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Lindsey Buckingham: Songs from the Small Machine - Live in L.A. (Blu-ray)

Eagle Rock / 2011 / 108 Minutes
Street Date: November 01, 2011

Reviewed by Luke A. Hickman
Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Having played guitar since the age of 14 and not being all that great at it, seeing Buckingham's amazing guitar talent in action on 'Songs from the Small Machine' makes me extremely jealous. His rapid finger-picking produces a sound that you'd think was coming from a pair of guitars and not just one. And matching that high level of skill is Buckingham's emotion-filled, unique voice. If you thought Fleetwood Mac couldn't sound any better, you haven't heard Buckingham's solo work. He's no one-trick pony. During "I'm So Afraid" he lashes out a traditional distorted guitar solo. Not only does he have the talent of finger picking mastered, but he can thrash a guitar better than most current rock stars.

Throughout the show, Buckingham shares personal experiences with the audience. He describes his two-sided career as a couple of machines - Fleetwood Mac is big machine - one that draws more attention and functions on a higher level, brings in more money - and his solo career is another machine. This much smaller one is made possible by the income from the big machine. From his solo career is comes his creativity and experimentation. If Fleetwood Mac is an easily accessible Hollywood blockbuster, his solo career is a small, hearty indie film - but he knows that each is equally as important as the other, both being necessary for the other to exist.

'Songs from the Small Machine' features tracks from both Fleetwood Mac and his solo career. The show opens with acoustic performances of five of his best songs, after which his band joins him on stage for 13 more tracks. The encore is concluded with Buckingham performing one last acoustic song. The setlist is as follows: "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" and "Seeds We Sow."

Before Maroon 5 blew up with their debut album, they were constantly touring. I coincidentally saw them open up for other bands about five times in a 12-month period. At the last of those shows, lead singer Adam Levine said they were "tired of playing the same damn songs every night." Unlike Levine, Buckingham's face shows that he still enjoys playing "Go Your Own Way" just as much now as did when the song was first released 35 years ago. He's grateful for both of his co-existing careers and is really in the business for the music.

As if his music wasn't a strong enough draw, knowing Buckingham's views on music and songwriting (which are revealed in this disc's special feature interview) makes him a musician well worth listening to.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Songs from the Small Machine' arrives on a Region A locked BD-50 in a standard blue keepcase. Inside is a small 8-page booklet with photos from the concert. Printed on the back of the cover art insert and visible through the blue case is a wide shot of the band on stage during the performance. The only thing that plays before the main menu is forced vanity reel for Eagle Vision Entertainment.