The Dakota Jazz Club offered free earplugs at the door (unprecedented). The classy downtown Minneapolis club also suspended food and drink service during the concert (not too common but prudent). And the performance of Lindsey Buckingham left many in Tuesday’s sell-out audience unsatisfied (not common).
Why? Buckingham’s solo acoustic performance lasted only 72 minutes (including the encore). And tickets cost $125 and $80. I imagine his soundcheck – for his four guitars, multiple amplifiers and effects pedals – might have lasted longer than the gig itself.
Buckingham’s previous Twin Cities shows with his own band (once as many as 10 pieces) have been longer if occasionally indulgent affairs. Wearing the same outfit he sported last year at his 110-minute Pantages performance with his backup trio, he called this solo session part of a little experiment. He commented about the shallowness of the Dakota—not the people, the space, he said. He talked about the small machine (his solo projects, namely six solo discs since 1981 but three since 2006) being necessary to balance the Big Machine (Fleetwood Mac) and how one couldn’t function without the other.
Using occasional backing tracks, Buckingham’s finger picking was fancy, fast and often phenomenal. He received standing ovations at the end of every long solo passage – and they weren’t just Fleetwood Mac tunes.
At 63, Buckingham came off as an angry man. Well, at least the songs he chose to sing from his solo career were very angry, from the radio faves “Trouble” and “Go Insane” to “Come.” And loud – for acoustic music. He sang hard, like he was trying to project in an arena.
Of course, the Fleetwood Mac tunes – including “Go Your Own Way,” “Never Going Back Again” and “I’m So Afraid” – weren’t exactly happy tunes. We knew that Buckingham wouldn’t be sweet, but we had no idea that he’d be so short.
Cast Away Dreams/ Bleed To Love Her (Fleetwood Mac) / Not Too Late/ Stephanie (instrumental from Buckingham Nicks)/ Come/ Shut Us Down/ Go Insane/ Never Going Back Again (Mac) / Big Love (Mac) / I’m So Afraid (Mac) / Go Your Own Way (Mac) ENCORE Trouble/ Seeds We Sow