Sunday, October 23, 2011

Of Men And Machines

The big night has come and gone – I saw Lindsey Buckingham in concert! Here is my first music review – I’ve always wanted to write one, and since this is my blog I get to do just that.


This was a sold out show, full of primarily middle aged, enraptured fans. Lindsey certainly gave them their money's worth, playing a 2 hour set of the old and the new.

I left with mixed feelings. Obviously I had built this concert up so high that no human could possibly fulfill expectations. It was great to finally see this man live, something I’ve looked forward to for fifteen years!

Lindsey’s new work is excellent, leaning heavily on a classically influenced picking style that is elaborate and intense. Each track from his latest album, ‘Seeds We Sow’, is a masterpiece of sparkling instruments and distinctive vocals.

He has already completed several concert dates, and has 21 more before the tour ends in December. Unfortunately, the rigors of the road are taking their toll on my guitar hero.

Early in the set Lindsey was shaking out his hand after each song. He appeared to experience discomfort from the heavy picking, and his forays into that captivating style were limited. His voice was also affected; the nuances of the vocals shadowed by overstretching and overuse.

I would have been thrilled to hear all acoustic material, but this was not to be. Lindsey and his crack band played several Fleetwood Mac songs, and the crowd loved it. These songs were clearly the highlight of their evening, and their reason for attending. It made me wonder, why didn’t these people just buy a Fleetwood Mac ticket?

Lindsey Buckingham is no fool – to fill concert halls he must keep his fans happy. However these ‘fans’ do him no favour if they only want to hear music that peaked nearly 30 years ago. This indicates scant appreciation for his formidable regenerative powers and ongoing artistic growth.

What seems to matter most to Lindsey Buckingham is his ‘Little Machine’ - the creative force that has inspired him to produce three solo albums in five years. He describes ‘Seeds We Sow’ as ‘the best work I’ve ever done’. His words are full of excitement and joy.

It would be wonderful if more of us shared his enthusiasm.

Here's a track from 'Seeds We Sow', performed in Los Angeles last April. Enjoy!


Copyright 2011, Kathy Neudorf

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