Lindsey Buckingham’s live show comes down to one

Pub date May 16, 2012
WriterSean McCourt

With an arsenal of a dozen guitars and several amplifiers lined up behind him, Lindsey Buckingham wasted no time delving into his extensive catalog of songs Monday night at the Fillmore.

Striding up to a lone microphone stand wearing his signature blue jeans, v-neck t-shirt, and black leather jacket, the singer and guitarist launched into an hour and 15 minute set that spanned a broad spectrum of his career, covering a wide swath of solo material in addition to some of the mega hits he created as a member of Fleetwood Mac.

After running through the first couple of tunes and warming up his formidable finger picking skills, the 62-year old Buckingham took a short break to talk about his current tour across the country, contrasting the differences between performing with what he called the “big machine” — Fleetwood Mac — and “the small machine” — his solo outings.

Remarking that when he started out on his own, he would often take a sizable backing band with him, but over the years he has decreased the number of players, with his last major tour featuring a trio, and that this trek finds him venturing out by himself.

Aside from a few songs that he played along with to a pre-recorded backing track, such as “Go Your Own Way,” it was just Buckingham, his stellar guitar playing, and his still-powerful voice providing the sonic soundscape that filled the historic auditorium, proving beyond a doubt that he was capable of carrying the show all on his own, with a highly vocal and appreciative audience to encourage him.

At times, it felt strange to look at the stage and see only one person performing with the amount of energy and excitement being generated. During songs such as “Big Love” and “Go Insane,” Buckingham made a variety of impassioned facial expressions while playing, and yelled and clapped at the crowd when he finished.

When the Palo Alto native came back out for an encore, he walked along the front of the stage, high-fiving and shaking hands with his fans, before telling the audience that it “you guys really do make it feel like home here.”

Then adding, “There’s so much history in this place, and with all the music that has come out of this city, I’m just proud to be a small part of it.”

With Monday’s show in the books, Buckingham can be assured that he is still very much a vivacious and viable contributor to that ongoing legacy.