The last time I saw Keller Williams perform, he was dressed up as “Saturn Claus” at the String Cheese Incident, Hulaween concert at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA. Keller did a guest appearance and sang Mothership Connection, the George Clinton tune as well as Dee Lite’s, The Groove is in the Heart. It was one of the highlights of the show. Last night, Keller was all by himself, the “one man jam band,” music’s mad scientist.
Keller is an incredibly talented musician, and can put on a complete show alone. He plays the drums, bass and guitar, and the riffs and beats he plays are looped as he moves from instrument to instrument. If you close your eyes while listening to him perform, you’ll think there is an entire band on stage, including a horn section. And Keller’s songs are interesting, too. Sometimes, you feel like he’s just making them up as he goes along. Tunes about “Moving Sidewalks,” “Porta-Potties,” “Rush Limbaugh,” and “Boob-jobs,” all make an appearance and always bring a chuckle. Throughout the evening, he weaves you through his songs like a story-teller.
Last night, Keller played two sets, almost three hours in total. I’m not a Keller Williams aficionado, but I know he played: Back of the Bus, Birds of a Feather, Moondance, Positive Reggae, Gatecrashers Suck, Kidney in a Cooler, Freeker by the Speaker and the Dead’s Shakedown Street. He closed out the show with I Love California, complete with the Peter Frampton “Talkbox.” The Encore was Boob-job.
Every time I see Keller I understand more about why he’s so popular. At first I just saw him at a few music festivals. Those kinds of shows are different. They’re usually shorter and sometimes there’s just too much other stuff going on around you to really pay attention to the performance. When I saw him at Hulaween, it was a different Keller, but he only sang a couple of songs. Seeing Keller in a full, two-set show is the only way to go. You get to spend the evening with him and you have the opportunity to see the whole package. He captivates you and you can’t help but give him your undivided attention. If you get an opportunity to spend “An Evening with Keller Williams,” don’t pass it up. I guarantee you’ll leave with a smile on your face and a lot of fun tunes stuck in your head.