Lindsey Buckingham does too many things too well for one of his talents not to go overlooked. Millions know him as the singer-songwriter of the Fleetwood Mac smash “Go Your Own Way,” and fans credit him as the driving force behind the band’s fractured epic, Tusk. But one thing you don’t hear much about is Buckingham’s guitar-heroism—a shame, since the man’s pickless playing is straight-up deadly. For proof, hit YouTube to watch an Afroed, bell-bottoms- clad Lindsey tearing through an exploding-sun solo on a 1976 live version of his darkly mesmerizing signature star turn, “I’m So Afraid.”
Amazingly, the fire still rages in Buckingham’s belly. As he proved at a Town Hall solo gig last year, he loves to gradually dial up the intensity of his shows, perching on the edge of cacophonous meltdown. And the depth of Buckingham’s catalog—drawing equally on his six solo LPs, including 2011’s borderline-great Seeds We Sow, and what he calls the “Big Machine” of the Mac—ensures that his sets never lag, even for those with their hearts set on a “Don’t Stop” finale.
This week’s shows are unaccompanied, but don’t expect anything too chill. Buckingham’s fingerpicking remains razor sharp and freight-train propulsive—witness Seeds’ “Stars Are Crazy,” which stands with his best work—and each mellow ballad finds its counterpart in an unhinged climax. With all due respect to U2’s stocking-capped ax man, this dude’s the real Edge.—Hank Shteamer
Follow Hank Shteamer on Twitter: @DarkForcesSwing