Buckethead and That One Guy
October 11, 2006
Opening up for the nation's most modern guitar shredder/virtuoso was a bass master--That One Guy. He was a one man band supplemented with drum machines that played on a homemade instrument. The lighting was crappy at the Republic, so I thought it was a double bass at first, but turns out it was some kind of fretless pipe or whatnot. I have no idea how it worked, and I'm not even about to try and figure it out. The only instrument comparable to his pipe bass is Futureman's homemade drum guitar. When That One Guy would slap the pipe in certain places, like the uppermost point, percussion would be triggered instead of bass.
All the music techies in the audience were taken with That One Guy from the get-go. So was I. It was great to see an awesome player perform on something so unconventional. But, then That One Guy started singing, and it was obvious he wasn't half as good a songwriter as he was a player. He was singing about marmuts and varmuts and otters and such, which seemed to complement the hick metal crowd(Slidell) that came out. As his novelty wore off, That One Guy lost the crowd little by little. People started looking strangely at those who were still rocking out hard.
I'm always amazed by Buckethead's ability, but his songwriting also leaves something to be desired. When Metallica said that Les Claypool was "too good" to be in the band, they probably meant that he was a prog douche. I could say the same for Buckethead. He's great to watch, but if you're looking for conventional structure or emotional payoff, you've come to the wrong place. Buckethead seems not quite smart enough to be Mike Patton.