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View Full Version : Jake Shimabukuro Concert Review



Preacher
11-17-2014, 08:02 PM
I know these have been posted in the past, but I thought I'd put up a review of the latest Jake tour stop.

In a word, WOW! I can't believe the sound this man gets out of an ukulele. And the energy he plays with. It was simply an amazing performance from start to finish. Whether the song was up-tempo or slow and subtle, he poured emotion out of his ukulele. Two things struck me the most: He clearly has fun playing the uke and he gets more out of our favorite little instrument than seems humanly possible.

Some finer details: He played for a solid two hours. Never left the stage and never seemed to tire. The sound was mixed very well. I know that some have commented on the bass player being overpowering in the past, but tonight the uke was heard loud and clear while the bass provided a nice foundation. (The last song seemed to have a bit too much bass, but that was the intention--it was supposed to be loud. It didn't drown out Jake at all, but it hurt my chest with it's pounding.)

Jake played a very eclectic mix of music, lots of originals, a few covers, many different styles. He did a couple songs on a baritone uke, something (I think) he said was new for him this tour. The light show was synchronized quite nicely with the music.

After the show he came out for pictures and autographs, and was very friendly with everyone. All in all it was a great evening of phenomenal music. I thought I'd go see him play and either be inspired to play more than ever, or I'd never want to touch my uke again because I'll never be close to being that good. What happened went well beyond inspiration. I was MOVED by this performance. That doesn't happen often. I'm so glad I went.

Chopped Liver
11-18-2014, 12:01 AM
Sounds like a great experience! Thanks for sharing it with us!

coolkayaker1
11-18-2014, 03:24 AM
After the show he came out for pictures and autographs, and was very friendly with everyone.

I was interested to read this, preacher. I thought he had gone from photos with everyone (Peace, Love, Ukulele tour), to no photos and no signed instruments at all recently (Grand Ukulele tour). Don't know if it's to save time, or sell signed items or what. Good to know he's willing to sign Lanakais and pose for selfies again.

I sure loved him live. Great stage presence.

Ukejenny
11-18-2014, 03:35 AM
So glad it was an incredible experience! Jake is wonderful live. I wonder if it the same bass player I saw last winter. Glad the mix was good!

Preacher
11-18-2014, 04:07 AM
Good to know he's willing to sign Lanakais and pose for selfies again.

Couple things on this: 1) other venues on the tour will have VIP tickets (where you get time with him beforehand for autographs) that might negate the "free" signings afterward; and 2) he spoke quite strongly of his thanks to everyone for supporting the arts and especially at this venue that relies so heavily on community support for its existence. Perhaps being available afterward is part of that idea of supporting the venue.

Mostly though, he just seemed so grateful that people came out to hear him play (especially since the temperature outside was 11 degrees!). I suppose it could be an act or simply a necessary evil of performing, but Jake seemed genuinely gracious with everyone that wanted autographs and pictures with him. And since he plays the ukulele, I'm going with the idea that he is genuine.

moetrout
11-18-2014, 04:21 AM
Thanks for the review. I am going to see him tomorrow night!

peanuts56
11-18-2014, 04:54 AM
As far as photos go, I think that the venue may call the shots regarding that. Larger theaters that I have seen Jake in don't usually allow photos. I have seen him in smaller 250-300 seat theaters and he was posing for pictures.
One incident has always stuck in my mind about Jake and how nice a guy he is. Jake was playing in a reasonably large theater in Mass. a few years back. My wife and I went to see him. The theater was not allowing photos after the show. Anyone who asked was told by theater security that no photos were to be taken. My wife went to use the bathroom before we left and I was standing fairly close to the autograph table. A young lady and her mother asked for a picture and were rudely told by the security people that no pictures were allowed.
The security guy turned to say something to another individual. Jake leaned over and told the two ladies to meet him outside after the autograph session and he would be happy to take a photo with them.
That tells me all I need to know about the kind of guy he is.

RichM
11-18-2014, 05:01 AM
Having worked in a professional theater during my formative years, I can confirm that many venues have a blanket "no photographs" policy. While this policy is generally meant to protect artists from copyright infringement, it is often interpreted as "no photography inside our walls, period." Even if an artist is fine with photography or recording, the venue staff is usually trained to prevent it, regardless.

Ukulele Eddie
11-18-2014, 05:08 AM
Couple things on this: 1) other venues on the tour will have VIP tickets (where you get time with him beforehand for autographs) that might negate the "free" signings afterward; and 2) he spoke quite strongly of his thanks to everyone for supporting the arts and especially at this venue that relies so heavily on community support for its existence. Perhaps being available afterward is part of that idea of supporting the venue.

Mostly though, he just seemed so grateful that people came out to hear him play (especially since the temperature outside was 11 degrees!). I suppose it could be an act or simply a necessary evil of performing, but Jake seemed genuinely gracious with everyone that wanted autographs and pictures with him. And since he plays the ukulele, I'm going with the idea that he is genuine.

