Keller Williams came to the McDonald Theatre in Eugene, OR, with Leftover Salmon and brought along his special brand of solo entertainment. Keller and Leftover Salmon are on a mini, four-date tour in the Northwest, with Eugene being the second stop.
From Fredricksburg, VA, Keller Williams is often referred to as a one-man-jam-band because he not only loops recordings of multiple instruments to perform songs, but he also improvises quite a bit while experimenting with said loops live. He dazzled the crowd at McDonald Theatre on Thursday night with his exceptional skill on the acoustic guitar, accompanying his impressive tap riffs with goofy facial expressions and a quirky sense of humor. His arsenal included a bass on a stand, several guitars and effects pedals, and a sample pad that he used for percussion. He even beatboxed incredible jazz drums while using effects to disguise the sound of his guitar with wind instruments like the flute and the saxophone.
The setlist was well-rounded with Keller’s witty jokes and a handful of his best tunes. “I’m thankful for the psychedelic history of this town, which I’m kinda groovin’ on right now,” he said as he went into “Thinking Out Loud.” To progress into different songs, Williams would casually loop and build the pieces of each tune during another, gradually playing into a whole new track by the end of another. It was a clever way of keeping the audience’s attention while also mesmerizing them with talent. He also played “Breathe,” some of his Funk album, and a beautiful, flowing version of “Moving Sidewalk” that would have put anyone in a trance. His final words were, “I just wanna leave you with a little thing,” as he laid down a fat drum and bass jam, soloing over it with a penny whistle and a mouth harp in a way only Keller Williams could.