Buckethead at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, KY 26-APR-2018

Guitarist Buckethead delivers an oddly mesmerizing performance before a significant crowd at Louisville’s Mercury Ballroom.

Returning to the Louisville area for the first time in nearly 10 years, guitarist Buckethead AKA Brian Patrick Carroll puts on a show that is definitely an experience.  The on-stage set-up is relatively simple, with a pair of mic’d Marshall cabinets along with EVH5150 heads. The stage lighting was heavily saturated with deep blues and reds, leaving the audience with an effect similar to wearing a pair of 3D glasses.

Without any real fanfare or announcements, Buckethead walks out on stage, his white Gibson Buckethead Signature Les Paul guitar around his neck and immediately starts playing.  Buckethead is dressed in all black (at least it looked black under the stage lighting) except for his red #23 Michael Jordan XL Chicago Bulls jersey, his white Michael Myers inspired mask and of course the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) bucket securely attached to his head.

Buckethead doesn’t talk during the performance, what he does do is play guitar, flawlessly.  He has released over 300 albums (That’s right, over 300!)  and has contributed/collaborated with countless high-profile artists including Les Claypool, Iggy Pop and was a member of Guns N’ Roses from 2000 to 2004 playing and recording on the album Chinese Democracy. Buckethead also has composed and performed music for various films including Saw II, Ghosts of Mars, Last Action Hero and The Mortal Kombat movies to name a few.

Tonight’s performance was divided into two sets, each roughly 50 minutes in duration.  At one point during the first set, Buckethead was center stage expertly swinging a pair of nunchucks while everyone watched in amazement. In the middle of “Want Some Slaw?” Buckethead switched on a mix that included the theme from Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade while he handed out toys and goodies to fans across the front of the stage from two gigantic red striped duffel bags.

After roughly a 20-minute intermission Buckethead was back on stage, again with no announcement or fanfare and picked up where he had left off shredding on his signature Les Paul. The evening was truly mesmerizing, It was like watching an emotionless mannequin come to life, moving with this strange robotic fluidity that was captivating.  The common thread overheard while exiting the venue at the end of the evening was of excitement mixed with stunned exhilaration over what they had just experienced – No one left disappointed.

Set 1:

Big Sur Moon


Welcome to Bucketheadland

Gory Head Stump 2006: The Pageant of the Slunks

Night of the Slunk

Nottingham Lace (Buckethead & Friends cover)

Want Some Slaw? / Hog Bitch Stomp / It’s A Small World / Want Some Slaw?

Foam Fingers Robot Dance / Nunchucks / Toy Presentation (Skrillex’s Scary Monsters and… more )

Baptism of Solitude

Interworld (Praxis song)

Herbie Climbs a Tree

Griffin’s Spike

Set 2:

(Ghost) Riders in the Sky (Stan Jones and his Death Valley Rangers cover)



Buckethead’s Toystore

Ghosts of Broken Eggs

Fountains of the Forgotten

Dawn Appears

Turbine Medley (Star Wars, Heatseeker, Pure Imagination)

Fourneau Cosmique




Medley (Spokes for the Wheel of Torment , Rhiannon)

Botnus (Buckethead & Friends cover)

Crash Victim (Praxis song)


Giant Robot Theme Outro (with orchestration)



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