Lindsey Buckingham

The Sands, Bethleham, PA

Lindsey Buckingham

The Sands Hotel & Casino Event Center - Bethlehem, PA - December 9, 2018
Review & Photos - Rebecca Wolf

It was December 9th, the last night of Lindsey Buckingham’s solo tour. It was also the day after Buckingham first revealed in an interview, on CBS This Morning, that a few weeks prior he and Fleetwood Mac had “signed off on” the lawsuit he’d filed with the band earlier in the year. In Buckingham’s his first television interview since their split, it appeared the situation remains emotionally charged for Buckingham. It was the strength of these emotions that Buckingham brought to the stage for this final night of his solo tour. These emotions, and the energy that went along with them, gave Buckingham’s adoring fans a performance that had them singing and dancing in their seats, until being allowed to rush the stage, like young groupies, towards the end of the show.

Buckingham’s voice continues to sound strong and full, and he remains the unbelievable, amazingly skilled guitar player he’s been for over 4 decades.  Throughout the evening, Buckingham continually demonstrated his passion for performing, as well as his gratitude towards his fans.  As audience members shouted, “We love you Lindsey,” Buckingham often tapped his hand on his heart, or put his fingers to his lips, sending his love and kisses back to the crowd. There seemed to be an unwritten theme to the night for Buckingham….that of being resilient. Speaking to the audience on several occasions, Buckingham noted with a bit of melancholy, along with a well of inner strength, that this year had been something new….a surprising year for him. However, he reassured all that he was doing okay. “Looking at my catalog of songs has given me a catharsis,” Buckingham shared. For fans who’ve felt the need to protect and defend Buckingham (like the “underdog”), he wanted to send reassurance that he’d emerged from the battle as strong as ever. “I like to look forward and not behind. This is what’s worked well for me this year,”  he expressed to the audience’s cheers of loving support. Buckingham’s appreciation could be heard in his voice as he responded, “All of you being here at the start of something new means SO much!” These endearing words were expressed by Buckingham several times throughout the performance.
The emotions and support emanating from the audience were genuine and palpable. You could feel the crowd’s respect and devotion to Buckingham.  One gentleman towards the front of the house couldn’t contain his adoration of Buckingham. Sitting in an aisle seat, this gentleman exploded with excitement into the center aisle each time Buckingham played an extended guitar solo. And, as each of these songs came to an end, he shook with enthusiasm as he shouted towards the stage, “No one plays guitar like you Lindsey!!!” In a pause between songs, Buckingham approached the edge of the stage, prompting this gentleman to rush forward to shake Buckingham’s hand. A wide grin spread across Buckingham’s face, as it was clear he’d noticed this man’s passion during the show. Buckingham attempted to extend his hand for a fist bump, but was kind enough to allow the man to grab and shake his hand instead. As this diehard fan excitedly returned to his seat, the look on his face made it apparent he felt recognized for his devotion, in the same way Buckingham was feeling the recognition and love from his fans. 

Having spent much of his professional career as part of a band, Buckingham remains humble enough to see himself as a piece of the puzzle, expressing thankfulness and gratitude to all responsible for making the tour a success, including the tour and sound staff. Speaking about the incredible musicians in the band and how blessed he is to be sharing the stage with them, Buckingham noted that, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Buckingham’s band is a mix of recent members, and others whom he has known for decades.  Brett Tuggle, keyboardist, guitar player and singer, has worked with Buckingham for the past 20 years and has been there to “share his words of wisdom”.  Bass player, Fredrico Pol (sometime  guitar player and singer), worked with Buckingham on a prior tour and is now “bringing something that we didn’t know we were missing.” Drummer Jimmy Paxson, joined the band last year, and was described by Buckingham as a “gift”, with his knowledge, craft, and cooking skills on the bus.  The  band’s second keyboardist, Michael Kianka, is noted by Buckingham as, “filling in a lot of the holes” and is “the glue that holds the band together.” From these heartfelt descriptions of the band members, it was obvious Buckingham placed each individual in high regard. Buckingham was proven correct in his statement that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” as these band members, working as a whole sounded nothing less than phenomenal. No fan could ever leave the show not feeling that they were treated to a night of the best that Buckingham and his musicians had to offer.

The setlist of the night included a majority of songs from Buckingham’s prior solo career, including, “Go Insane” and “Trouble”, his two most well known solo songs.  The setlist also included five Fleetwood Mac songs, including, “Go Your Own Way” and “Never Going Back Again.”  “Never Going Back Again” was definitely the anthem for the evening, coinciding with the night’s theme of resilience. Each time Buckingham sang the lyrics, “Been down one time, Been down two times, I’m never going back again,” there was a fierce glint in his eyes, and a strength in his voice. The power in his vocals was backed by the audience, who sang along in dramatic unison….as if it was their collective goal to raise Buckingham up with their voices and assure him that he was correct…he should “never go back again!” AMEN!
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