Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham brought his solo act to Seattle’s Neptune Theatre Saturday, delivering a tight 80-minute set to an adoring audience. Spontaneity and surprises were in short order—just take a look at the track listing for Buckingham’s latest live record, and you’ll nearly find this show’s setlist—but there was no questioning his commitment to his musicianship, as intricately picked guitar solo after guitar solo brought waves of standing ovations.
In the intimate confines of the Neptune, Buckingham played songs from what he called the “small machine” as opposed to the “big machine” that is Fleetwood Mac. Alternating solo work with Fleetwood tunes he’s penned over his long career with the band, Buckingham offered up fan favorite after fan favorite—a few opening chords all that was necessary to evoke thunderous applause.
Armed only with a massive arsenal of guitars, Buckingham made it clear his wide-ranging vocals haven’t degraded over the years at all—the soulful, searching pop vocals of “Trouble” and the increasingly throaty, yelping rock strains of “Big Love” both rang out crystal clear.
When introducing “Big Love”—originally meant to be a solo work, but used as a Fleetwood Mac single—Buckingham’s explanation that the song was written in 1987 was met with an enthusiastic cry of “I wasn’t even born yet!” from an obvious mega-fan near the front. Elsewhere, Saturday’s audience certainly skewed baby boomer-ish, but Buckingham is no mere nostalgia relic. One only needed to witness the blistering, extended guitar solo that capped off “I’m So Afraid” to confirm his abilities remain vital.
Despite the show’s fairly rigid setlist construction, Buckingham mostly managed to avoid any sense of staleness, except perhaps for a rather perfunctory rendition of “Go Your Own Way,” which pretty much gets by on its massive appeal and name recognition alone. Nevertheless, Saturday’s performance was an impressive display of talent.