liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

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Victor Wooten show at the Orpheum

The first time I saw this cocky little man play, he played with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. No doubt, he rips on the electric bass. His band tonight included a percussionist, keyboardist, two other bass players, and two babes one who mostly grooved on stage. One sang with gusto and the other could also play bass. The bass playing chick had one good short rap about women hanging onto their souls. There were a few other messages of love and acceptance that I liked. All in the band were black skinned. Their tour and recently released CD is called the Soul Circus. I think.

I scored free tix to tonight's show through KNAU. The sound was so-so, like it generally is in the Orpheum. The volume was too high, and all the deep bass was rattling my ribs and trachea. The first number was one of self-congratulation, about how the winner is the Victor. The theme was to get the audience to shout out the name "Victor". Flagstaff audiences don't respond well to such ploys: we were silent when cued to scream his name. The next song was in homage to other bass players and bass players in general. One song was written in 11:8 time, and he challenged us to name the time signature. This was the most interesting thing he did. There were bits of disco tunes thrown in, "Ladies Night" and such. We left during song number five. My friend and I were each suffering from the leading edge of a headache. My ears still hurt.

After seeing this show I must concur with the statement of a friend, that the bass is not a suitable lead instrument. I also complete abhor musical performances that are more about self-promotion than art. If you play well, if your music inspires me, I will remember your name and spread the word. If you spend the whole show trying to get the crowd to clap for you when they aren't naturally inspired to, I will mention your name once in a not so positive review (such as this one) and never mention your name again. I seem to recall having the same reaction to the Bela Fleck show I saw: don't tell me how amazing you are, show me. If you tell me you're the most fantastic WHATEVER in the whole world and I don't agree, that's not good marketing. You can win all the Grammys in the world, I won't go to another show. Even if it's free.

Maybe the recordings are more enjoyable than the live performance. Maybe a venue with better sound would make the difference. Maybe.
Tags: music, npr, performance

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