Lindsey Buckingham – Songs From The Small Machine/Live In L.A.

by | Nov 7, 2011 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

Lindsey Buckingham – Songs From The Small Machine/Live In L.A. – (2011) 
Featuring Lindsey Buckingham – guitar, lead vocals; Brett Tuggle – bass, keyboards; Neale Heywood – guitar; Walfredo Reyes Jr. – drums, percussion
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment EV303739 [11/10/2011]
Video: 16:9 Color
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 4.0, DTS Digital Surround Sound
Extras: Interview With Lindsey Buckingham
Length: 142 minutes
Rating: ***1/2

When Lindsey Buckingham (along with Stevie Nicks) joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, they became the biggest rock and roll band in the world. Buckingham was the musical leader, specifically as an arranger and composer. Fleetwood Mac, Rumors (which earned the Grammy for Album Of The Year) and Tusk propelled the band to superstar status. The group eventually dissolved with occasional reunions. They never recaptured the level of success as solo artists.
Buckingham has forged a career of highly personal music that reflects his esoteric musical sensibilities. Lindsey Buckingham Songs From The Small Machine is a retrospective of this artist. Filmed in April at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, the concert showcases songs from his latest studio album, Seeds We Sow, as well as Fleetwood Mac classics and other solo work. Opening with a solo acoustic repertoire on acoustic guitar, Buckingham gets to showcase his unusual “pick-free” technique. Quirky arrangements capture the reedy voice and almost classical guitar style. “Go Insane” sounds great in a dramatic folk tempo. The romantic ballad rendition of “Trouble” blends his picking and reedy vocals. As the introduction to the Fleetwood Mac number, “Never Going Back Again”, the audience is enthusiastic and gets treated to a warm textured acoustic gem. The pace intensifies on “Big Love” (from Tango In The Night), and so does his playing and singing.
His backing group joins him for the remainder of the performance. The trademark vocal harmonies inhabit “All My Sorrows”. Versions of Mac songs like “Second Hand News” and “Tusk” eschew the slick studio arrangements in favor of raw aesthetics. Buckingham rocks out with guitar driven tracks like “That’s The Way Love Goes”, “I’m So Afraid” and “Go Your Own Way”. His piercing licks dominate the electric part of the performance, before the introspective, solo acoustic finale of “Seeds We Sow”.
The digital sound DTS Surround, DDS, DD 4.0) on the DVD is excellent. The tone of the acoustic guitar is crisp and full. Buckingham’s straining voice is rendered with nuance. Filmed in HD, the images are pristine. There is no gimmicky photography, just the perfunctory frontal visual. A lengthy thirty minute interview (which seems like a monologue) falls into predictable rocker banter.  Perhaps something interactive would have been more interesting. [Also available both as a Blu-ray and as a DVD + CD DualDisc…Ed.]
TrackList: Shut Us Down; Go Insane; Trouble; Never Going Back Again; Big Love; Under The Skin; All My Sorrows; In Our Own Time; Illumination; Second Hand News; Tusk; Stars Are Crazy; End Of Time; That’s The Way Love Goes; I’m So Afraid; Go Your Own Way; Turn It On; Treason; Seeds We Sow
—Robbie Gerson

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