It was nearly two hours of shear mastery that closed out the main stage at Wakarusa 2006, including the greatest
banjo player in the world, the greatest bass player in the world, a new-age saxophone pioneer and genius, and a
scientist turned percussionist. Roy "Futureman" Wooten looped his drumitar, and the band segued into
the theme song from Sanford & Son. Every member of the band got his own time to shine at one point or
another. Jeff Coffin piped two saxes at once, and Victor Wooten laid down a beautiful "Amazing Grace"
bass solo. Futureman soloed on a cajón, later backed by Bela Fleck. The great banjo maestro was everywhere in
between and beyond. Morphing into a masterfully controlled version of "Wipe Out," Futureman took yet another solo
between the drums and his drumitar. An encore was eminent, and like a bluegrass John Lennon, Bela returned with
a Rickenbacker banjo to feed the energy with none other than The Beatles' "Come Together." Coffin's sax took the
place of the chorus and was later replaced by a penny whistle. It was the perfect combination of excitement and
ease to close the main stages of Wakarusa 2006.
Futureman:: Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
Closing out the festival on the Sun Up stage was Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9), which seemed to draw a slightly larger crowd than the Flecktones.
The trance, pumping bass, and electric light show of STS9 have become staples of festival late nights. Whether it
was the space-age jam or the bluegrass phenomenon, the main stages at Wakarusa 2006 closed in style, slamming
the door on both a controversial and enjoyable festival.
STS9 :: Wakarusa 2006
Jambase Waka Awards:
Best Breakthrough Performance: Groovatron, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Runner Up: Chris Berry & Panjea
Biggest Surprise: Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Runner up: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Best Collaboration: Yonder Mountain String Band featuring Béla Fleck and Jeff Coffin
Runners Up: Les Claypool featuring Buckethead and Bernie Worrell, Pnuma Trio featuring Ryan Burnett of
Best Sound: Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Rose Hill Drive
Runners up: New Monsoon, Assembly of Dust, Railroad Earth
Biggest Disappointment: Kansas State Police
Best Overall Show: The Flaming Lips
Runners Up: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
JamBase | Kansas
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