Keller Williams @ Slowdown
Alas, the drab winter has surely taken it’s toll on us Midwest dwellers. Endless days spent in an ice chest will have that effect from time to time, and now that it has been gloomy and foggy for the past week, Seattle syndrome will soon set in. Well luckily, thanks to our good friends over at Rad Kadillac, a slew of shows have taken over the south eastern corner of the good life state, allowing us to cease writing out suicide notes. That takes us to Sunday night, as a sold out all ages crowd at Slowdown in Omaha, NE played host to Keller Williams, which may have been the only ounce of sunshine I’ll see in the month of January.
Keller has been around for years, entertaining crowds with his vast knowledge of instruments and wide catalog of music. Personally, he is one of my most seen artists by far, but with him touring with the WMD’s, it has been a while since I had seen a solo show. So, needless to say, I was jonesin for a good show like no other. As per usual, Keller took the stage shoeless while jamming out the beginning of Juggler. The music was bliss to my ears, as he was in perfect form, and goofy as usual. The first set ran through a wide array of covers, including Martin Sexton’s “Hallelujah”, G. Love’s “Back of the Bus”, and The Grateful Dead’s Women Are Smarter. Also thrown into the mix, were several Keller originals such as “Fuel for the Road” and “Play This”. The first set lasted about an hour, but the time flew by as if I were at an amusement park! Making my way to the somehow uncrowded restroom, the eager crowd seemed ready for the second set already.
Being a non smoker, I for some reason made my way out to the smokers area to gather some fresh air. And that’s where all the cool kids hang out, right? The next set started quickly, as I walked back in to a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”, which was new to me to hear from Keller. It was at that point when the rest of the evening took on an old school kind of feel, with “Blew Em Away”, “Novelty Song” and “Life Is,” all staples from my younger years. The second set may have seemed even shorter than the first, but that my have had something to do with the increased alcohol consumption and therefore, increased madness throughout. The set closed out with what other than another Dead cover, as he jammed out an enthusiastic version of “Brown Eyed Women”.
Keller took little time getting back to the stage, asking the crowd to vote for either crazy guitar shit or crazy drum shit. Well, in a less than even battle, the drum shit won out. The only disappointing aspect of the night was the ridiculously short one song encore. What was awesome about the encore was the most wonderful version of “Boobjob” we received, which rivaled some of the best Keller drum jams I have ever laid my ears on. The crowd begged for more, but with the house lights and music kicking on, our inevitable departure was right in front of us. Screams of “Capricorn’s unite” were heard as the dance floor was clearing. We found one more to make us a trio, as we walked towards the door.
Keller Williams has never disappointed me. Perhaps it’s his ability to cover just about anything, or perhaps, his ability to take a bunch of random noise from several instruments, and turn it into a wonderful tune. Either way, I had a blast at one of the best venues in region, and look forward to another high energy KW show in the near future. Wakarusa, maybe?…
Thanks to Rad Kadillac, Slowdown, and Madison House for organizing the event, and we look forward to many more!
Praying for sunshine,