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The Flecktones in Kalamazoo

Posted by Kevin G on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yes, it exists. I grew up there. And the movie theater downtown where I used to pay 75 cents to see the Poseidon Adventure is now an offbeat, highly lovable concert venue for jazz, blues and folk artists who want to play at a small college town in Michigan. It's a 70-mile drive for me now, but when I found out that Bela Fleck and The Flecktones would be coming to Kalamazoo, I bought tickets, drove on ice-covered, treacherous roads, risking life and limb, to pick up my brother and his oldest daughter, and continue to the State Theater to see Bela and the boys play their holiday concert.

I know it's sounding like a broken record, since my most recent previous post was also about a Bela Fleck concert, but I'm sure I won't get the chance to see him that soon again. And it wasn't that treacherous a drive, either. But even in the world I inhabit of frequent exaggeration, I find no possibility to communicate just what a fantastic concert this was. Maybe I'll have to use my college student daughter's terms: OMG! OMG! OMG!

Christmas music never sounded so good, and with the throat singers from Tuva, Bela and Co. produced a concert that was fun, funny, moving, strange, ambitious, glorious and wonderful. Most of the arrangements were from the Jingle all the Way CD, but performed live you get a full understanding of just how capable these guys are with their instruments. Near the end, as Bela played Christmas medley by himself on the 5-String banjo, I leaned over to my brother and said: "It makes my rendition of Auld Lang Syne seem absolutely trivial."

I prefer to be inspired, though, rather than discouraged, and if any of you have a chance to see this holiday concert before it's over, I highly reocommend that you do so. Yes, I've seen two concerts by Bela Fleck in two months. And yes, if he gives a concert nearby again next week, I'll probably go again. Of course that won't happen. But I didn't think I'd get this many chances so close together. I'm glad I did.

1 comment on “The Flecktones in Kalamazoo”

TopCat Says:
Thursday, December 17, 2009 @5:30:30 AM

Lovely concert report there, Kevin! It's nice to read such enthusiastic diary entries. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Maria

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