16 October 2008

children fear and critics rage

29 September 2008. Majestic Theatre. Detroit. Buckethead, featuring That 1 Guy. Photos courtesy of the mom and my old Moto Q, usually without zoom because we were that close. Click the pictures to see them full size, of course. Caption comes after photo.

"Let's begin." --Stick Pit

My brave, brave front row cohort for the evening.

Opener: That 1 Guy. Awesome, impressive, bizarre. He plays a homemade concoction - two one-string "basses" made out of metal pipe and connected by a bunch of metal pipe joints - and a little drum kit thing. Lots of buttons all around. Here he's using a classical upright bass bow.

We actually met this dude before the show. We were inside getting out of the rain, and someone asked me, "you know who the opener is?" I said, "yeah, I think it's 'That 1 Guy'..." And out of nowhere the Guy himself walks by and says, "hey, that's me! Hope you like it!" Crazy.

Upright slap bass technique, combined with words from BizarroLyricLand. (example: while improvving a bit, he rhymed "biotch" with "iotch". Delicious.)

More upright slap style - here you can sort of see both necks on the bass contraption. (Technically a true double bass? Har har, music nerds...)

Goofy singing face #1 of many.

Let's play with a drumstick. Whamola, anyone?

The tiny drum weaponry.

Uh oh...

For triangulation purposes, to demonstrate how close we were. Compare with other head-on and his-left-side photos. Also, he's showing off his guitar strap antics. The big metal thing on the left is That 1 Guy's instrument. Mr. Striped Shirt was actually next to us, not in front.

Classic. Gorgeous. Creepy.

Shred shred shred shred wail.

Mmm, elastic guitar strap

More blurry, but a better demo of what he does quite a bit. In case you haven't gathered yet, his git strap is stretchy; he likes to push the thing away from his body to get weird bends/distortion while still playing notes with his fret (left) hand. Buckethead? Weird guitar noises? Go fig. BTW, blurry as it is, this is probably my favorite photo from the collection - he's shoving his guitar in my face, after all.

Here he hides behind the speaker stack stage right, poking his head out to stare at the crowd. (Another good triangulation photo, since he's really offstage at this point.)

Slap pop slap pop


Magic killswitch button!

Reminds me of some other slap/popper I know...


Next he picks up a giant rubber chicken and invests a solid minute or two walking it all the way across the stage. Yesss.

Robot dance also mandatory

He's not too bad at it, either.

Again, bad blur obfuscating guitar insanity. By now you may have also noticed that he never looks at what he's playing. This means he spent a lot of time sharing stares with all of us up front.

tappy tap, shreddy shred

Magic button, even more up close!

Another standard "huh?" mask break. Sadly, I recognize that mask from another concert...

Why pick when you can 8-finger tap?

The original robot wail maneuver.

Eight fingers again. His hands are huge.

Could it be merely six digits?

That 1 Guy returns for some jam time.

Simultaneous Bucket shred and T1G thump/wallop/???

Turn, pose!

PS he's pretty good.

To close, something dreamlike: so about 2/3 of the way through Buckethead's set, he picks up some unidentifiable object from on top of his equipment and starts playing some bizarro Star Wars-like riffs/noises, using the object as a guitar pick of sorts. This goes on for about a minute. Then he stops, walks up to the front of the stage, crouches down, pushes everyone's grabby hands away... And directly hands me a little R2-D2 action figure, pictured - the thing he had just been playing with. I reiterate: Buckethead stopped the show to single me out and hand me something. Wow. :-D

(Still only the second-best concert ever, Tim)


  1. that was the best play-by-play i've ever read. and i'm going to tell my ra who's really into buckethead that you have received a gift from the god himself in the form of r2-d2. i'll take a movie of his face when i do it and send it to you. or at least some pictures and provide a play-by-play, as uninteresting as it will be compared to yours.

    thanks for the update, john.


  2. Wow, that's got to be the best, most thorough explanation I've ever seen John! I have a much better idea now of who Buckethead is and why he's important to you. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to clear it up for this old gramma. (grin) Your photos helped a lot too.

    How amazing and how exciting that he singled you out to receive the R2-D2! What a wonderful momento of that evening for you to keep too.

    I hope I've not offended you with my 'relentless' support, but you have greatly impressed me. It is not my intent to offend you at all.

    I assure you that had I asked one of my grandsons who Buckethead was, their response would have been no more than, "just an entertainer, Gramma". So I truly do appreciate your explanation. :)

  3. Excellent, compelling and thorough description of Buckethead, thanks so much. He looks a bit frightening BTW.
    If I have Buckethead nightmares, I'm blaming you, John.
    Congratulations on the R2-D2 trophy and "May the Force be with You!"

    Take care,
    From one of your "relentless" Fans, Monika :)

  4. awesome - i can't beleive he gave that to you! that's sooo awesome - and i loved the play by play

  5. And here's to the photographer - John Mama

  6. I can't get over the size of his hands. Holy cow!