Alrighty folks, I’m long overdue for a Fleetwood Mac rant and after an insane recent concert, I have decided it’s time to rant about the incredible talent that is Lindsey Buckingham.

I had the privilege of seeing The Killers in concert last Saturday and when I say it was a treat, IT WAS A TREAT. First of all, The Killers are quite literally one of the musical loves of my life and seeing them for the first time in 5 years was enough of a thrill. Second of all, I was told by an inside source that a certain famous guitarist would be joining them for a few songs. I knew right away who it would be.

Lindsey Buckingham, perhaps the most known guitarist Fleetwood Mac has ever had, was going to join The Killers onstage for their LA show.

This made me excited beyond comprehension because Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar playing and insane musical sensibilities have provided me with endless awe and inspiration.

Now what gives me the authority to claim that he’s the best guitarist of all time? Well, for one, I have a reverence for the instrument since I’ve been playing guitar for about 13 years. Secondly, having been through my own classic rock superiority complex, I’ve listened to a lot of the greats: Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, you name them. They’re all great in their own way. But Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar playing has left me in awe like no one else has.

First off, his guitar playing has RANGE. One second he’s playing a delicate riff that dances around joyfully. The next he’s SHREDDING with the most profound anger. He has the uncanny ability to communicate emotion and passion in his guitar playing like no other guitar player I’ve heard. It’s truly an honor to witness live.

Video c/o YouTube user Neo.

One of the best examples of that emotional and passionate playing is when he performs “I’m So Afraid”. The lyrics in this song communicate so much with so little only to be accented by a wailing guitar and that’s what makes it so poignant. He sings and plays the song with equal forces of passion and emotion that you have no choice but to accept the invitation to sit in the agony with him. Every single live version of this song hits.

Another major component of the way Lindsey Buckingham plays guitar is his signature picking pattern. It blows my mind how he often makes it sound like there’s two or three other guitarists playing when it’s just him. (It’s no wonder every time Fleetwood Mac has tried to replace him they hire two guitarists…tea.) He was really influenced by folk music and banjo methods in his early guitar education. Speaking of which, my dude never took guitar lessons or learned to read music. So that’s insane.

A classic example that gives me chills and leaves my jaw on the floor every time is when he performs the song “Big Love”. The recorded version of this song is a synthesizer paradise so when I stumbled upon the fact that this genius man took it upon himself to play it fully on guitar…let’s just say the woman was too stunned to speak. (It’s me, I’m the woman.) He turns into a BEAST at the end of the song and it’s marvelous in a terrifying way. Pure passion.

If those two classic Fleetwood Mac performances weren’t enough to convince you, then let me just tell ya honey, I’m just getting started. I made a playlist as proof of his most incredible guitar moments spanning his Fleetwood Mac songs, his solo songs, and a couple of recent iconic appearances. Here’s some of my favorite guitar performances by THE Lindsey Buckingham.

Highlights

Instrumental Introduction/This Is The Time

This song really shows the RANGE. From the classical guitar virtuoso skill in the introduction to a calming riff that plays throughout the verses to some hardcore licks, it’s a masterclass in the potential a guitar has. Absolutely underrated, I need everyone to listen to this one.

Darling by Halsey

I don’t know how these two were introduced, but whoever did it, you’re a genius. Lindsey’s more delicate playing pairs well with Halsey’s sweet lullaby to her child here. When I saw they played it together on Saturday Night Live, my heart basically jumped out of my chest.

Seeds We Sow

I don’t know how he does it, but Lindsey makes his guitar sound like rain here, especially in the live version. It serves as this hypnotizing background element giving him the freedom to ponder as he sings about the way his past set him up.

Side note: I’m definitely gonna need to do my next Fleetwood Mac rant on why Mirage is my favorite album.

Eyes of the World by Fleetwood Mac

The guitar riff in this song is so wild to me that I feel like I’ve tried to learn it so many times only to get stuck and give up. I can handle the strums in the verse but as soon as the riff plays I find myself trying to sing it instead. Which is honestly worse lol.

Caution by The Killers

This song is pretty much the first new song I heard before the world shut down in March 2020, but that’s another story for another time. I remember when I first heard this song and thinking to myself, “wow, I really love this guitar solo!” When I later found out Lindsey Buckingham was behind it, everything made sense. Whoever brought these two artists together, I need to send you flowers as a thank you.

1 Comment

  1. Lindsey is an excellent musician and showman. But I’m tired of their high-school drama with Stevie and FM. Really disappointing that when they were young they managed to record Rumours together but now they can’t even be grown-ups next to each other.
    And thanks for reminding me it was Lindsey in Caution. Love that song by the Killers.

    Like

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