I was lucky enough to see the boys at Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane, early tour, Fri Dec 3. Really cool old little venue right downtown. Maybe 700 seater including balcony. A mutual friend got us 2nd row seats right in front of Victor! Was a birthday treat girls weekend for me and my BFF. I won't say how old in case she see this.
I flew into Bozeman on Thurs, she picked me up at the airport, and we got directly on the road to Spokane. Stayed at the Davenport, across street from the theater. Beautifully restored century hotel, 3 story atrium with decorated carved beams and a cavernous fireplace at one end. Comfy oversized seating areas galore. Being the holiday season, there was a 20 ft Christmas tree in the center fountain, and many smaller ones scattered about the 2nd floor balcony all decorated in different themes. Peacock Bar off the atrium had a GORGEOUS jewel-toned stained glass peacock above the service bar. Fantastic martinis! (For desert in a glass, the Chocotini is a must-have - simply divine). Safari Club off the other side of atrium serves a delicious crab/avocado omelette. Old world service with very friendly staff. Our room had all marble bathroom with huge glass shower and deep soaking tub. I generally stay at budget motels, so this was all just so over-the-top to me!
Unfortunately, I fell out of bed that night (let's just say, budget motels don't have high beds requiring stepstools, you fill in the blanks) and broke my foot.
Well, I didn't know it was broken until I got back to Ohio - that's another story. But needless to say, we didn't get to explore downtown as planned, except to find a drugstore so I could buy a cane to hobble to the show that night. The show must go on!!
When we arrived, we discovered that our seats were on the aisle. Lucky "break" for me (sorry, couldn't resist
). First saw the Flecktones with Howard way back when, and it was love at first note. Had been several years since I saw them last, so had my jones on. Plus we'd seen Casey Dreissen getting off the bus that afternoon which added to the anticipation. We were not disappointed! Have no idea on the set list, generally don't know song names, I'm more of a groove gal, and there was plenty of that.
Hadn't heard Jingle All the Way album yet, so it was fresh to my ears. Some personal highlights: 12 Days of Christmas, each day in a different key and time signature. What?? Really???? Wow. Phenomenal. Really enjoyed Linus and Lucy, and the medley of Christmas songs. Futureman did part of his solo on a shoeshine box as an ode to the shoe shine man they all met in Nordstrom's that afternoon. So that was special. And what can one say about Victor? One incredible thing I saw him do that I never saw before (been a long time since I'd been that close, so maybe he always does it?), was each hand on opposite sides of the fret, moving towards each other, until one hand was actually playing under the other. He just blows me away. But what really made me slackjawed was Alash. Tuvan is in Siberia, and Bela said their songs were mostly about beautiful women and horses. Or beautiful horses. Ha. But once they got going, the gutteral sounds included a higher pitch that sounded like another instrument, not like a voice at all. Most astonishing.
So a great time was had by all. My friend knew the promoter, also from Bozeman, who gave us promo posters for everyone to sign which was cool. Granted, it was early in the tour, but you could just tell these are genuinely good guys who like being around each other, laughing and cracking jokes. I told Bela he had the best job in the world, and his face just lit up as he agreed. It was so nice to see them having a good time off stage too. It's not just an act up there!
Can't wait until the spring with Howard now. Old school Flecktones doing fresh music. How exciting is that?! Bela said dates were just being set, so he didn't know venues yet, but that it would probably be more eastern, at least to start. So I put in my request for an Ohio date. Starting to save for traveling again though, just in case. Music is food for my soul, and the Flecktones just taste SO GOOD!