Noma & Friends @ The Warehouse 11/07/2021 - 8xDual Stream Event
Updated: Aug 18, 2021
It was advertised for a couple of weeks at least, and the excitement for the "crazy" idea that Noma Falta had come up with had been building for all that time, and she related it took a full month to put it all together. Noma's idea was to have the 8 hottest male player/singers in SL do mini-sets of 3 or 4 tunes with her by dual stream over the course of approximately 2 hours beginning today at 4:00pm slt. It went long, but no complaints AT ALL!
According to Noma, things were prepared in advance, and because of everybody's full schedules, songs were "set" so everyone could be prepared for the show. There were no rehearsals involved, just a few last minute sound checks. The most impressive part for me is that "the guys" can hear Noma during the piece, but she can't hear them until she listens to the recording later. Noma is a versatile and outstanding performer and took care of most of the vocal duties as well as playing guitar and bass. I have to say that regardless of how it all works, there were no complaints from us in the audience, and I will attest that everyone sure seemed to have a great time! In my time blogging, I have come to know that if an audience swells and stays, they are loving what they are hearing and this crowd, that swelled to over 100 people, came and stayed put once the event had begun. The venue, The Grand Strand, owned and operated by Syn Xubersnak-Neox (Asynja Xubersnak) was ann excellent choice, and had little to no lag or any other problems that I was aware of through-out this technically demanding event. I cannot say this enough to everyone involved: WELL DONE!!!
Because of the popularity of this event, Roxie and I went over very early and snagged ourselves a great spot to watch the proceedings. I am glad we came early. This amazing event that brought artists together from all over the United States and even a fellow Canadian (Go Max!) put on a show that will be extremely hard to beat! All eight mini-sets went pretty much according to what they had expected, and even with a tech glitch or two and a broken E string these pros plowed right through it all. They showed us first-hand what makes these people the BEST there is in SL. And what amazing performers they are!
The event began with Noma and Andreus Gustafson (Anj). Anj began streaming his keyboard from Tennessee, while a storm raged outside his place, and ramped it up with Noma and right into the Eagles' "Dirty Laundry". Noma's vocals, as always, were clean and powerful and her dynamics, range and pitch never faltered though-out her nearly 3 hours of non-stop performing and introductions. Anj showed his chops on the keyboard, and we were immediately aware of why he was included in this esteemed group. He is simply awesome and Noma tore through the lead guitar work and vocals in her signature style that always leaves me wanting more. They continued through an old favorite of mine from Procol Harum; "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and it was a perfect tune to feature the keyboards. Anj did an amazing job with Noma, on all three tracks here and they kept the songs true to the originals and presented them without a hitch. The last tune for this pairing was "Rickki Don't Lose That Number" by Steely Dan. A perfect set.
The next pairing was Noma and Jeff Plumday. So far in my limited time as a blogger, Jeff has been flying under my radar, well.... NO MORE!
They started by joking about Jeff being the "...warm-up guitarist for all the rest..." but when Noma and Jeff turned it on and started into "Do It Again" by Steely Dan, it was clear that Jeff is a headliner with all the rest of the guys. About 30 seconds in I was christening this pair the "Dynamic Duo", as I was muttering to myself, "Holy Freakin' Guitar Player Batman!! Then Noma and Jeff began the famous intro into "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and I am sure that George Harrison was looking down and nodding, because they nailed it. Then they moved on to "Soulshine" of Allman Brothers Band fame, making it theirs with a "call and answer" technique for the lead solo break. It was an awesome presentation and I was cheering hard while we waited, then found out that the next artist, DennyMac, was delayed.
To fill the time these professionals switched gears and decided to do the rock classic, Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way". To make up for the lack of a "talk box" for the famous mid-tune solo, Jeff employed his wah wah pedal to coax sounds from his guitar that filled that part of the song amazingly well and the 97 people that had arrived so far erupted into a deafening roar as Noma and Jeff finished up.
Unfortunately, DennyMac was a "casualty of technology" and could not re-establish a connection for his stream so Maximillion Kleene was called in early to take over the slot.
Max Kleene is a fellow "Canuck" (Canadian), a great entertainer, singer and player. I hadn't heard him for awhile so I was eager to listen. But it seems the streaming gods had different plans for today and they promptly crushed his stream and broke his High E string! Like the pro he is he decided to try to continue anyway with the broken string and managed to re-establish the stream. but he and Noma had to give it up when those streaming gods would just not let him be, and Noma called on Kendall Jigsaw to come up and continue the show.
Now Kendall is a great guitar player, a consummate professional and all round great guy. He and Noma didn't waste any time and got right into "You Got Lucky" from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and then slid into ZZ Top's "Blue Jean Blues." While I was talking to JimmyT later, it was his expert opinion that Kendall's interpretation of that "Lil Ole Band from Texas" was "EPIC!" Roxie and I were both very impressed with the way Noma and Kendall finished off with "Still Got The Blues" by Gary Moore. We just looked at each other and smiled.
Then Max surprised everyone by somehow establishing his stream once again and he and Noma got going for us with an old favorite of mine, "Brass In Pocket" by The Pretenders. Noma and Max did a fantastic rendition and when done, they finished off Max's time an excellent job of "High and Dry" as done by Radiohead. Well Done Noma and Max! You certainly showed that you can be counted on to deliver the goods, against all odds and gods!
Virgil Flowers had tough acts to follow when he and Noma began their set with Tom Petty's "Breakdown" and then did "Running Down A Dream" but when they slammed through Gary Moore's "Midnight Blues", Roxie squealed "Virgil is fantastic!" and I had to agree. Both Noma and Virgil are great guitarists and both always pour their hearts into their performances, and together they were simply amazing as they finished up their pairing with Tom Petty's "Refugee".
By this time the audience had peaked around 105 and no one was leaving as JimmyT49 Dukes was called to the stage by Noma and they rocked into the first chord set of Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Cold Shot". It was simply flawless. "Blues Deluxe" as done by Jimmy and Noma in "Bonamassa Mode" is such a perfect interpretation of BLUES, I was utterly speechless. And when they TORE into the Bonamassa/Beth Hart version of "I'll Take Care of You", Noma challenged Beth's vocals and Jimmy was a madman guitar slinger that would have made Mr. Bonamassa proud. I will admit bias but as far as this blogger is concerned, Jimmy and Noma are the King and Queen of the Blues in SL! Absolutely Amazing!
The last paring of the event was Noma with Donn deVore. Donn was another excellent guitar player that I had not heard play before in SL and I was very impressed by his skill and virtuosity in the tunes presented. He is definitely going down on my list of blog prospects along with Denny, Jeff and Anj.
Noma and Donn began with "Clocks" by Coldplay and nailed it. "Creep" by Radiohead was next and they stayed true to the original, as a love song with a twist, and a great guitar piece. The last tune of the event was "Yellow" by Coldplay, excellently executed and the slow, smooth, rolling nature of the song helped to bring things to a close on a "high note".
This was an incredible idea and a great presentation and Noma Falta has GOT to be the shining STAR of this multi-stream event. She came up with the idea. She worked tirelessly to organize it. She played and sang on every tune presented. She was emcee and the core of the event. When we arrived about 2 hours early, she was already there, working through the sound checks and making sure that all "the guys" had what they needed to get the job done and THEN... she just went on and DID IT.... for a total of well over 3 hours she sang her heart out and she played and she introduced and she was awesome! THANK YOU NOMA!! And BIG THANKS to the GUYS!!
And With Extra Special Thanks to my co-writer and photographer, RoxieRivers! You are the best!
We can't WAIT for the next one!
"Next one??!!" you ask??? Stay Tuned..................................*