Review: Buckethead, Wolff at Asylum

Buckethead and Wolf, live at Asylum on May 27, 2009
By DAN CLARK  |  June 3, 2009

Little is known about the masked maniac called Buckethead. According to his mythology, he was raised in a chicken coop next door to a drive-in theater, and the bucket he wears on his head contains cursed chicken bones that give him his supernatural guitar-shredding powers. According to Wikipedia, he's an eccentric, enigmatic musical prodigy named Brian Carroll who carved out his own corner of the music industry on his own terms. He first entered the national consciousness through appearances with Primus on the Ozzfest '98 tour, and shortly thereafter landed a high-profile role as a member of the reformed Guns N' Roses. He's now an official pop-culture phenomenon thanks to his contributions to the Guitar Hero series of video games.

Appearing solo on stage, accompanied by a backing track and clad in a navy blue jumpsuit and omnipresent expressionless white mask and matching bucket headgear, he blazed through a 90-minute set of songs dating back to his 1992 solo debut Bucketheadland. Letting his guitar do all the talking, his fingers danced up and down the fretboard, shifting from metal to funk to country to jazz and back again, even creating walls of unidentifiable — and yet still musical — noise. The only pause in the sonic onslaught was for some mid-set nunchaku-swinging, followed by some impressive robot dancing, his tall, spindly frame making the movements seem even more inhuman.

Opening the show was one-man-band Wolff, a/k/a Brian Wolff, formerly of Austin, Texas-based experimental rock trio Drums and Tuba. With transducer mics and guitar pickups gaffer-taped to his tuba, he used his lone instrument for percussion, rhythm, melodies, and even vocals, all routed through samplers and effects to build dark-yet-funky dance music. Look for his new album, The Brass Ceiling, available now. 

  Topics: Live Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, Guitar Hero, Guns N' Roses,  More more >
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