Yes, I saw him in Malibu, CA and did the VIP tickets (pic below; me on the right and my buddy on the left). At that event, he did not sign stuff afterwards. I will agree he seems incredibly humble, gracious and genuinely appreciative. Imagine being widely recognized as one of the best in the world at something yet remain so humble.

72985

greenie44
11-18-2014, 05:29 AM
I suppose it could be an act or simply a necessary evil of performing, but Jake seemed genuinely gracious with everyone that wanted autographs and pictures with him. And since he plays the ukulele, I'm going with the idea that he is genuine.

It's always a question, of course, but I am pretty sure it's real. I asked him to sign my Lanikai after a show, and, being a bit tongue-tied, I just stammered that I thought he had a good heart. He clutched his hard and rocked back in his chair - he seemed to be legitimately moved, and said thanks.

tanawana
11-18-2014, 05:41 AM
I go see him thursday in cleveland and wasn't sure what to expect...so this has helped me :0)

Preacher
11-20-2014, 06:38 PM
Just to update my review: One of the very cool things Jake offered at the concert was the capability to take the concert you just heard home with you. He sold little ukulele jumpdrives that allow you to go to his website after a couple days and download the concert. I went ahead and paid the price and got it. And it's awesome! I can enjoy again not only the music but the banter and the cool variations that I enjoyed in the show. The sound is perfect.

I don't get to concerts much at all so maybe everyone is doing this now, but this was the first I'd seen such a thing. It's an excellent opportunity to relive the experience, and I'm so glad Jake offered it.

peanuts56
11-21-2014, 10:58 AM
My sisters saw the concert in Cleveland last evening. I got a quick email with a few pictures they were able take at the meet and greet. I have had the pleasure of meeting Jake many times, what a gentleman. A world class musician and an even nicer guy.

stevepetergal
11-21-2014, 11:21 AM
I attended Jake's concert in Skokie, IL. I agree with Preacher. Kake really does give the audience what seems like 100% of his heart and soul. Not only is he a great player, he's one of the best musicians anywhere. Not just technical.
That being said, I found the bass accompaniment to be a real problem. It was way too loud and the sound was very muddy. No definition to the sound. It was like a droaning roar, and although I could hear tone, I couldn't make out any notes. It would have been a better experience for me, if he'd had an amplified upright, acoustic bass.
Still a great show.

peanuts56
11-21-2014, 01:03 PM
My wife is from Oahu and I have made the trip 23 times over the years. I have also met a few people through the years who knew Jake before he became well known. They've all said he has always been the quiet, humble guy we have all grown to admire. I have also met his brother Bruce a few times when he had his shop in Waikiki. Bruce is very much like Jake. Obviously their mother raised them right and should be proud

ukemunga
11-21-2014, 02:58 PM
I go see him thursday in cleveland and wasn't sure what to expect...so this has helped me :0)

Whoa! Tanawana Y'town? Great! Are you a member of the "Youngstown Ukulele Players" FB group?

Fred

blue_knight_usa
11-21-2014, 06:29 PM
I had stage side seats at the concert a few weeks ago. Here are a few of the shots I took.

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Cheers!

tanawana
11-22-2014, 04:41 AM
Whoa! Tanawana Y'town? Great! Are you a member of the "Youngstown Ukulele Players" FB group?

Fred

Sure am...better known as Rick when I talk to you ;)

ukemunga
11-22-2014, 05:58 AM
Sure am...better known as Rick when I talk to you ;)

Great! Hi Rick!!! :) You had to love Jake. See you the 22nd?

Steedy
11-23-2014, 11:53 AM
Caught Jake's show in Franklin TN on 11/22, and as usual he was great, superb, awesome! I thought the bass was too loud, but the kids these days are all about that bass ya know. Jake played for 2 hours & 15 minutes, mostly familiar material although it seemed as if he played some things a little differently than I remembered, which was cool. I do think the bass player added a new dimension that enabled Jake to loosen up and groove more, but I mostly enjoyed the solo portion of the show which included three songs on a Kamaka Baritone uke. Got to meet Jake in the lobby afterward:

73229

flailingfingers
11-24-2014, 09:42 AM
I attended Jake's concert in Skokie, IL. I agree with Preacher. Kake really does give the audience what seems like 100% of his heart and soul. Not only is he a great player, he's one of the best musicians anywhere. Not just technical.
That being said, I found the bass accompaniment to be a real problem. It was way too loud and the sound was very muddy. No definition to the sound. It was like a droaning roar, and although I could hear tone, I couldn't make out any notes. It would have been a better experience for me, if he'd had an amplified upright, acoustic bass.
Still a great show.
I agree. Saw the show a year ago in San Luis Obispo. The bass player was an unnecessary distraction to put it kindly. But the show was great.