Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Date Night Sans Casablanca

Rather than dwelling on Arsenal's ridiculous showing in Porto yesterday, I want to talk about Béla Fleck. On Monday evening, I saw a Facebook ad for his show @ Hill Auditorium last night, & the cheep balcony seats were only 10 bucks. We hadn't seen him since a Flecktones' show @ EMU in 1996, so for 10 bucks a pop we were in. Back in '96, their show was the same week as Phish @ the Palace & in Grand Rapids & Blues Traveler @ Hill Auditorium, so we had a fun-filled week of local music. This time, I realized the only show I've been to in the last couple years was the Springsteen concert I worked for Nicola's.

After class, I raced home & we hit Amer's for falafels & fries then walked over to Hill. The show was amazing. He's touring w/ his "Africa Project," an ensemble he put together while traveling through Africa (Mali & Tanzania mostly) & studying the origins of the Banjo. These musicians are amazing. Anania Ngolia on the thumb Piano accompanied by a guitarist & then Ngoni Ba, a group from Mali fronted by Bassekou Kouyate on lead Ngoni. The ngoni is an instrument made from a calebasse gourd w/ a goat-skin stretched across it (very much like a banjo) & this dude was like the Jimmy Page of the ngoni... standing on the edge of the stage w/ his foot on his amp & rockin'! Béla Fleck was MCing & would come & go playing w/ these different musicians & then letting them do their own thing. I'm so glad we went. I'd never done anything based on a Facebook sidebar ad, but this was well worth it. Check out this video of Ngoni Ba... you won't be sorry.


cmadler said...

Wow! Next time you see a great deal like that, spread the word! $10 to see Fleck would be awesome.

Andre said...

I did facebook it on Monday. The 10 buck seats we're pretty bad though. We were at the very top of the balcony.

You should come out to the Corner on Sat. for the Mayflys CD release party!