Rock Hall of Famer Lindsey Buckingham told the crowd Friday night at Mystic Lake Casino Showroom that it's been a challenging three years. We all know about the pandemic for the past year and a half, but what about those other months?

Three times on Friday Buckingham alluded to the trio of tough years but he never explained. Perhaps he was referring to getting fired from Fleetwood Mac in 2018. Open heart surgery in 2019. And his wife of 21 years filing for divorce this summer. Talk about discombobulating bookends to the pandemic.

That's the thing about Buckingham: He keeps things inside until he's ready to explode, usually with a big, bold chorus on a song or a galvanizingly soaring guitar solo at the end of a tune.

And that's what this rock hero did at Mystic Lake, tearing into the choruses of Fleetwood Mac's "Never Going Back Again" and "Go Your Own Way" (messages delivered, even though he wrote those songs decades ago) and unleashing guitar fury with "On the Wrong Side," from his solo portfolio.

Actually, "Wrong Side" will be on his seventh solo effort, "Lindsey Buckingham," due Sept. 17. He explained that the new album was the reason he's on tour again. Buckingham being Buckingham, he pointed out that the album was finished four years ago but never said why it was delayed.

On only the second night of his 30-concert U.S. tour, a few of the five new numbers impressed, even if the five-man band seemed a tad tentative at times. "I Don't Mind" echoed '60s pop, sounding like a Phil Spector production with harmonies arranged by Brian Wilson. Infectiously jittery rhythms fueled "Swan Song," and Buckingham's glistening guitar capped off the boogie rocker "On the Wrong Side" with such ferociousness that he growled "Oh yeah" at song's end.

In his 105-minute, 20-song performance, Buckingham offered material from all but one of his solo albums. Though he eschewed his 1984 hit "Go Insane," he explored his inner psyche on the swirling moodscape "Stars Are Crazy"; the Orbisonesque "Trouble," with its elegantly melancholy guitar solo; and "I Must Go," a rhythmic groover mesmerizing in its repetition. He utilized a repetitive circular guitar pattern to give "Shut Us Down" a hypnotic trance-like vibe.

Knowing that his concertgoers might be more familiar with his Fleetwood Mac tunes, Buckingham delivered six from the Mac attack with varying success. The emphatic "Never Going Back Again" and the ringing "Big Love" were a potent one-two punch before a section from the new album.

"I'm So Afraid," which Buckingham wrote before he joined Fleetwood Mac but recorded with them in 1975, was a terrific showcase for his versatile finger picking, delving into the blues, some chiming sounds, eloquently painful passages and ultimately tortured tones. With its seething intensity, it was a highlight.

On "Second Hand News," the distinctive harmonies of Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie were missed, while "Tusk" was not tight and the drummer was off on "Go Your Own Way" even though Buckingham was in a zone.

The encore was underwhelming in its delicateness: the sweet 2017 Buckingham-McVie tune "Love Is Here to Stay," one of the only happy numbers all night, and the wistful ballad "Time" from the new solo disc.

In introducing "Time," Buckingham said it was the first piece he wrote for the new album four years ago. It had a different meaning originally but "with all the twists and turns," he said, "it's taken on a more visceral context for me."

That was about as forthcoming as he was all night. But the lyrics spoke for the music man about to turn 72 next month: "Time oh good time, where did you go?"

Opening the concert was 19-year-old Utah singer-songwriter Sammy Brue. His too-brief 25-minute, solo acoustic set suggested that the world needs to hear more from this confident, personable performer who has a flair for Neil Young-like songwriting (best line: "Time erases what fear destroys").

Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719