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Boston Globe (03/29/1993), Lindsey Buckingham Has a Blast Going His Own Way < Lindsey Buckingham < Main Page

Boston Globe (03/29/1993), Lindsey Buckingham Has a Blast Going His Own Way

Boston Globe, Monday, March 29, 1993

by Jim Sullivan, Globe Staff


At: The Paradise, Friday night.

Lindsey Buckingham was always the least meek of the Mac, Fleetwood Mac, that is, and he was always the guy who put the spice in their soft rock. OK, maybe always isn't the right word here; we know they were a reasonably successful blues-rock unit before he and Stevie Nicks joined them in the mid-' 70s. But as a songwriter, singer, guitarist, arranger and key risk-taker, Buckingham gave the melodic pop group its edge, while helping kick it into the superstar stratum.

He left Mac in 1987 and has released three solo albums, but until now has been invisible as a live performer. His last public performance before this eight-week tour, which stopped at the sold-out Paradise Friday, was a decade back. This is his first-ever solo tour.

So you couldn't blame Buckingham for his giddiness onstage. "This is the first group of shows I've done on my own," he burbled. "We're gonna give it a shot. I think we've got a balanced show here . . . so long as no one shouts out 'Go Your Own Way' too early."

The audience held to its part of the bargain, and Buckingham and his nine- piece band held to theirs.

"Go Your Own Way" came at the end of the regular set, and it was a corker. It's a semisweet breakup/kissoff song; it simmers and throbs and its triumph comes when Buckingham strongly suggests his faded love can go her own way. On the coda, Buckingham and his four guitarists kept pushing toward heavy-metal heaven with Buckingham pumping and thrusting his right arm like a petulant, but proud, child. Buckingham -- a soft-rocker? -- was jerking his head furiously in Ramone-esque fashion, shaking sweat, and it was only later learned backstage that he was battling the flu and heavily dosed up on antibiotics.

The 95-minute set started acoustically with radical rearrangements of "Big Love" and "Go Insane" ("I go insane/like I always do/I call your name/Like I always do"), went electric and eclectic, and then back to acoustic mid-set before the slam-bam finale. Buckingham's assembled a deft, nimble band that features three drummer/ percussionists. But for all the players onstage, the sound was never cluttered. In "Don't Look Down" and "Trouble" there was a semi-Caribbean lilt; the Mac tunes, the brooding, polyrhythmic "Tusk" and "The Chain," both had a ferocious hard-rock impact.

As a songwriter, Buckingham has a wide obsessive/romantic streak. "Why won't you tell me what's going on?/Why won't you tell me who's on the phone?" he repeats in "Tusk" as the menacing layers of percussion build around him. He began the next song, "You Do or You Don't," with the spoken-word intro, "Revenge, obsession, fear/Gotta stop this obsession and start livin' again."

Live, he did. "I'm having a better time than I ever have, really," he said, coming back for the first encore.

"This is really like a family." A multicultural one at that -- boys and girls, blacks and whites. A final defining moment: The climax of "This Is the Time," with Buckingham and another guitarist doing the old Blue Oyster Cult trick of guitar-necks-crossing-high in the air (shooting figurative sparks) and one of percussionists bringing a cymbal front and center to whack. Yes, this seemed a band that was as much fun to be in as it was to listen to.

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

Date: 1993-03-29         Number of views: 1511

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