Lindsey Buckingham - photo by Michael Sherer
NYC is, of course, a special place to perform, especially at the fabled and classy The Town Hall, just east of Times Square. It was the tenth stop on Buckingham’s thirty date U.S. tour this year, which began September 1st in Milwaukee. Most of the 1,500 hundred seats here in NYC were full. This great sounding, 100 year old hall is an ideal venue to attend concerts and talks.
Buckingham was in fine form vocally, musically and physically, as was his whole band. They sounded taut and thoroughly rehearsed, which they have been, as seen from notices online. Co guitarist Neale Heywood, an Englishman, has been playing alongside Buckingham since 1997, when Heywood first played with Fleetwood Mac at the concert known as “The Dance.” He has toured with the Mac throughout the years since, as an added guitarist.
On drums and counting off virtually every song was Jimmy Paxson, a highly seasoned touring and recording musician with a very long list of performers that he’s backed. Brett Tuggle was on bass and keyboards, and Michael Kianka was on keyboards as well.
Unfortunately, Buckingham underwent emergency heart surgery in February of 2019. The otherwise successful procedure damaged his vocal cords and he feared that his singing voice would be permanently harmed, but most thankfully it appears in listening to him that he’s had a mostly full recovery from this.
Buckingham spoke a few times throughout the concert about the difficult and challenging journey he’s been on over the past three years, and how grateful he was to be sharing the evening with everyone there. He also expressed that the songs from his just released latest record, which was recorded four years ago and is simply entitled “Lindsey Buckingham,” have since taken on quite “visceral” meanings. This is Buckingham’s seventh solo record, coming 40 years after his first and highest charting debut, “Law and Order,” in 1981.
He and then girlfriend and musical partner Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975, and their “Rumours” album released in 1977 is a monster hit and FM radio staple. It has sold 40 million copies worldwide thus far, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.
In the here and now, several songs from Buckingham’s new solo record were performed, along with previous solo material and some of his songs with Fleetwood Mac, naturally. (Full set list below.) Most of Buckingham’s songs feature his unique finger picking guitar work, eschewing a conventional guitar pick/plectrum. It’s a similar approach to banjo playing. Buckingham’s music is known for its eclectic and cerebral qualities, whereupon he doesn’t care to repeat himself nor be simply another pop artist.
The stellar acoustics of the hall allowed for all the nuances in the music to be heard. There’s also not a bad seat in the house, so the quality sound is matched by good sightlines throughout.
One couldn’t help but see how joyous Buckingham was to be healthy and back on the road, as he jumped up and down a few times and shouted “yeah!” type sounds to himself and off mic. The lighting to see everything was tasteful and colorful, and faded out after many songs.
The mostly mask wearing audience, which Buckingham noted included his son, enthusiastically embraced him and the band, with at least one woman standing up and swaying with her arms in the air, as if she was oblivious to how this blocks the view of those behind her.
A good time was had on the heels of an ongoing pandemic, but the show must go on, with much care. Starting in May of next year, the tour will go to Europe to include eleven concerts. This will of course include the U.K. As the British say, “well done” Linds.
Check out what’s happening via: https://www.lindseybuckingham.com/
Not Too late
In Our Own Time
Stars Are Crazy
I Must Go
Doing What I Can
Shut Us Down
Never Going Back Again
I Don’t Mind
On The Wrong Side
Second Hand News
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way
Love Is Here To Stay