Live Review

I Know I'm Not Wrong: Lindsey Buckingham at the Grove of Anaheim, Friday, Nov. 3

Save him a place. Photo by Amy Theilig
Save him a place. Photo by Amy Theilig

It isn't very difficult to see why Lindsey Buckingham's solo career never quite took off: the 57-year-old Fleetwood Mac singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer might very well be, as Stereogum.com put it, "to guitar what Joanna Newsom is to harp" but he's also a little, as they say, insane—or, as Buckingham cliched, "someone who thinks outside the box." On this night, Buckingham's "outside the box" thinking had him veering from acting like a serious/nervous peepmouse between his opening songs (new tune "Not Too Late," followed by "Trouble," from 1981's Law and Order and Mac classic "Never Going Back Again") to going absolutely apeshit an hour later near the set's end. There he was, furiously pounding on his guitar, falling on the ground, screaming, and then—after "I'm So Afraid," for example—stomping around and beating his chest like the most bad-ass cave/guitar man ever. Which is fine, and that last bit true, even, if you're already a fan of Buckingham (truer still if you actually enjoy his often so-so solo albums—which I do, some of the time) and if you're not? Well, you probably weren't there, anyway (perhaps instead opting to catch the Fleetwood Mac cover band playing that night at Sachi). But shit, insane or not, what a set: if only for a chance to hear solo goodies like "Trouble" and "Go Insane" and especially "Holiday Road"—first two just himself and his guitar; the last and also Mac songs like "Second Hand News," "World Turning" and "I Know I'm Not Wrong" with a band—very, very solid. Even songs from the just-released Under the Skin ("Show You How," "It Was You") came off sounding fresh and, somewhat surprisingly, not entirely Old Man Who Used to be Cool. My only complaint? If the songs Buckingham wrote for Tusk can be considered his true first (and best) solo album—they can, and it is—I needed more than just "I Know I'm Not Wrong," "Tusk" and an encore performance of "Save Me a Place." And if you hate me for saying that, and argue that Out of the Cradle is in fact his best actual solo album, well then I'm with you there, too—there should have at least been one song off that. Come on, Linds: "Countdown"?

 
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