Lindsey Buckingham at the Dakota Jazz Club, 11/20/12
Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Whether it was the intro music of himself playing acoustic guitar or his stacks of amplifiers, you get the feeling Lindsey Buckingham has lived life mostly on massive stages and is most comfortable bringing his big personality and larger than life sound to adoring fans. As long as he has been performing he truly operates with a majesty and with perfection the giant body of work he has created with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist. It was from that pool of unforgettable songs that he magnificently showed his true self to the sold out Dakota Jazz club Tuesday night.
Springing towards the microphone Buckingham showed immediate gratitude towards the audience. Though in the intimate setting of the Dakota, he exhibited passionate delivery and a true rock star presence on "Cast Away Dreams" and the first of several Fleetwood Mac tunes of the evening, "Bleed to Love Her." The latter sounded much more personal and devout as it brought the song out from under the '90s production style of the recording which hasn't aged as well as the lyrics themselves.
"I have been talking a lot on this tour of the big machine and the small machine." Buckingham compared working in Fleetwood Mac to that of performing as a solo artist. "As you can see the small machine is getting even smaller."
With charged energy and despite playing an acoustic guitar, Buckingham filled the room with a bright sound in a flurry of finger-picked arpeggiations and impassioned choruses on "Shut Us Down" and "Go Insane." Often using recorded accompaniment that played counterpoint and provided an open canvas rhythmically for extensive guitar solos, Buckingham had most in the crowd on their feet for standing ovations after each song giving the event an arena feel.
As he would hug his guitar and bow graciously between the oceans of melodies and hushed vocals Buckingham commanded the audience with rises and falls in a tide of emotion and dynamics that swept across the room.
Being very open about his songs and the perspective he has looking back at his work, "This song is significant to me. Looking at the lyrics when this was written it accurately describes the person I was." causing some in the audience to laugh. "It wasn't so funny for me!" he cried defensively, "You try being in Fleetwood Mac. It's a god damn mine field out there!" eventually performing a double time version of the 1987 hit, "Big Love" which allowed for Buckingham to really go for it with a frantic guitar solo. Eventually drawing several ladies up to the edge of the stage to bathe in his staccato plucking and looming tunefulness, Buckingham delivered the inevitable crowd pleaser, "Go Your Own Way" that brought the spirit of the song to the now overjoyed crowd who stood and sang along.
Buckingham quickly returned to the stage with some true gratefulness, "It's small risks like these shows that it takes to be an artist and continue to grow. I thank you for being a part of that."
For the encore he retreated to his solo material with a somber reading of "Trouble" that sounded more personal than the original 1981 hit on record and "Seeds We Sow" rounding out the night, both of which once again focused on his subtle but always effective guitar technique.
Essentially the evening really displayed Lindsey Buckingham's abilities and brought out a realness in his personality that seemed quite genuine. It's a fantastic exercise for an artist, especially with as storied career as Buckingham to strip away the excess of performance and bare forth performing naked in a sense on his own. As the music of big classic arena rock takes a more esteemed route with solo performances like that which his current tour provides it's in the cozy settings that listeners gain the opportunity to hear the nuance of the lyrics and performing talents that was most palpable on the stage at the Dakota last night.
Critic's Bias: Was always more a fan of Stevie Nicks' songs but Lindsey Buckingham plays guitar like none other. He is a perfectionist and it comes across in his playing and technique.
The Crowd: Focused like a laser toward the stage, especially the woman who rushed the stage with a bouquet of flowers.
Overheard in the Crowd: "You must be a writer, I heard you say the words 'stage banter'!"
Random Notebook Dump: Somehow had more than one person say I could pull off telling people I'm Lindsey Buckingham.
Cast Away Dreams
Bleed to Love Her
Not Too Late
Shut Us Down
Never Going Back Again
I'm So Afraid
Go Your Own Way
Seeds We Sow
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