Lab Cat

21 Sep 2006

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Photo Diary

Filed under: Music — Cat @ 11:24 pm

Flecktones

Last Sunday, I saw the Flecktones at the American Music Theater in Lancaster PA. It was a great show. As it was the last show of the Acoustic Planet II Tour for 2006, they were on great form playing to their hearts out. Lucky us. It was awe inspiring. I managed to get some pictures, unfortunately of questionable quality. There are some better ones of the Princeton show taken the night before (via the Flecktones Forum).

Bela:

Bela

Bela is amazing. He seems so casual standing there, with his spectacles half-way down his nose. Like my dad reading. And producing the most amazing sounds out of his banjo.

VictorVic did a great solo. He must have been layering sounds on top of each other. At first it seemed as if some one else was playing – the others has left the stage – or that Futureman had left a instrument playing. If so, Vic had full control. What an amazing musician.

Jeff

Jeff rocked all evening. He played and he played and then he added some more – I don’t know where he gets the breath to do all of that playing. I enjoyed seeing play the tunes I had previously heard on Hidden Lands and Ten Little Worlds.

Futureman

Futureman B

Futureman is a genius. He keeps inventing these new instruments – he did an amazing solo with a piano-percussion gizmo! I love his hat.

Bela b

Bela did a solo where he kept changing the music by changing the tuning of his banjo. He played a game with the audience. Everytime he changed the tuning, he grin at us over his spectacles, play and then change the tuning again. Futureman joined him, playing the gong and the box percussion. I saw Ze Luis Nascimento play the same thing at WOMAD with Titi Robin. Ze seemed to tune it with his foot – I didn’t see Futureman do this.

After Futureman and Bela had played for awhile, Vic joined them

VBF trio
and then finally Jeff, who played musical games with Bela:

Jeff and Bela

I had an amazing time. They would play a piece and I would think, wow, this is amazing. it must be their last number. The music would build and die, build some more and more and more, until you didn’t want it to end. They would tease the audience pretending it had ended and then build it up all over again but more so.

[I do hope this is making sense, it is late, I’m tired and I don’t know the correct jargon.]

The Flecktones must have done that four times before they ended and then they came back for an encore. What an evening, what music.

For me the second half was better than the first half. The band seemed to be much warmer the second half and also the annoying talker who had been behind me for the first half moved, so was presumably annoying some one else.

I wonder about this. The woman next to me thanked me for saying something – I asked them to shut up as some of us were trying to enjoy the music – not that it did any good. It was suggested that she was just rude but I wondered if the talker lacked socialization skills. Used to cellphones, IMing, and email, now unable enjoy the show without verbal interjections. Pity it has to spoil it for those sitting nearby, including, probably, their own friends.

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As always pictures are (c)cdavies 2006, unless you are in the picture. Bela and the Flecktones are welcome to do what they like with their own images!

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5 Comments »

  1. Cat, I love Bela – ran into him in a small music store in Colorado this summer. He is as low-key, cool, and gracious as ever. We’re both getting older – I’m a year behind him with specs, I think.

    Comment by Abel Pharmboy — 21 Sep 2006 @ 11:49 pm

  2. Abel

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It was a very cool show.

    As some one whose been wearing specs since I was two, I love it when other people like Bela wear them with style. I hope to meet him one day and hang out.

    Comment by Cat — 21 Sep 2006 @ 11:56 pm

  3. Cat,
    I was at the show. It was an amazing concert. You’ve done a great job describing the show. I was also at their Pittsburgh show on 9/12. Here are some pictures from that show: http://srirambala.com/?p=47

    Comment by sri — 22 Sep 2006 @ 2:50 pm

  4. Cat,
    Thanks for the comments on my blog. I use a Canon 20D. I did not use a flash, which is why the photographs accurately reflect the lights and the color onstage.
    I’m now waiting for january, when I will follow the Flecktones to Scotland for a concert at the Celtic Festival! Until then, I suffer from Flecktones withdrawal !

    Comment by sriram bala — 24 Sep 2006 @ 10:34 am

  5. Scotland in January, hmm. Prepare for grey, wet and cold.

    You’re about the third person I know who has a Canon 20D. I’ll have to look into it. Depends if I can fit my old lenses to it.

    I didn’t use flash but I only have a Canon Sure Shot.

    Comment by Cat — 25 Sep 2006 @ 11:56 am


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