05 December 2018 (gig)
08 December 2018
One of the most unfortunate news stories this year was that Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac had parted ways.
While the split has been extremely disappointing to fans, Buckingham is not being idle, and has resumed his solo career. In addition to a recently released career spanning CD collection ("Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham"), he is in the midst of his first solo tour since 2012, which played the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts on December 5, 2018.
Since he hardly ever appears to age, Buckingham took the stage looking quite fit and many years younger than his actual age of 69. Backed by a quartet of musicians, Buckingham opened with "Don't Look Down," from his underrated 1992 disc, "Out of the Cradle," but quickly ventured into more familiar territory, with his most successful solo track, "Go Insane" ("Go Insane" was also the name of the album it came from, and the song was a US Top 25 hit in 1984 - while the accompanying video for "Go Insane" was in heavy rotation that summer on MTV).
"Not Too Late," a haunting number from 2006s "Under The Skin" disc, was most impressive and truly emphasized Buckinghams complex guitar finger picking style (one of the most underrated guitarists ever, Buckingham plays guitar sans a pick, using his fingertips and nails). Following a glossy, "Doing What I Can," he revisited his very charming 1981 ditty, "Trouble."
Not neglecting his former bands material, and reminding why he was the main creative force in Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham etched out pristine takes of, "Never Going Back Again" (where his impressive vocal range was on full display), and an eclectic rendering of "Big Love."
Delving back again to the "Go Insane" record, Buckingham unearthed the mystifying deep cut, "Slow Dancing," followed by "Soul Drifter," another gem from "Out of the Cradle." Buckinghams vocal delivery on "Soul Drifter" was so smooth, that it's stylistically akin to (1980's era) Elton John.
An irresistible "Holiday Road" (the theme song from "National Lampoons Vacation" film) led way to the set ending trio of Fleetwood Mac tunes; "Tusk" from the bands experimental late 70s; "I'm So Afraid," the only song performed from 1975s self titled "Fleetwood Mac" record, was the heaviest song of the night (originally the B-side of "Over My Head," I'm So Afraid," while not a hit, become a staple at Mac concerts); and a rousing "Go Your Own Way" which was the highlight of the concert. Long known as a personal break-up song for Buckingham (as it directly refers to the dissolution of his relationship with Stevie Nicks), it takes on an additional meaning now in the midst of his divorce from Fleetwood Mac.
An encore of "Turn It On" and "Down on Rodeo," was capped off by a haunting "Treason." While the lyrics may or may not reflect Buckinghams current feelings, it was hard not to sense he may have some personal attachment, especially during the songs repeated refrain of, "We will rise from this treason."
If Fleetwood Mac is truly now just only in Buckinghams rear view mirror, it is unfortunate. Buckingham certainly proved he can still put on a scintillating show without them, but it's sad that the magical chemistry he created with Fleetwood Mac may never be witnessed again.