Under The Skin Concert Review, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Forget the Mac attack, Buckingham dazzles solo
Monday, October 23, 2006
Plain Dealer Pop Music Critic
Lindsey Buckingham remains best known for his work with the ultra-successful pop-rock group Fleetwood Mac. Left to his own devices, however, this singer-guitarist -- a true original -- is a remarkable solo artist, too. He proved it Friday night with a stunning concert at Lakewood Civic Auditorium.
Sporting a black leather jacket, black shirt and blue jeans, Buckingham opened the show alone with "Not Too Late," an intense soul-searcher.
"I'm not a young man, but I'm a child in my soul / I feel there's room for a man who is whole," he sang, closing his eyes to concentrate on the rippling accompaniment of his fingerpicked guitar.
"Welcome back!" a fan shouted.
"It's nice to be back," said Buckingham, 57. This was one of 22 stops on his first solo tour in nearly 15 years.
He stayed in one-man-band mode for a haunting deconstruction of his 1981 hit "Trouble" and the twangy Mac favorite "Never Going Back Again." A full-on assault on another Mac tune, the galloping "Second Hand News," picked up the pace and brought sidemen Brett Tuggle (guitar, bass, keyboards), Neale Heywood (guitar) and Taku Hirano (percussion) to the stage.
Nothing against Stevie Nicks & Co., but Buckingham's old Mac associates weren't missed.
His 19-song performance showcased a handful of selections from his superb new album, "Under the Skin," which Buckingham said dealt with growing up. The title track offered encouragement to a lost soul, the syncopated love song "It Was You" had a faux-reggae feel and "Cast Away Dreams" was a lament for unfulfilled wishes, buoyed by Beach Boys-worthy harmonies.
On his own or with Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham consistently has revealed a knack for being catchy without stooping to lowest-common-denominator tactics. His well-crafted arrangements always pack enough quirky twists to keep listeners on their toes, while his lyrics pull off the neat trick of being deeply personal yet universal.
A solo interlude in the middle of the show included a frenetic version of the Mac tune "Big Love" and a mesmerizing update of Buckingham's 1984 hit "Go Insane," prefaced by a brief poetry recital. The latter tune became a self-fulfilling prophecy, with Buckingham seemingly coming unhinged as he flailed away at his guitar.
With his tight new band in tow again, it was back into Mac territory. A reinvigorated "Go Your Own Way" brought concertgoers to their feet, the ever-popular "Tusk" featured a marching band conjured via synthesizer by Tuggle and "World Turning" flat-out rocked. But there was no topping "I'm So Afraid," a song off Fleetwood Mac's self-titled 1975 album, Buckingham's first effort with the group. In concert, he punctuated the smoldering ballad with a jaw-dropping solo, doing a slow burn up the neck of his guitar before pawing the strings like an enraged werewolf.
"Yeeeaaahhh!" Buckingham howled afterwards, savoring the catharsis.
He was in a mellower mood for the four-song encore, which included "Holiday Road," "Show You How," "Save Me a Place" and a solo rendition of "Bleed to Love Her."
"You guys were great tonight," a visibly appreciative Buckingham told the enthusiastic audience.
2006-10-23 Number of views: