Roots Report: Lindsey Buckingham at Garde Arts

Okee dokee folks… I was fortunate to attend the Lindsey Buckingham show at the Garde Arts Center in New London last week. First of all, for those of you who think the Garde Arts Center is too far, you are wrong. It is a VERY easy drive and about 50 miles from Providence. It’s the distance of Boston without the traffic nightmare. It took me just under an hour to get there. Second, there’s lots of parking right there; there’s a large free lot across the street, street parking and a parking garage next door that usually costs between $5 and $10. Third, it’s a great sounding, 1,400 seat theater with main floor and balcony seating. The staff is very friendly and accommodating as well. While some of the shows they have come through Providence, they do get some shows that are exclusive for this area. So far, besides Buckingham, I have seen Donovan and David Crosby there. When I saw those two shows the Garde was the only one that had them. Both great shows. So, if I were you I would sign up for their mailing list so you don’t miss out. I know a lot of folks were disappointed that they missed the Lindsey Buckingham show, even though I MENTIONED IT IN MY COLUMN! For more, go west to: gardearts.org

Lindsey Buckingham, of Fleetwood Mac fame, played to a crowd of about 900 last Thursday, November 29 at the Garde. For those of you who are fans of Fleetwood Mac and the solo work by Buckingham, this was a treat. As many of you may know, Buckingham is no longer with Fleetwood Mac. This is the second time that Buckingham has been out of the band. In both cases it has taken two guitarists to replace him, which signifies the talent that he possesses as a musician. Buckingham’s performance Thursday night reinforced that.

Buckingham began his two-hour show with “Don’t Look Down” and quickly followed with “Go Insane.” He spoke of his new solo anthology and how “cathartic it was to curate the collection” and that some of the songs that they would be performing had never been performed live before. He added, “It’s been a surprising year and we’re making a new start … and we love you all so much!” He continued his set with “Surrender In The Rain,” “Doing What I Can” and another of his solo hits, “Trouble” After a few more, the band left the stage to Buckingham and his guitar. He played one of his Fleetwood Mac songs, “Never Going Back Again,” more slowly and soulfully than it was recorded or performed in the past. His rendition of “Big Love” put to rest any doubt who had the talent in the Mac. After a few more songs with the band, including the song from the film National Lampoon’s Vacation, “Holiday Road,” “Tusk,” and “So Afraid,” he closed the set with “Go Your Own Way.” After rousing applause and a standing “O,” Buckingham returned to play three more songs and to introduce the band. He did not simply introduce each member by name, but he spoke in length and very highly of each player. His band was made up of drums, bass and two keyboard players, one of which handled the sampled sounds (at one point there were dogs barking) that Buckingham likes to include in the mix. He wrapped up his encore with the song “Treason” with the refrain, “Deep down there’s freedom, Deep down there will be a reason, At the end of the season, We will rise from this treason.” Was this directed at the state of this nation or toward his former bandmates? Either way, it was a powerful song to close out the night.

Buckingham’s frenetic finger-style guitar playing is unique to him. It is part of what makes his sound special besides his voice, songwriting talent and production skills. If I wanted to sum up this concert with one word, I would just say “Tusk.” This show made me feel like the first time I listened to the Fleetwood Mac album, Tusk. It was an album ahead of its time and really let Buckingham take the production reins. A lot of the music made me feel like we were in Lindsey’s disco. It was music that made you want to move. Buckingham seemed sincerely grateful and appreciative toward the crowd. He mentioned that this was just the beginning of bigger things to come for him and that he and the band are looking forward to it. All in all it was an amazing night of music from a true rock legend. If he makes his way though the area again, you should make an effort to see him. It is hard to understand how a talent of his magnitude plays to an audience of only 900 while Fleetwood Mac, a band that he is more responsible for the sound of than the remaining members, will be playing two nights at the Garden in Boston next year. I have seen Fleetwood Mac without Buckingham and no matter how many guitar players you add, Lindsey cannot be replaced. I was very grateful to see his show again this time around.

That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com

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