KELLER WILLIAMS: : SIGHT (SCI FIDELITY '05)

Wait a minute... is that Keller Williams humping a redwood tree? Keller singing and carrying on a conversation in tongues? Keller “disco-blading” circles around the venue’s dance floor while lip synching the lyrics to “Freeker by the Speaker”?

Yep… that’s Williams in your living room alright – the man who put the “eek” in Freek – in raging 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound. K Dub’s first live concert DVD Sight, is a journey into the creative soul and comedic, twisted mind of America’s favorite (and only) “one man jamband.” The DVD boasts over 100 minutes of concert footage recorded over a two-night span, November 19th and 20th, 2004, at Millvale, Pennsylvania’s Mr. Small's Funhouse and Theatre.

A celebration of visual and auditory perception, Sight generates a strong pulse in the normally lifeless boob tube. The video showcases some great, crispy, digital camera work shot against the backdrop of countless guitars and hot pink, blazing blue, and lime green swirling lights. Additionally, interspersed throughout the music is plenty of gut-busting, laugh-out-loud B-roll tape from years of being on the road (like the above mentioned “high” jinks.)

The heartbeat of the DVD though is Williams’ performance. His frenetic finger-work, ultra-hip looping, and multi-instrumental talents are not only mind-blowing sonically, but they're also a “sight” that must be seen to fully appreciate his talent. Watch Keller in a mirror’s reflection as he begins strumming “Roshambo” in his dressing room, then casually strolls out onto stage continuing to play the song. “Fuel for the Road” sends the jam-packed crowd into orbit as KW loops an intergalactic bassline, adds some trademark beat-boxing, and then drops a keyboard “phrase” via his synth-guitar – all before picking up his acoustic and nailing the song's final verse. A stellar version of “Juggler” exemplifies the complete Keller as he layers booty-shakin’ bass, “right on” acoustic plucking, and a touch of tweaked-out energy/sound waves via Theremin. As the experimental funk gets thick, an impromptu verse of “Groove is in the Heart” materializes then melts into a “Dancing in the Streets” tease, with “Juggler” eventually reemerging from the morphing madness.

Sight is a testament to Williams’ status as one of the hottest solo acts playing music today. Beyond his obvious musical abilities, Keller’s collegiate theatrical training is utilized to the max and is reflected in his love of and comfort on the stage. Sure, sound is the foundation of Williams’ fame, but seeing him perform is an experience in and of itself and is the basis for his success as an entertainer. If you’re a music fan, Sight is definitely worth a watch. If you’re a Keller fan, guitar aficionado, or improvisational music lover, Sight is a “don’t miss.” Regardless, if you do pop the disc into the DVD player, one thing is for certain: you won’t believe your eyes.

John Smrtic
JamBase | New York
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[Published on: 7/11/05]

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