Thursday, August 26, 2010

04/22/06 Bela Fleck & The Flecktones @ Irving Plaza, New York, NY

04/22/06 Bela Fleck & The Flecktones @ Irving Plaza, New York, NY
Next, Frontiers, Hurricane Camille, Throwdown at the Hoedown, Weed Whacker, Couch Potato, Whistle Tune, Victor/Bela, Kaleidoscope, Kalied1, Futureman/Jeff, Africa Jam1, New South Africa, Sojourn of Arjuna, Bela Solo, Sinister Minister
1 w/Baaba Maal
The Flecktones are one of the most virtuosic group of musicians ever assembled. Each of them are among the best at their individual instruments. It helps that the aptly names Future Man plays an synth-axe drumitar of his own design, but from Jeff Coffin's dual sax attacks to Vic Wooten's light speed bass slapping, these guys are truly in a league of their own. Leading the jazzy, funky nu-grass is banjoist extraordinaire, Bela Fleck.

This was my first and only live Flecktones experience and it was everything I hoped it would be, even though they didn't play one of my all-time favorite songs, Stomping Grounds. It definitely ranks up there as one of my most memorable musical experiences.

In the international and collaborative spirit of the Green Apple Fest, Senegalese singer Baaba Maal guested on vocals for a couple tunes.

04/21/06 Toots & The Maytals/Soulive @ Nokia Theatre, New York, NY

This was a stellar pairing of my favorite jazz funk trio and one of the founding fathers of reggae, who actually coined the term in his 1968 single, "Do the Reggay."

Soulive's set was highlighted by the predictable, yet effective Zeppelin cover and voice box "California" jam. "New York city knows how to party!"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

04/21/06 Mickey Hart/Umphrey's McGee/Grace Potter & The Nocturnals @ Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY

04/21/06 EarthFair, New York, NY
free, outdoor event, as part of Earth Day New York and the Green Apple Music Festival
Set I: In the Kitchen, Utopian Fir> Higgins, Bridgeless

This was a free show in conjunction with the first year of Peter Shapiro's Green Apple Music Festival, an environmentally conscious series of performances that would suffer in later years due to its expansion to other cities. Lately, the climactic event has been a concert on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. featuring acts such as The Roots and Ratdog.

There was a full slate of music set up on Vanderbilt Avenue just outside of the magnificent edifice of Grand Central Terminal. I caught the last few songs of Grace Potter, the sexiest lady in the jam scene since Tal Wilkenfeld.

Umphrey's was up next with a mini-set that served as a warm-up for their later night set at CBGB's. They opened with the catchiest track off their best release, Anchor Drops. Everything else was gravy. There was even a lady who brought her parrots.

I linked up with some random hippies and went on a mini adventure in Manhattan before swinging back around Grand Central for a little bit of The Mutaytor with special guest Mickey Hart. I believe he was leading a percussion ensemble which at one point included Walter Cronkite. Then it was off to the next show at Nokia.