Apparently, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are playing on campus next weekend. I’ve only heard a little bit of his music. I’ve developed an interest in playing the bass, and I know his bassist, Victor Wooten (along with the rest of his band) is pretty good. Tickets for this event are something like $28 (!) dollars. I’ve not heard of any opening bands, so I don’t know about that. Would seeing them be worth it? I’m already dropping cash on a ticket to see Oysterhead in November, so I don’t want to spend too much on concert tickets if the Flecktones aren’t worth seeing.
I haven’t seen the group recently, so their focus could have changed. But if not, and you like tight, contemporary, fusion, hard-driving, progressive jazz (or some flavors of it), I would recommend attending the concert.
By this I mean non-Ken Burns-type jazz. To him, jazz ended in the 1940’s. To me, it had just begun.
The most interesting thing I have found about the group (and again, it may have changed) is the drummer’s use of a 100% synthesized drum kit, using a controller played a lot like a guitar. It gives him/them a slightly different, and I think punchier sound.
All the players are top-notch musicians.
If you do go, let us know what you think!
Bela I think the tickets in Cleveland recently cost about double what you have to pay. The reviews from my cite certainly are positive.
I was lucky. In 1981 or so, I attended the Kentucky Fried Chicken Bluegrass Festival in Louisville, KY for free. The weekend was superb. Drunk as I was that weekend, I will remember it forever. And I think Bela played for free with a group. Of course, that isn’t what you will hear today. But go.
I saw Bela open for the Jerry Garcia Band in Berkeley maybe twelve years ago. As I recall they were more bluegrassy than jazzy. Very tight and talented musicians. Unique style. I’d go see 'em. The bass player is phenominal. His solo alone was worth the price of admission.
I have no free time at the moment. There’s 101 things I have to be doing right now and I just wanted to pop up on the boards for a moment to check some thngs.
BUT when I see someone asking for advice on whether Belafleck is worth seeing, well… things just have to wait.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones have been among my absolute favorite musics for a few years now. I have seen them many times (at least 10, I’m guessing more) and every single one of them was truly remarkable.
They are essentially a fusion of bluegrass and jazz, though much more. Victor Wooten is really beyond any bass player I currently know of. Future Man (Vic’s brother) plays all percussion on his synthaxe-drumitar, a guitar shaped electronic instrument with lots of colorful buttons.
They always put on a great performance, they usually have wonderful guests and anyone who plays with them is gauranteed to be a top-notch musician.
They are also a wonderful bunch of guys and they usually are very glad to hang around and talk to you afterwards if you like.
I don’t know what else to say and I’m rambling so anyway, my advice is YES, they are absolutely worth the money.
Money comes and goes in your life (unless you are of course choosing between seeing them and eating and then, well, it gets a bit more complicated :))
I believe they are playing here on LI with Edgar Meyer in the spring. Are any guests listed for your show?
I’ve been lucky. I live not 10 minutes from two rather obnoxiously large casinos (Native American), and over the past three years, one of them has had Bela and the Flecktones twice in their intimate 200 seat lounge for free. Great shows, simply amazing musicianship, and I normally will run fast and far from the word jazz. I doubt we’ll get that lucky again, but I can always hope.
Well, hot damn. I’ll see if there’s still tickets tomorrow. (It was only by chance that I noticed that this show was even happening, so I don’t think it was that well advertised.)The show listing didn’t indicate any opening bands or guest musicians, so I don’t know if they have anything special planned there. If anyone else wants to weigh in, cool. I’ll let y’all know how it goes.
I saw them for free many years ago at an arts festival in Pittsburgh (maybe 1993?). It was petty cool, I guess. Not really my cup of tea but they definately had talent.
More recently I saw Bela on TV going to town on a banjo – that was pretty amazing. Just 30 minutes of him playing, and I was really impressed.
I saw Bela and the Flecktones just last weekend. I’ve seen them once before, I’ve seen one of Victor Wooten’s solo shows, and I’ve seen Bela in several different settings, including a banjo duet show with Tony Trishka and a Bluegrass Sessions show with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Mark Schatz. I’d say the tickets are worth whatever you have to pay.
The only problem with seeing Victor Wooten play bass is that you’ll never want to pick yours up again. He’s not human.
I’m very jealous that you get to see Oysterhead, though–they’re not coming anywhere near me. Advance word says that the album kicks much ass. (For the uninitiated: Oysterhead=Trey Anastasio of Phish, Les Claypool of Primus, and Stewart Copeland of the Police.)