Every Buckethead show is an experience, and this one did not disappoint.
This was my 3rd time seeing Buckethead and despite being there 45 minutes before the door opened, I was already 7th in line.
We were an interesting group us early birds and inevitably we were joined by Art Paul.
The weather was good and the 45 minutes went fast (surprisingly) and soon I was inside and belly up to the stage. The best place to be at a Buckethead show!
Yes, I am wearing a Gun’s and Roses t-shirt. Buckethead fans know the connection. Wink.
The time inside, with my outside line-mates went quickly, there were shared stories of when we last saw Buckethead, “were you here 2 years ago when he gave away a guitar?!”, and the young man on my right showed me a picture of Buckethead in high school in California. His father had gone to school with him. Again, the time went fast and soon Josh joined me.
Notice the buckets? There were probably 10 there that night, including some masks too.
Thanks to the guys to my left and right. They made the pre-show interesting.
Note the guy with the Bucketheadland sign in front of him just past the blurry face young kid (who showed me the pic of his dad’s yearbook). He factors into the night later. About 8:09 the show began. Buckethead, with trusty roadie, walked onto the stage and immediately started shredding.
This outing, he wore an additional visor on his bucket.
As if it wasn’t probably hot enough behind the mask and under the bucket, why not. It only lasted a few songs, then he handed it off to the roadie.
My eargasm earplugs were perfect and the sound at the Majestic was awesome.
I tried a few shots with my former trusty Nikon Coolpix, but soon gave it up and just used my phone.
The music was of course awesome as always. There were familiar songs and some I didn’t know, but it was all fantastic. There is no experience like being up close to Buckethead and watching his crazy fingers flying. He is a master of honing the experience too. Fast heavy tracks, then slowing it down and playing something soft slow and beautiful, then wiping out a finger popping funk groove that blows your mind. It’s such a blast!
That’s me. That’s Buckethead. Also, that’s the kid who showed me high school Buckethead. A reminder to myself to bring blog cards to the shows. I could have given him one and he could have checked it out.
Buckethead has so many different styles of playing and moves from one thing to the next with such fluidity it is hard to describe to someone what it is like being at a show. At one point he was playing some hard crashing tune and then switched gears and played a slow funky blues track for a bit. Then he played the Gene Wilder tune from Willy Wonka “Pure Imagination”. He does it slow and graceful and the crowd loved it.
When he plays soft the crowd is about as quiet as I have ever heard a crowd of hundreds of people be. There is a lot of respect in that room from fans. Here are some YouTube videos I found from that night! Thanks uploaders!
and for a little nun-chucking and toy giveaway, including seeing my hand getting my toy (Playmobile figures in a silvery small package) at 2:20 and Josh’s gift at 2:56. Lol. They are all so silly, but it’s so fun to be down front and get one. More on that later.
Now, at one point during the show, as I glanced to my right, just past the kid who showed me the picture and I saw a guy that I had to do a double take on, and in hindsight looking back I can see that it really wasn’t that close, but the mannerisms and the attitude of this guy made me think that it was… Bill Murray. I kid you not for like half the show I was like “that is freaking Bill Murray dude!”… but it wasn’t.
He made a cool sign and laid it out on stage. When the toy exchange happened, he offered to Buckethead and he took it! He took it back by the speakers, and when he went offstage for a break and came back he propped it up in front of the speakers for all to see. Pretty cool. Makes me want to bring my cutting back for next time. I need to hand it to him and not just set it on the stage.
So NOT Bill Murray, later showed Bill Murray qualities by helping a man in a wheelchair not only get down front by giving way, but also helping him later when Buckethead came around with his guitar to have fans use the kill switch button. He helped him get his hand over the button and Buckethead pressed his fingers to use the button. It was very cool and the guy had a huge smile on his face. So props to you NOT Bill Murray AND Buckethead.
P.S. Showing up at a Buckethead concert and being down from is TOTALLY something I think Bill Murray would do. Just putting that out there.
So, toy exchange.
This has happened at every show I have attended. The first year I got an Star Wars Tie-Fighter ornament, then next year a Snakes and Ladders game.
Here is Buckethead reaching over me to hand something out.
He goes all across the stage. It’s definitely a strange part of the show, but I think everyone likes it and it makes you feel connected.
This year I got Playmobile figures. A good score. Lol.
Josh is the proud owner of a gray oven mitt. Lol. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.
Again… that’s me… that’s Buckethead.
I paid a lot of attention to the pedals he uses and particularly the wah-wah pedal you can see him using in the shot above. He has a string of about 12 pedals out there and he stomped on them all at various times.
Notice the metal chicken watching him from the side of the stage.
There was a pause for, dare I say it, talking rubber mask.
Then, after playing for a bit more, Buckethead and his roadie headed down front for the part of the show I was hoping he would repeat. He comes down front and while fingering the strings he allows the fans down front to tap on the kill switch on his guitar. It’s very cool.
Last year when this happened it didn’t even occur to me to try and get a picture of me doing it. This year though I shot a video! The video is a collection of my recording at the show. The perspective for the kill switch part is worm’s eye view. Me playing it is at mark 4:30.
It’s kind of amazing how cool people are during this part of the show. Everyone is respectful and no pushing and such. Good to be in a crowd that handles themselves.
Then it was back to blazing guitar.
I’ve run out of words for cool.
Josh and I.
After a quick dash offstage for a cool down I’m sure, Buckethead returned with costume changed and blasted us again to close the show.
I think that the whole bucket and mask works for Buckethead. In a sense, you focus on the guitar and music. There are no facial expressions to cue from. The almost childlike persona coupled with the down and heavy, sometimes beautiful music just works.
When he left the stage again, we knew it was over, and for the 3rd time… I loved it!
On the way out I stopped by the merch tabe.
I was surprised to see a Live CD there that I didn’t know about.
“Bucketheadland”. Tour only release recorded in 2017 and 2018.
I also grabbed what I thought was a DVD, then figured after I bought it that it was actually a costume, but then turned out to actually BE a DVD.
It was a video he had made for Halloween. Hence the 10-31. The size marking on the back was what fooled me after I got home and looked at it.
This has been around for a bit, and if you are curious, you can watch it here:
So overall, my rating of the show and merch and experience. A++++
Come again next year Buckethead!