience. "And we are making a new start."



Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Books

A Fresh Look at Free Will and Determinism in Terry Gilliam's '12 Monkeys'

Prof. Susanne Kord gets to the heart of the philosophical issues in Terry Gilliam's 1995 time-travel dystopia, 12 Monkeys.

Music

The Devonns' Debut Is a Love Letter to Chicago Soul

Chicago's the Devonns pay tribute the soul heritage of their city with enough personality to not sound just like a replica.

Music

Jaye Jayle's 'Prisyn' Is a Dark Ride Into Electric Night

Jaye Jayle salvage the best materials from Iggy Pop and David Bowie's Berlin-era on Prisyn to construct a powerful and impressive engine all their own.

Music

Kathleen Edwards Finds 'Total Freedom'

Kathleen Edwards is back making music after a five-year break, and it was worth the wait. The songs on Total Freedom are lyrically delightful and melodically charming.

Television

HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Is Heady, Poetic, and Mangled

Laying the everyday experience of Black life in 1950s America against Cthulhuian nightmares, Misha Green and Jordan Peele's Lovecraft Country suggests intriguing parallels that are often lost in its narrative dead-ends.

Music

Jaga Jazzist's 'Pyramid' Is an Earthy, Complex, Jazz-Fusion Throwback

On their first album in five years, Norway's Jaga Jazzist create a smooth but intricate pastiche of styles with Pyramid.

Music

Finding the Light: An Interview with Kathy Sledge

With a timeless voice that's made her the "Queen of Club Quarantine", Grammy-nominated vocalist Kathy Sledge opens up her "Family Room" and delivers new grooves with Horse Meat Disco.

Books

'Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters'

On everything from climate change to gender identity, archaeologists offer vital insight into contemporary issues.

Film

'Avengers: Endgame' Culminates 2010's Pop Culture Phenomenon

Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.

Music

Max Richter's 'VOICES' Is an Awe-Inspiring and Heartfelt Soundscape

Choral singing, piano, synths, and an "upside-down" orchestra complement crowd-sourced voices from across the globe on Max Richter's VOICES. It rewards deep listening, and acts as a global rebuke against bigotry, extremism and authoritarianism.

Music

DYLYN Dares to "Find Myself" by Facing Fears and Life's Dark Forces (premiere + interview)

Shifting gears from aspiring electropop princess to rock 'n' rule dream queen, Toronto's DYLYN is re-examining her life while searching for truth with a new song and a very scary-good music video.

Music

JOBS Make Bizarre and Exhilarating Noise with 'endless birthdays'

Brooklyn experimental quartet JOBS don't have a conventional musical bone in their body, resulting in a thrilling, typically off-kilter new album, endless birthdays.

Music

​Nnamdï' Creates a Lively Home for Himself in His Mind on 'BRAT'

Nnamdï's BRAT is a labyrinth detailing the insular journey of a young, eclectic DIY artist who takes on the weighty responsibility of reaching a point where he can do what he loves for a living.

Music

Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few Play It Cool​

Austin's Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few perform sophisticatedly unsophisticated jazz/Americana that's perfect for these times

Music

Eleanor Underhill Takes Us to the 'Land of the Living' (album stream)

Eleanor Underhill's Land of the Living is a diverse album drawing on folk, pop, R&B, and Americana. It's an emotionally powerful collection that inspires repeated listens.

Music

How Hawkwind's First Voyage Helped Spearhead Space Rock 50 Years Ago

Hawkwind's 1970 debut opened the door to rock's collective sonic possibilities, something that connected them tenuously to punk, dance, metal, and noise.

Books

Graphic Novel 'Cuisine Chinoise' Is a Feast for the Eyes and the Mind

Lush art and dark, cryptic fables permeate Zao Dao's stunning graphic novel, Cuisine Chinoise.

Music

Alanis Morissette's 'Such Pretty Forks in the Road' Is a Quest for Validation

Alanis Morissette's Such Pretty Forks in the Road is an exposition of dolorous truths, revelatory in its unmasking of imperfection.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.