Written by Eric Sperrazza
It has been a very hectic couple of years for the rock icon, Lindsey Buckingham. In 2018, Buckingham unceremoniously split from his reunited bandmates in Fleetwood Mac and began to work on a self-titled solo album. A year later, he dealt with a cardiac incident and went through open-heart surgery that caused vocal damage and threatened his continued and storied career in rock and roll.
But, with tenacity and sheer grit, the artist that Rolling Stone ranks in the pantheon of the best guitarists of all time, was ready to hit the road and celebrate the completion of his solo project. Of course, that was 2020. (And we all know what happened to live music, then!) Fortune smiled on Buckingham, however; by June of this year, Buckingham‘s solo album debuted and he was on the road singing like he never missed a beat.
Seven years ago, I lost my Mom to angiosarcoma cancer, at the undeniably young age of 59. Quite often, my sister and I revisit the music she filled our home with to keep her in the forefront of our minds. And, let me just say, my Mom loved Fleetwood Mac! She played their albums, ad nauseam, while cooking, driving, or just relaxing. To this day, I can still remember every word to Buckingham‘s “Second Hand News,” off of the worldwide-acclaimed Fleetwood Mac album, Rumours. When Fleetwood Mac reunited in 1993, I never got the privilege of seeing them in concert with her, a personal regret of mine.
As Buckingham traveled to the great Deleware Valley, I took the opportunity to catch up with him as he introduced fans, young and old, to new songs and styles, live at the Tropicana Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Here, I would be treated to a potpourri of musical offerings, led with his innate surgeon-like ability to command his guitar with merely a few fingers.
As I drove down the Atlantic City Expressway, I carried my Mother close to my heart. I wasn’t just driving to review a show on behalf of That Mag… I was going to see Lindsey Buckingham perform on behalf of my Mom.
Buckingham opened the show with the song, “Not Too Late,” from his solo album, Under The Skin. This was one hell of a kickoff as it was truly a clinic in the sheer mastery he has of the guitar. More so, this set the stage for the three proverbial “acts” to follow.
Continuing on his past solo work, Buckingham played “In Our Own Time” from the album, Seeds We Sow, and even “Trouble” from the LP, Law & Order. We were also treated to one of my favorite selections from the 2017 Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie album, Love is Here to Stay.
Moving on to the newly released self-titled album, Lindsey Buckingham, some key choices were selected to showcase and promote, the first of which being “I Don’t Mind.” The audience remained captivated and moved with other tracks like “Scream” and “Swan Song;” all exuding that folk, rockabilly, and even new wave flavors that Buckingham‘s solo work is so famous for.
Far be it from Buckingham to not give a crowd some Fleetwood Mac hits, no one was more excited and ready for them at Tropicana Showroom than me.
Buckingham performed an epic slower-tempo ed rendition of “Never Going Back Again,” with the lyrics just whispered into the microphone forcing the collective audience to lean in and hang on every word and note. He also did Mac classics like “Tusk,” “Big Love,” “I’m So Afraid,” and “Go Your Own Way.”
Buckingham even did the Rumours album hit, “Second Hand News.” I’m sure it looked quite ridiculous to others around me, at the moment, but there, as I was feeling like my Mom was with me, singing this great old song like she had done hundreds of times before in my youth and I couldn’t help but well up a bit in the eyes; a concert moment I will never be able to forget.
All in all, the show moved at a brisk pace. It wasn’t until the end of the evening that Buckingham really offered up any interaction with the crowd. And that is in no way a condemnation! There was no need to pander to and exhilarate the crowd to keep their interest. The fans in attendance were diehards, there to see a rock icon and needed no inspiration to feel the excitement. They wanted to see Buckingham at his best, vocally and on his trusty guitar, and that is exactly what was delivered.
Atlantic City is known for the house taking from its visitors but for one night, it gave a Saturday evening in the company of, and entertained by, a legend to a room full of appreciative people. I can’t think of more that you could ask for the price of admission.
It certainly gave me my moment with my Mom in spirit. THAT was certainly worth the price of mine.
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