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PingWi-Fi Timetrips To Music Of ‘Killer’ Solo Act In St. Louis

February 2nd, 2010 · Tags:Arts · Cities · Gadgets · Wi-Fi

Keller Killing It

Keller Killing It

I won’t lie. I was wearing a Mexican Baja hippie hoodie — in rastaman red-green-gold — before most of his fans were born … but it was all about the music at Keller Williams’ show at the intimate Pageant Theatre the other night in St. Louis.

I mean, who don’t love a Phish-ish, Grateful Dead-esque par-tay?

First things first. Did The Pageant have Wi-Fi? Yes … but not in the communal, free-for-one-and-all fashion I had hoped. It was an in-house, private hotspot for the staff … I had to rely on AT&T and my iPhone technology to tweet … No PingWi-Fi points awarded for connectivity, mon.

But, as for the concert … Now there was some connectivity.

thump, ka dum dum, thump

thump, ka dum dum, thump

Remember when concerts were zombie fests, and the crowd raised their lighters at the end to prove to the band that they were indeed still alive?

Today — at least at Keller and other jamband shows — the audience is not there to witness. It is an integral, pulsating part of the show — performance art en masse. Keller hits a funky note, dancers swoon and hands twist up in the air, then come down in swirling grace … like a belly dancer fest. Keller solo picks on his acoustic guitar and dancers spin like (somewhat awkward) flamenco … It’s not always pretty, but man is it fun!

As the dancing spread, I took note that most of the crowd was far too out of shape, far too dread-headed, wearing too many hippie layers with too much facial hair to resemble any sort of aerobics event. Oh but there were calories burned (amidst the contraband).

Be Freakin

Be Freakin

If you are new, as was I to this Keller, his show is a one-man affair for the most part. There are some backing harmonies from the soundman/vocalist … but most of the groove is Keller and his cast of electronic toys.

Keller Site

I can’t begin to tell you how many synthesizers, pedals, loops and computer tricks he mixes into his sound. It works. And so does he … He is like that proverbial “hardest working man in show biz” … thumping out and sampling a bass line … rushing over to add electric guitar thrashing … whistling into a microphone … singing some Beck lyrics …

Occasionally he puts out some earth-moving bass that literally causes the listener to feel the air moving from the sound system. It occurred to me that he is sort of doing the same thing as a DJ at a rave. He lays down a dance beat, mixed in some samples, etc., etc., but big difference! Keller actually has talent and skills mastering several instruments … (No offense to those who reached stardom by spinning someone else’s music for a living.)

Killer’s stuff is original … hell, even his cover versions sound fresh and original. I detected Beck as I mentioned, and he played one of my favorite Dead songs, “Shakedown Street.” Nice!

Judging by the ensuing clouds of smoke, and dancing, the crowd was most appreciative of the live version of “Freaker by the Speaker.”

Personally, I preferred when the K freestyled about his Virginia roots and an upcoming snowboarding trip. It was sort of like his musical FaceBook status update. PingWi-Fi likes this! … LOL.

Midway through the show (as my younger/more musically inclined friend “Markus Surrealius” verified) the music tended to get a bit repetitive. I guess I was hoping for something a little headier than “Let me be your dog and you can be my master” — albeit a crowd pleaser, (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Anyway, I hate to say it, but I thought there was also a little bit of “ENC” going on … you know, “emperor’s new clothes” … liking something because it is so cool and all that. I mean it was an excellent show, but for those who were awestruck … I had to think you peeps need to get out more.

Based on my tattered collection of concert ticket stubs and the lost braincells that gave their lives to collect them, I give the Keller show 5 pings on our ambiguous scale.


Markus Representin

But what do I know? I was like a phish out of water at times … even annoyed at one point. The crowd shouted F-flava obscenities during a song that alternated between praising free speech and then lambasting Rush Limbaugh (because he dares to exercise it). The F-word to attack someone for their viewpoints. Really? I guess for this crowd, only trendy free speech is permitted. Well … I was momentarily alienated and greatly outnumbered — so I resisted any nonconformist moshing in the peace and love Kumbayah pit.

Know what I sayin?