I was thrilled when I learned late last year that the original Bela Fleck & the Flecktones were going to be touring. I had never seen this wonderful band at all over the years, so before I could talk myself out of it I bought a pair of tickets for their scheduled local show, which was to be the day after my birthday in March at the Warfield in San Francisco.
As it turned out, there was a venue change, and so instead of Market Street, my wife and I were on Van Ness at the Regency Ballroom.
The band was terrific. All of them have a mastery of their instruments that is astonishing, and while showing off is definitely part of the game, it's secondary to the music itself, which is by turns beautiful, soulful, dazzling, intricate, delightful, humorous - sometimes all at once. They also clearly are having a ball playing together.
The latest Flecktones album, recorded last year with this lineup, is Rocket Science.