Saw Jake Shimabukuro last night!

Saw Jake tonight in Ventura (Tue. Feb. 18, 2014) at the Majestic Theatre, 1200 seats. Wow, wow, did I say wow? The bass player was only on a few songs, a little boomy at times. But Jake is really amazing, the Japanese piece especially good, "Bohemian Rhapsody" (even when the bass player came on), "Amazing Grace," "Hallelujah" and of course "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The lighting worked very well, the audience was very responsive.

I got there early, about 6pm for a 7pm opening, show at 8, and still was ten people back in the line outside. I bought the $25 general admission ticket rather than the $35 VIP thinking the $35 was for a meet and great with Jake after the show, but it turns out general admission was only for the balcony, or standing at the back of the main level, VIP was for the main level seats. Should have gone for the VIP seats.

Lots of merchandising, including a ukulele shaped flash/USB 2GB drive for $30 with a link to the audio of the show ready within 72 hours. (UU member Lori Apthorp of Uke Leash also had a merchandise booth there.)
 
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Yes, he also played Sakura at the concert I attended and it was wonderful. We bought two of his CD's and they are both great. One of the albums features a really good electric bass player, though not the same guy who appeared in the concert.
 
Had some time to mull over my recent Jake concert experience. Of course he can really play. Really play. The pieces mentioned by Jenny and Mike are exquisite. The stuff I have trouble with are the over produced, amped up, full flashing lights, uke thrashing productions. As my musician friend sitting next to me said, "Why doesn't he just get a Telecaster?". When Yo Yo Ma plays, the music soars. No one goes away saying, "I can't believe he can do all that just on a cello." The music is the thing. Jake can REALLY do the music. When he goes Vegas, I miss the music.
 
" His best line went something like this, "The nice thing about being on a ukulele tour is that people come with such low expectations." The audience loved it.


It is a good line, but since he has been using it on stage and in interviews for over five years now, he may need a new one. :rolleyes:
 
He didn't use that line in the show Tuesday, not that I heard, unless it was near the end when I went down to the lobby.

I've been a musician for almost 50 years, and used to be a road manager for a couple of groups and I had no problem with any of the production in Jakes show, or the electronics, and yes, I went away with "wow, look what he can on on the ukulele." He even prefaced it with how inspired he was when he first heard Hendrix and Van Halen. I believe artists should express their own feelings their way. A good example is when Bob Dylan first played electric guitar and was booed on stage by people who only expected "pure" acoustic folk music. By the end the performance, they cheered him.
 
I believe artists should express their own feelings their way. [/QUOTE said:
I understand that. I have made a living most of my life as a visual artist. I also understand that some people will like some periods of my work more than other periods. Doesn't mean that they are wrong…just their opinion. I also never let that affect my work. I'm sure that Jake feels the same way. As a member of his audience I'm just expressing my reaction….not right or wrong…no such thing in the arts anyway. The older I am, the more I have come to appreciate "pure" art in all forms. Whatever the hell that means. In this case I guess it means pure, clean ukulele music. Whatever that is.:)
 
Had some time to mull over my recent Jake concert experience. Of course he can really play. Really play. The pieces mentioned by Jenny and Mike are exquisite. The stuff I have trouble with are the over produced, amped up, full flashing lights, uke thrashing productions. As my musician friend sitting next to me said, "Why doesn't he just get a Telecaster?". When Yo Yo Ma plays, the music soars. No one goes away saying, "I can't believe he can do all that just on a cello." The music is the thing. Jake can REALLY do the music. When he goes Vegas, I miss the music.

I totally agree that a virtuoso's music can stand alone, and I feel Jake is a virtuoso on ukulele. Definitely, just him, a stool, and a ukulele would make my day as much as anything else.
 
The Ventura show was great!
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I saw Jake last night in Scottsdale, AZ, with not 1, but more than 100 musicians. He played with a show with a few numbers with a symphony orchestra - pretty dang way cool. One number had the symphony and a group of about 50 strummers too.

The first half of the show was absolutely great - stunning solo and with the group. Jake said over and over again how excited and pleased he was to be playing in this setting - "I'm in heaven!" at one point. The second half seemed a bit more rote, and the bass player did come out for a few numbers. But still, great show! At the end, Jake asked if the Arizona Musicfest (the organization that arranged the show) could invite him back again.
 
I saw Jake at his first concert this year in Jacksonville with my daughter at the end of January. Both of our first time to see him. I was very impressed. The concert was great. He did have a Bass player in a few songs but I did not think the Bass was overpowering. Maybe the mix was not good? Jake was amplified so I think the mix there was not very good.

I also wonder if it is the same Bass player. He might not use the same one traveling but might get a local one near the concert? I don't know if that is true but possible.

Jake did have some technical issues with some equipment that he was using to loop his playing to add layers of him playing. But he did get it working after a couple of attempts.

He said this year's tour was a lot different than before. Adding the Bass player was one of them. Playing a baritone was another.

After the concert he signed items for people. The tour people did rush you a little there and did not allow posed pictures. But I did get a couple of quick pictures.

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Glenn
 
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