Lindsey Buckingham – Late, but Not Too Late

Lindsey Buckingham at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Photo: Josh Chaikin

“I love you, Lindsey!” became a familiar refrain of the night, being shouted by different people in the Uptown Theater, in Kansas City, on Wednesday night. And how could they not? During his time in Fleetwood Mac, he gave us such classics as Second Hand News, Never Going back Again, and of course Go Your Own Way, all of which were played that evening. Though we were experiencing harrowing, 80 mph winds in Kansas City, concert goers filled the Uptown to a little more than half capacity, for an evening of classics, with a legend.

Touring in support of his eponymous solo album, delayed by the pandemic, Buckingham opened with Not too Late, from his 1997 release, Under the Skin, a soulful ballad, with as much heart as anything he wrote for Fleetwood Mac, asking “What am I doing anyway / Telling myself it’s not too late / I’m not a young man but I’m a child in my soul”. The song seems to have taken on new meaning, after mounting a solo tour, after his unceremonious firing from Fleetwood Mac three years ago.

At 72 years of age, and seven solo albums under his belt, Buckingham had a lot of material from which to draw. His set featured heavily from his solo work, with a handful of Fleetwood hits sprinkled about. On display throughout were his distinctive vocals, powerful lyrics, and unmistakable playing style. Hearing him on records is one thing, but watching him achieve his distinctive tone, through a rapid, pickless playing style is nothing short of amazing.

Most of the performance was done without talking, or introducing songs, other than expressing how grateful he was to be on the road, and for everyone coming to spend the evening with him, and everyone was definitely happy to do so.

While staying mostly behind the microphone during the evening, Lindsey got more pep in his step, and bounded around the stage during Second Hand News, and while the audience was mostly seated throughout, everyone was standing, and many dancing in the aisles, by the time he started playing Tusk, and how could you not? Though there was no marching band on stage, the five members of Lindsey’s crew managed to create a full sound that lifted everyone up.

I’m So Afraid demonstrated more of Lindsey’s prowess, with melodic guitar solos showing his deft skill, compositional prowess, and proving that he his definitely one of the most underrated guitarists in rock, while still being one of the most influential. His is a style that many have tried to imitate, or replicate, but have yet to best.

Lindsey Buckingham’s tour offers a great mix of his solo work, as well as the hits he helped develop with Fleetwood Mac, and they’re presented without malice, certainly no small feat given recent, and ancient, history of the group. Though age, and surgery, has weakened Buckingham’s voice, he still proves himself to be a force to be reckoned with musically, presenting an evening of over 20 hits to an adoring fanbase. Both his album, and the tour, are worth the price of admission.

Words and Photos by Josh Chaikin

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