Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Keller Williams, Jan. 11 at Revolution

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Keller Williams played at Revolution Jan. 11.
  • Keller Williams played at Revolution Jan. 11.

Friday night, the one-man jam-band wonder Keller Williams (not to be confused with the real estate company of the same moniker) played an unforgettable show at Revolution. Williams or “K-Dub,” if you prefer, got his career started when he offered to play with String Cheese Incident after seeing them play in Colorado, in return for free ski passes — a gig which later morphed into the collaborative Keller Williams Incident and propelled him on his path to fame in the jam band scene. Throughout his genre-bending career, he has collaborated with a host of other bands, from the bluegrass duo Larry and Jenny Keel (Keller & The Keels) to a project dubbed The Sexy Bitches with members of moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. While each of these side projects exemplify a different facet of Williams’ mastered craft, it is his one-man show which ultimately showcases his considerable talent and bright future as an accomplished “musician’s musician.”

Arriving early, the stage setup quickly grabbed my attention. There were guitars hoisted up on stands, a lone microphone at center stage, a stash of “miscellaneous” instruments such as a triangle and bells, and a mixer surrounding the red, plush carpet in the middle of the stage, where he would ultimately “cut a rug” on during his trademark barefoot performance later that night. I couldn’t help but smile, knowing we were all about to be treated a show that would mirror the many videos I had seen of his one-man show. While I was initially shocked (or maybe saddened) by what appeared to be a small turnout, it wasn’t long before my faith in humanity was restored as fans of all ages and backgrounds began to file in for the grooviest dance party in town. Middle-aged, bearded men in tie-dye shirts, young women dressed up in cat ears dancing with glow-in-the-dark hula hoops and a clique of pre-teen girls with a chaperone in tow were among those who would soon begin to claim their stake on the dance floor. During the opening act, a funky, bass-trembling cover of the BeeGee’s “Stayin’ Alive” I asked the girls to pose for a photo, when they pointed to the beaming girl in front and squealed, “It’s her birthday!” All I could think to myself was how I wished I knew music like this existed at her age.

One of the most exciting things about witnessing Williams perform his magic live is the way the audience gets a “backstage” view of the musical production process. While seasoned fans may know right off the bat which song he has begun to piece together, the rest of the crowd can enjoy the pleasure of listening to the slow build-up of the song as he plays, records, and loops live on stage, waiting for that moment of recognition as he drops a familiar beat or lyric.

This is performance art at its best — a show you can attend with zero knowledge of the artist or his music and still dance your ass off to some of the funkiest, liveliest, most effervescent music to ever pulse through your body on a dance floor. While Williams played a few tracks from his repertoire of original music (the saccharine “She’s My Something Else,” “I Love California” became “I Love Arkansas”), some of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the night were the many covers from a wide range of musical genres and eras, among them G. Love’s “Back of the Bus,” Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is in the Heart,” The Butthole Surfers song “Pepper,” and an interlude of “Crazy” during his most well-known tune “Freeker By The Speaker,” melding bits and pieces of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” and Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”

For those of us who thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, Williams surprised the adoring crowd with The Beatles’ “Drive My Car” to wrap up the night, complete with trucker hat and dancing a la 2004’s “Lean Back” by Terror Squad and Fat Joe. Simply awesome.

If you are a fan of live music, dancing, feeling like you are a part of a live show, or rugs that really tie the stage together, man, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket next time Keller Williams graces Little Rock with his presence. I know I’ll certainly be there, with my dancin’ shoes ready to go. "Beep-beep, beep-beep, yeahhh!”

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Speaking of...

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Erin Holland

  • Holiday Staff Picks: 'Lilyhammer,' The Dream Scene, Christmas gift ideas, recipes and more

    Perfect for the season: The Netflix series "Lilyhammer," starring Steve Van Zandt as a protected witness mobster living in Norway. Lots of snow. Van Zandt brings his felonious ways to prim and proper Norway in slapstick fashion as a nightclub operator with Norwegian good fellows. Great scenery. A good dose of information on Scandinavian socialism and folkways.
    • Dec 19, 2014
  • Live Review: Nahko and Medicine for the People at Rev Room

    Thursday night, Portland, Oregon’s Nahko and Medicine for the People brought their “musical medicine” to Little Rock’s Revolution Music Room, a fitting venue for the socially-conscious music collective. Their uplifting medley of folk, urban and world music, as well as hypnotizing videos featuring their music have enchanted activist-minded music fans across the world in the relatively short time they have been creating music together.
    • Oct 28, 2014
  • Review: The Wild Feathers, Juanita's March 5

    The Wild Feathers played at Juanita's Monday.
    • Mar 6, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Live Review: The Polyphonic Spree at Stickyz

    This fall The Polyphonic Spree is celebrating the 15th anniversary of their debut, "The Beginning Stages of ...", with a tour of Europe and North America. The Dallas, Texas band formed in July 2000, born from the sparkling mind of lead vocalist Tim DeLaughter. Tim and his band — a group of about 20 musicians — are currently on tour and performing their entire debut along with other originals and a few surprises. Returning from their stint in Europe, they came through Little Rock with a blazing performance at Stickyz Tuesday night.,
    • Oct 23, 2015
  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Arkansas Times Recommends: The Think Edition


    • on May 22, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation