Ukelele master Jake Shimabukuro held forth on the Green Stage just after lunch to a dedicated fan base that hung on his every plucked and strummed note. Personable and open, Shimbukuro has cultivated a nice little career in Japan, with extensive, sold-out tours every year. This was his fourth Fuji Rock appearance and he came off as the kind of seasoned pro who feels right at home.
Though he plays pretty much anything, his metier is progressive rock. He can really shred, and while the bulk of his material is original and poppy, he also did impressive versions of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that zeroed in on those tunes’ lyricism. (Fun fact: George Harrison was an obsessive ukelele collector) And his version of a Hawaiian traditional folk tune was practically metal. His stunted Japanese stage patter just made him that more endearing to his female fans, but the guy would be a guitar god if that’s the instrument he played. Size matters, but not really in this case.