House of Blues, Los Angeles – June 6, 2007
In a band of eccentrics, Lindsey Buckingham stood tall in Fleetwood Mac. Drafted into the band with Stevie Nicks in the mid-1970s, he was the creative spark that shot the band into the stratosphere. The rest of the band stepped up to their creative potential, but myriad solo projects over the ensuing decades pretty well define who left the biggest mark on the band. The only two members remaining throughout the band’s longevity are its namesake: drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. That rhythm section has remained intact since the band’s birth during the early British blues scene.
Buckingham’s current solo album was released last year and (much like the current McCartney release) was a one-man effort across all instruments. To take his show on the road, Buckingham enlisted three compadres. The long and winding road of the tour is nearing the finish line, and their show at the House of Blues revealed a well-oiled machine.
The generous two hour show drew from his solo albums (mostly from the excellent current Under the Sun) as well as well-received selections from the Mac heyday. About one third of the show was comprised of Buckingham alone onstage. Despite the echo-friendly nature of the sound mix, his vocal flexibility and astounding guitar dexterity was astounding. “Never Going Back” was the first indication that Buckingham was going to dip deep into his songbook. When joined by his touring band, Buckingham was able to crank up the energy. The early peak of the show was his inevitable tour de force “Go Your Own Way.” As with many of the evening’s masterful guitar solos, Buckingham was a man possessed by six strings. The youngest musician onstage was Alfredo Reyes, a drummer from Cuba. During the bongo fury of a drum solo he was channeling both Mick Fleetwood and John Bonham.
Buckingham acknowledged that the evening was a sort of homecoming, with many friends and neighbors in the house. The surprise of the evening was “Holiday Road” from the Vacation soundtrack. Available on disc only as a bootleg, the jaunty track has summer-stoopid minimal lyrics but an infectious groove. One day, this song could be a bonus track on the long-awaited CD release of Buckingham-Nicks and thereby stemming the cashflow to audio pirates.