published on in Featured Music buckethead kickassery

buckethead live gamh

Outside the GAMH

Since I say this after almost every concert I go to, I’ll not forget to repeat it again:

This was the BEST show I’ve ever seen.

There are many aspects why: smaller venue, and our seats were on the balcony. This gave us a great view of the show, and we were pretty darn close to everything. Oh, and you know, it is one of my favorite artist doing what he does best. Not to mentioned good food and beverages at a incredible price. The sound was great as well, not too loud, but enough to rumble you chest.

Even more triumphant, was the fact that Michele not only liked it, she LOVED it and requested that I load up her music devices with his music. His loud and insanely complex music, not the sweet stuff. There was only two mellow songs in that set, the rest were hair raising shred-fests. This is such an accomplishment, because leading up to this, she would ask me to play it in the car just so she could bitterly acclimate to it. Like it was cough medicine, she would sort of grimace, and roll her eyes, or take a jab at me and play the air guitar with a goofy face like “this is what you two look like!”

In the end, great music conquers all, and there is something powerful about live music. Living, breathing music in the air that you can almost taste.

Before I dive into that, lets get to the opening two man band, Wolff. A drummer and a tuba, and that tuba is a multi-purpose device. The musician uses it as a percussion instrument, a mic, and a sample device all at once. The sheer amount of skill he displayed creating and mixing samples of the sounds he made from it was incredible. He was mixing and looping effects on the fly for the entire set.

I also like watching drummers play. I told Michele that every time I see an opening band, I always like the drums. It makes me want to take lessons, or live vicariously though my kids and make one (or both!) of them pick up the drums. I think I’m also envious because I struggle with timing and rhythm. Total white-boy stereotype shining through.

So Wolff was cool, even though when they announced that there were only two more songs until Buckethead came out, I literally screamed inside my own head, “YAY!!!”

There is something about his music that resonates with me on a very deep level, more than any other artists. Despite what is observed by most, I do enjoy a lot of different music, but from the the ~140 artists currently on my “shuffle all” selection, not a one comes close.

Think about that, for yourself. Think of all the music you have heard, and narrow down the artists that give you goosebumps, or make your heart race, and make you smile really big.

I dunno, it seems to map well with my brain and how I see music. So I sat very still and very focused the entire set, except during Jordan, when I had to use the restroom.

That was funny because there was a line outside, and the guy behind me peeked in the Ladies room, looked back at me and said “What? laughs There are no ladies here, its all guys…”

Totally true. There were maybe 5 or 6 women there, and I would have guessed that most of them were like Michele (dates or spouses). Guitar players attract guys, period.

Anyway, the point is, I was mesmerized. A few times I would just shake my head in awe. Michele laughed because during the song Siege Engine, there is a part where Buckethead goes from the low E open note, hammers on the 3rd fret (G), hammers on the 8th fret ©. Then does the reverse ( pulls off the 8th fret, to the 3rd, and pulls off the 3rd back to open). This is all done in one very smooth rhythm, and if you have never laid your fingers across a guitar fret board, that is a LOOONG stretch. It always puts a smile on my face, I’ve worked at it many times, and it is demanding.

As far as his guitar work and accuracy, my goodness… the command he has over that instrument is ridiculous. I’m also amazed that he plays along with a MP3 player. That means he doesn’t get to take a break, or improvise a bit longer, he has to know his set inside and out without missing the next song. Sprinkle in the sweet robot dance moves, dispensing toys to the crowd (and getting a few back from his fans), and he wears a MASK. I actually don’t know how he can see much of anything with that on. It was so impressive that the both of us reminisced on the drive home. Michele even mentioned not only looking forward to seeing him again, but joked that we should go the next night. I would have, except it was sold out :)

The venue staff asked that no photographs (especially flash) or videos be taken, so I compromised… I took one photo without the flash:

The lighting just happened to be perfect for this shot. My phone isn't the best at taking low-light pictures

Otherwise, it was me scrunched up against the balcony so I could get as close as possible.

To finally wrap this up, I enjoyed it. I even heard a few new songs (Final Wars, pretty flippin’ awesome), so mre music to enjoy! Also the minimum age at GAMH is 6, guess who I’ll be taking in the future?

Oh don’t be so judgmental! My first concert was the Highwaymen, a “country super-group”, on the grassy field at the Concord Pavilion. It was terrible, this couldn’t be any worse and I’m pretty sure there was less pot smoked at the Buckethead show than at The Highwaymen’s show.

For an artist who doesn’t use any words, he knows how to say a lot. To me at least.