As an on-again, off-again member of Fleetwood Mac (current status: very, very off-again), singer-songwriter and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham has played upon just about every stage of note around the world, often more than once.
Therefore, if Buckingham, whose own solo career has been as iconoclastic as Fleetwood Mac’s has been broadly popular, chose to release a live album, he could have, theoretically, had his pick of any venue he fancied.
So it was striking when, in 2008, Buckingham released his first live solo album not from a performance at, say, the Beacon Theater in New York City, or the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, but rather the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.
A document of his first American solo tour in 14 years, Live at the Bass Performance Hall arrived barely two years after his then-most recent solo LP, Under the Skin, amid yet another break between Fleetwood Mac stints. The live album’s track list, which chronicles the Jan. 27, 2007 show at the Fort Worth venue, is split between his own material (“Not Too Late,” “Cast Away Dreams”) and Mac staples (“Never Goin Back,” “Tusk,” “Go Your Own Way”). The concert was also filmed for broadcast on the now-defunct HDNet, and released on DVD in conjunction with the CD.
“The show’s best moments came when Buckingham messed with the old stuff,” former Fort Worth Star-Telegram critic Robert Philpot wrote in his review of the concert. “When he pulled out an explosive, eardrum-rewiring guitar solo on ‘I’m So Afraid,’ he may have risked self-indulgence — except that he seemed to lose control, becoming possessed by the screaming tones that filled the hall. That was the high point, but it wasn’t the only highlight.”
Live at the Bass Performance Hall makes a fine appetizer for Buckingham’s upcoming local appearance, this time at Dallas’ Majestic Theatre on Thursday, where he’ll pull from his just-released self-titled album, his first solo effort in a decade, following 2011’s Seeds We Sow.
The live album was also notable for its inclusion of the often-riveting documentary “Not Too Late,” which stitched together home movies, behind-the-scenes footage and Buckingham’s own evocative narration.
Buckingham has never, so far any as research for this piece turned up, articulated exactly why he chose Fort Worth’s beloved Bass Performance Hall as the site for his first-ever solo album. But his first is Bass Performance Hall’s only — as of this writing, it appears Buckingham is the only musician to date to have released a live recording captured at the venue.
Preston Jones is a freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT.
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