Last Friday I hoped in my Van and headed to Raleigh to catch one of my favorite musicians. It had been a while since the Lincoln Theater had hosted Keller Williams and his return brought a sold-out show. As you are probably aware, Keller has many projects and various musical groups, all of which never fail to deliver. But of all of his awesome entities, his "Solo Multi-Instrumental Looping Act" has always been my top favorite. I am of course bias in this regard because I make my living from doing a "Solo Multi-Instrumental Looping Act".
We received a solid 3 hours of good music. Keller gave us a nice mix of old and new songs. Among my favorites were Breathe, Kidney in a Cooler, Call Your Mamma Down in Uganda, They Love Each Other (Grateful Dead cover), Short Show, and that newer really funny song about the intoxicated girl with the dog who passes out on someone's lawn only to be woken up by the flashlight of a state trooper. I don't know the song title (and neither dig Google) but it was absolutely hilarious.
Aside from the excellent quality of the music and the superbly chosen set list, his demeanor on stage was exceptionally goofy and entertaining. Clearly, he was enjoying himself and the crowd that was bestowed upon him. And of course, the audience ate it all up. Good music speaks for itself. But when its combined with true showmanship....it conquers crowds. Obviously, Keller Williams grasped this concept early in his career. For example, on one particular guitar solo, he used a flute effect and proceeds to raise the headstock of the guitar under his lips (as if his guitar was a flute) and plays the whole solo that way. At one point he got the whole audience to sing "Watermelon Guacamole" over and over again as he played the rhythm of a Coldplay song behind it and the collective audience couldn't have been more pleased to do so. Only a true showman (or show-woman) can pull off a stunt like that. I pride myself in showmanship, but even I would have some issue pulling that off effectually.
All in all, it was a great show and everyone I talked to thoroughly enjoyed it. Hopefully he'll make it back around again before too long and hopefully those that did not make it this time, will catch him on the next go-round. On a side note I even ran into a friend of mine there who I knew from 2nd grade. Also, if you are a fan of musical looping acts like Keller Williams and Zach Deputy, feel free to give my music a whirl as well at www.BarefootWade.com.
- by Barefoot Wade
- Photos by Justin Barnett