To top off my spring break, I attended The Frankenstein Brothers show at Double Down featuring Buckethead, That 1 Guy and Wollf & Tuba. It was interesting to see the collab play separately and then together; you could tell who brought what influence to the duo. The audience was a mixture of the middle aged and the young, providing an out-of-the-ordinary crowd. Seeing a variety of homemade instruments that I had never seen before was an exhilarating experience, opening up my musical world.
The night started with a very interesting and innovative artist: Wolff & Tuba. Doning a renovated tuba that had a microphone in the mouthpiece, I could feel the floor vibrate underneath my feet. The tuba was somehow hooked up electronically to synths and whatnot, allowing the player to manipulate the sounds. At one point, the music almost resembled heavy metal with an electronic twist. Most of the underlying beats were made by hitting the sides of the tuba with his hands, recording and then looping the sounds.
The tuba provided a deep and dark feeling to the music. It was strange as the artist spoke into the mic, “This song is about diluting yourself…” The proceeding song was filled with incoherent lyrics that almost reminded me of a fast-paced Sigur Ros.
That 1 Guy, Mike Silverman, was up next. As I talked to a friend, he described him as a “rabbi of funk,” which I believe is an accurate description. This was my favorite set of the night. His magic pipe was one of the most mind-boggling instruments I’ve ever seen. So I did some research.
According to That 1 Guy’s website, the magic pipe stands over seven-feet tall and is made up of “a collection of swiveling pipes, metal gears, bass strings and electronic buttons…” with a drum attached. Silverman was able to play his magic pipe with a violin bow, a drum stick, his hands, a playing card and a credit card. The front pipe uses a low C string, while the back pipe is meant to reach more tenor ranged sounds. There are 13 different trigger points that allows him to create a wide range of different sounds, adding to his live performance.
Silverman borrowed concepts from a gutbucket and a diddley bow to create the harp-shaped instrument. He has also crafted other instruments like the Magical Boot, which is a wired boot that is similar to an African talking drum, and a Magical Saw, a saw wired to a main effects box. Silverman is a one-man show even though he has the equipment of a full band. He started at the bottom and made a name for himself and his funk music.
After a short interlude, Buckethead quietly took the stage. Soon thereafter, the silence disappeared into the outside night air. Armed with a white Gibson that has touch sensor buttons wired to a synthesizer and a spoil, Buckethead starts out with his fingers showing off just how fast they can really move. If you’re a guitar enthusiast, Buckethead should definitely be on your bucket list of guitarist to see.
“He’s like a robot,” a spectator soad. It is extremely hard to describe the show that Buckethead played. He was very crowd oriented, playing to their pleasures, stopping the entire show to play heavy 1990’s European techno and acting as Santa Claus with a bag of toys to give to the audience.
With a number of crazy fast and good solos, the man knows how to shred. I had to ask myself, “How does one person make that much sound?”. Thankfully, he understood that there needs to be slow portions of his act because he bombards you with speed and sound. He incorporated slower songs to his heavy set.