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San Diego Union-Tribune (03/10/1993), Yesterday's Gone, But No Stopping Buckingham < Lindsey Buckingham < Main Page

San Diego Union-Tribune (03/10/1993), Yesterday's Gone, But No Stopping Buckingham

San Diego Union Tribune, Wednesday, March 10, 1993

POP MUSIC REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham

Yesterday's Gone, But No Stopping Buckingham
by Karla Peterson, Arts Writer

As befits a man with his high-visibility past, Lindsey Buckingham came to the Belly Up Tavern Monday night armed with enough instrumental firepower and Top-40 incantations to bust a battalion of musical ghosts.

He had five guitarists, three percussionists and a pile of hits retooled to his exacting specifications, but in the end, all Buckingham needed to vault out of the looming shadow of Fleetwood Mac was one guitar, one voice and about six minutes.

With just his guitar and a goofy smile between him and the pumped-up, sold-out crowd, a lone Buckingham opened the nearly two-hour concert with dazzling versions of "Big Love" (from Fleetwood Mac's "Tango in the Night" album) and "Go Insane," from his 1984 solo LP of the same title.

In their original form, both tunes are sparkling examples of pure pop craft, but on Monday night, Buckingham turned them into triumphant declarations of independence. Intricate guitar picking and dark, frenzied vocals turned "Big Love" into hypnotic psychodrama, while "Go Insane" was transformed from a toe-tapping ditty into a melancholy portrait of obsessive love.

In the time it took to finish those two songs, Buckingham sent the memories of Fleetwood Mac hurtling back to the mothballs where they belong. All he had to do then was top himself, and with his 10-piece band acting as both a help and a handicap, the ingratiating singer/songwriter lived up to that challenge, too.

"I'm having a better time than I've ever had," Buckingham told the crowd after that startling double-whammy. "As long as no one yells out `Go Your Own Way' too soon, we're all going to get along fine."

No one did, and it was a good thing, too. The Belly Up date was the second stop on Buckingham's first post-Mac tour, and while the eight-man, two-woman band negotiated the demands of his solo work with energy and flair, the Fleetwood Mac hits emerged as the weak spots in an otherwise dynamic evening.

After making a terrific first impression with a supple rendition of "Don't Look Down," from last year's solo album "Out of the Cradle," Buckingham and the band lurched into "The Chain," a complex Fleetwood Mac studio classic that didn't always work when the originators tried to do it live, and it didn't do this group of youngsters any good, either.

Overblown versions of the bluesy "I'm So Afraid" and wacky "Tusk" proved that too many guitars can spoil the tune, and despite Buckingham's mind-expanding solo, "Go Your Own Way" -- when it finally materialized -- failed to soar anywhere near its '70s heights.

Fortunately, there is much more to Lindsey Buckingham than the old favorites, as he and the band continued to prove after it was obvious that no further proof was needed.

As anyone who watched an animated Buckingham try to keep Fleetwood Mac from making a collective fool of itself during the inauguration festivities, this confirmed studio rat is also a charismatic performer, and his arena-sized appeal made the transition to clubland intimacy without sacrificing any of its manic vitality or open-hearted charm.

Whether he was serving up new tunes (the wistful "You Do Or You Don't" and the jubilant "Doing What I Can") or reclaiming forgotten gems (a celebratory rendition of 1983's obscure "Holiday Road" and a tender "Save Me a Place" from 1979's "Tusk"), Buckingham played and sang with the delighted fervor of a man who has rediscovered the joys of doing what he does best.

As "Out of the Cradle's" disappointing sales figures demonstrated, Buckingham may never go back to his million-selling glory days, but as the Belly Up show proved, he doesn't need to.

With a new young band grinning behind him, and a treasure-trove of new material spinning in his head, Buckingham doesn't need the past any more than he needs a sixth guitar player. Yesterday's gone, but Lindsey Buckingham's tomorrows are looking better all the time.

Thanks to Les for posting this to the Ledge and to Anusha for formatting and sending it to us.

Date: 1993-03-10         Number of views: 1358

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