Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lindsey Buckingham Live In Des Moines

Lindsey Buckingham
Live At Hoyt Sherman Place
Des Moines, Iowa, September  2, 2012

“Look at all of those dudes up by the stage taking pictures of Lindsey’s guitar rack.” I pointed out to my wife as we made our way to our seats at Lindsey Buckingham’s solo performance in Des Moines last Saturday night. “That’s hilarious!” I added as we both sat down.

“Don’t laugh.” She replied. “You know you want to go up there and do the same thing.”

I paused for a moment before admitting, “I do want to go up there.”
It would have been hilarious if they were all BC Rich.

Like my wife predicted, I was up out of my seat, making my way to the front of the stage just so I could seize a few shots of Buckingham’s wares before the lights went down.

Not a Marshall in sight. Didn't need 'em.
There were two things that I immediately discovering during An Intimate Evening with Lindsey Buckingham, an intimate one-man performance of the Fleetwood Mac legend. The first is that all of the male audience members seemed to have show up to ogle at his incredible guitar picking skills.  And just because there was an ample amount of Ovation acoustic guitars standing on that rack, it doesn’t mean that Lindsey didn’t hit a pedal, transforming a hollow body into a ballsy lead instrument, complete with distortion, tone, and testosterone.

The other thing was that Buckingham’s crowd probably found more women in attendance. The majority of them were middle-aged, but all of them seemed to view Lindsey with the kind of glance that is only reserved for lustful admiration. The man is as lean as ever, sporting thin denim jeans, a v-neck t-shirt and expensive leather jacket for the occasion, all of which prompted more than one shout of “I love you Lindsey!” from his female admirers.

The set pulled from equal parts solo material and Fleetwood Mac cuts, which he referred to as “the big machine.” Whatever the source, the intimate setting created a perfect backdrop for a lot of his overproduced material in the same way that “Big Love” got a new lease on life the moment Buckingham focused on turning it into an incredible reminder of his talent on the six string.

For tonight, it was “Go Insane” that got the “better than the original” nod. Admittedly, it’s pretty easy to overtake the outdated production of the title track from his 1984 solo record. But Lindsey manages to bring out the original diagnosis, but slowing down the arrangement and turning it into an eerie, creepy crawl.

All the songs receive similar changes in arrangements and nuances, and each one required a new guitar, mindfully handed over by his guitar tech while the devoted crowd gave standing ovations after every tune.

Don't get weird on me, babe.
By the time he got to the familiar opening of “Go Your Own Way,” the decorum of the immaculate Hoyt Sherman Place venue finally turned into a traditional rock show. Dozens of middle-aged women began leaving their seats to march up to the front of the stage, getting a bird’s eyes view of their graying idol as he navigated both sides of the crowd for optimal exposure.

Even in this intimate setting, Lindsey brought out his best showman poses, pouting his lips with eyes-closed during extended solos, pursing loud/soft dynamics with his vocals to achieve maximum vulnerability, and holding his hand over his heart with each appreciative applause.

To dismiss this package as just an atypical unplugged outing would be an injustice to the many years this man honed his craft in packed arenas with Fleetwood Mac. But the beauty of it all is how the intimacy perfectly translated this man’s genius on his instrument. It’s a craft that was obviously built from even more years of refining his relationship with the guitar, probably alone and probably going beyond what was even needed with Mac.

Yet he continued his progression, honoring the band’s tradition of featuring some pretty awesome guitarists and securing his own place in that heritage.

With Fleetwood Mac, he was just one of many guitarists that filled that spot, but on that special Saturday night in Des Moines, he was the only guitarist we wanted to hear in that role.


Cast Away Dreams
Bleed To Love Her
Not Too Late
Shut Us Down
Go Insane
Never Going Back Again
Big Love
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way


Down On Rodeo
Seeds We Sow

1 comment:

Cousin J said...

I always dug 'Go Insane.' That's the tune I associate him with as a solo artist, more than 'Big Love.' Very unique style & tone. He was never trying to be/imitate Peter Green. Probably deserves to be more highly regarded. Didn't he have a solo album out within the last 10 years? I seem to remember a more recent song but can't place it by looking at the set list.