September has been a great month for virtuoso musicianship. I saw Steve Vai a couple weeks ago. Very inspiring. He’s not only technically fantabulous, but incredibly creative as well. I couldn’t wait to get home and write music after seeing him. If Mr. Vai comes to your town, I highly recommend going to see him. Putting on an entertaining show is clearly important to him. On this tour he had an electric harp player in his band, and all band members got to showcase themselves throughout the evening. There were costume changes too. I particularly enjoyed the one with the welding mask and the LED gloves. Steve has certainly retained the spirit of Zappa.
Last Thursday I saw the Punch Brothers. They are a progressive bluegrass band. Progressive = weird time signatures, key changes, odd modulations and all sorts of wonderment. Bluegrass = wicked shredding. So obviously, Kyla’s sold. This is the second time they’ve been through Montreal this year (and ever) and I was there both times. They’re one of those bands that make me giddy they’re so good. They played at the Corona Theatre, so for their encore, they unplugged and told everyone to be quiet, and it was really quite good. The acoustics of the theatre are designed for that. Unfortunately, the same acoustics made everyone who talked all the way through the opening act so loud that I could barely hear the fellow’s guitar. The opener was Tom Brosseau, with whom I was not familiar, so I’m glad the Punch Brothers brought him along. Very interesting songs, a few that melded into one another, dark subject matter, gorgeous voice, and dynamic and interesting guitar accompaniment. (What I could hear of it.) There were quite a few full on death metal riffs in his songs. I’ve got to check out some of his albums.
And now, I’m off to see Morbid Angel! Life is good.