Keller Williams: the modern day one man band
The Pageant, St. Louis
Some people run marathons, others enjoy a nice Full House marathon on TV, but Keller Williams puts a marathon into notes and strums himself and his screaming St. Louis fans at the sold-out Pageant through a musical 30 mile fun run.
Keller, or “KDUB” as the wild, long haired fans yelled out to him, took the crowd through two one-and-a-half hour sets filled with guitar, piano, drum machines, upright bass, and even a triangle. Keller was there to have fun and so were the fans. At the start of the show Keller danced out onto the stage, barefoot as always, already strumming his guitar at a lightning quick pace with a huge smile on his face.
The entire concert was very laid back and fun as Keller treated the stage like it was his own back porch and the fans like they were his closest friends. He cranked through the first 10 minutes of the show with a few jams that appeared to be more of an improvised solo on his famed 10 string acoustic guitar. The crowd loved every minute of his improvisational style, cheering KW on every time he made an assault on the strings.
After a while of teasing and building the crowd up, he went into a cover song which chronicled the jailing of an old fashioned, barefoot hippy much like himself, by conservative, Christian, straight, white,American males. Following his crowd pleasing, tongue in cheek cover he went into his own original song “One Hit Wonder” from the album Laugh [Sci Fidelity Records], and everyone cheered in recognition of the song. Keller’s oddball pseudo folk bluegrass vocals charmed the pants off of the entire crowd not only during this song, but throughout the entire concert.
After this point it was just an onslaught of creativity with a distinct mindfulness of where the groove was headed the entire time. Keller always seemed to know exactly what would fit where, and would play with the crowd making faces, dancing and in general just having a darn good time. Keller’s show combined his musical intelligence with a few electronic house type beats and rocked the crowd with a little folk electronica--and they danced like rave girls with lollipop binkies. Never was there a moment of rest in his playing. Whether he was playing his originals or cover songs he really knew how to swing it. His covers included songs by bands such as Nirvana and a very clever slip in of “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd in the middle of his song about his dream. His dream/song went a little something like this:
“In my dream I was on the Price Is Right and I had made it to the showcase, and in my dream the showcase showdown had these prizes. It had one of those Lay-Z-Boy recliners, a really bad ass DVD player, and this big 120,000 inch big screen T.V... So I kicked back in the recliner and looked at the T.V. and do you know what was playing?…”
That is when KW went straight into “Another Brick in the Wall.” Most of the fans shit a brick, and then went crazy. One fan got so excited during this song he actually puked… of course that may have been induced by more than excitement.
The beautiful thing about Keller Williams is that even when he does play a cover song it almost seems as if it his own tune. He makes every note his own and adds many of his own creative ideas to an already well known song. It is an odd feeling when you realize that what he is playing is totally different from the original song yet retains the original artists' groove and message.
Keller wowed the crowd the whole night with songs like “Gate Crashers Suck,” which has the humorous chant of; “Fuck you, you cocksucking motherfuckers,” which the entire crowd belted out as loud as they possibly could.
“Dogs” made the crowd smile and even throw out the occasional “Aww” as Keller’s dog, Earl, ran all over the stage as KW’s roadies tossed a Frisbee out for him to fetch. The dog even once made a detour to sniff Keller’s crotch right in the middle of the refrain.
“Cracker Ass Cracker” was played while Keller took a seat on a big round exercise ball. He flopped his acoustic over his lap and played some mean, mean slide guitar throughout the song. During guitar breaks Keller would sit and bounce while he sang. The crowd bounced their bodies with his and clapped when he clapped… he did a great job of keeping the crowd interested and focused on him for 3 hours.
The end of the show rolled around too quickly for the sold out crowd as they rallied around for his two encore songs of the Steve Miller Band’s “Space Cowboy” and his very own song “Celebrate Your Youth” which sums up Keller’s entire show in one well done, motto toting, beautiful show stopping song.
Today’s one man band, Keller Williams, kicked the tar out of any street corner performer and shows how beautiful it can be when someone harmonizes with himself. This show sold out for a reason… Keller really does celebrate his youth.
Visit Keller William's website