Lovers Lane
In The Flesh

Lindsey Buckingham live!

| September 19, 2011

Lindsey Buckingham‘s a great, albeit underrated, guitarist and he knows it. Perhaps that’s why he opened the Chicago stop of his Seeds We Sow tour with a one-man acoustic set that amply showcased his nimble (though occasionally self-indulgent) frethand and well-persevered vocal pitch. Whether it was solo staples like “Go Insane” and “Trouble” or Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again,” the 61-year-old was in superb form, ushering in a welcome sense of intimacy often lost on his full-time band’s arena tours.
In solo contexts, Fleetwood’s “Big Love” was rearranged as a fiery finger-picker undercut by impassioned wails, which have since replaced the hokey ’80s production and synthesizer overdose. The newer “Under The Skin” was a little less magnetic given its meandering, middling approach, though Buckingham’s vocals demonstrated additional warmth and closeness.     
However, the mood soon shifted toward a big-rock-show vibe with “In Our Own Time” paving the way for Buckingham and his backing trio’s power, a trait that was fully realized come Fleetwood’s shiny “Second Hand News” and the progressive jam “Tusk.” The fresh “Stars Are Crazy” was an acoustic guitar-centered speed exercise that is among the strongest on Seeds We Sow, though considering it sounds like a bookend to “Big Love,” seemed out of place in the full-band segment.
However, Buckingham and band were a collective force to be reckoned with across the ’70s psychedelic barnburner “I’m So Afraid” (though he could’ve shaved off a minute of the overly showy solo) and the now legendary Rumours anchor “Go Your Own Way,” both of which brought to light his significant but sometimes overlooked contributions to the Mac. (He bowed dramatically after both, though it was unclear if he was basking pompously in his brilliance or humbly in the audience’s adoration).
In comparison to that initial double-decker finale, the encore was anti-climatic given solo choices like the easygoing, adult contemporary groove “Treason” and the experimental, but far from infectious “Seeds We Sow.” It probably wasn’t the most fitting way to end the career-spanning set, but it nonetheless reinforced Buckingham’s commitment to his craft over the temptation to rest in a commercial comfort zone.
— Andy Argyrakis

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Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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