09 December 2010

3 shows, 3 nights, 3 completely different genres... all fantastic

Started off with a zydeco/blues band called The New Iberians. These guys are fun of spunky talent. They immediately had the crowd out of their chairs and scooting around the dance floor. Even people just walking around the room, perhaps on their way to use the toilet, couldn't help themselves. Everyone seemed to have a getup in their step and for those who chose to keep seated... it was chair dancing central. Zydeco music seems to have a living spirit within it and The New Iberians definitely evoke that spirit. I'm stoked to see these guys again. They've agreed to play once a month at our eagles lodge. Awesome! Everyone is stoked about this.
picture from http://newiberians.com

Next up was Bedouin Soundclash. I've been listening to these dudes for about two years now and never really thought I would get a chance to see them live. Then one day we drive by the venue and the marqee says bedouin... could it be? Oh, it was. We shook hands with Jay Malinowski, the front man, outside before the show and told him how stoked we were about seeing them perform.  Turned out to be the first two in the the place so we chatted with their incredibly friendly merch dude, Sam, while waiting for things to start and then had a energy filled, sweaty good time. First up was Money Brother, a Swedish band that has a lot of good energy. I'm definitely following up and checking out more of their stuff online. Then BSC played. We were so close that I got a bit of spit on me while Jay was belting out tunes. Gross, but not as gross as intentionally being spit on. After the show, Trey snagged the set list and we met the drummer, Sekou Lumumba, outside of their bus. He had everyone sign it for us (awesome!). What a great group of friendly Canadians. Their music is quite unique and puts a warm feeling in your body. I highly suggest you check them out if you haven't already.

phone photo by me

Finally, the amazing Bela Fleck and The Flecktones with the Alash Ensemble. WOW! Bela Fleck is incredible. Victor Wooten has just tied as a favorite bassist (Les Claypool is the other). Jeff Coffin, great. Futureman, fantastic. Alash blew me away with their throat singing version of Jingle Bells. They played with the Portland Symphony and well, I'm sure the symphony is great, but they just seemed in the way here. This venue, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, was quite the place. Very beautiful architecture and huge auditorium, but as far as their ushers and policies... terrible. Nothing was posted or advertised stating that taking pictures is not allowed so we brought the camera. Trey began taking pictures, a couple accidental with the flash, and was immediately told to put the camera away. This happened twice because I said it was probably just the flash and as long as we didn't use it, what's the big deal. Then during intermission, the old butler looking usher came over to Trey and explained in a very authoritative way that it was not the appropriate environment for using a camera and it was rude to the people behind us. Trey politely apologized, said he understood, and it wouldn't happen again then extended his arm to shake the man's hand. The man looked at Trey's hand and immediately turned and began walking away. Trey said something like, "oh, you're not going to shake my hand? Brilliant." The man turned and replied, "I'm not allowed sir." What the hell? Snooty old poof. Anyway, yeah, it was an amazing show, but I will never be returning to that venue. When I pay ridiculous prices for a concert, I expect to be treated as a wanted guest, not an annoyance.  Here's one of the terrible pictures we got.  Anyway, check out Bela Fleck and The Flecktones and Alash Ensemble. You won't be disappointed.

crap photo... trey tried, but got yelled at 3 times from the usher

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