Thursday, April 03, 2008

Kaki King at the Roxy Theatre

If I had a concert t-shirt for every band I have seen, my closet would have burst a long time ago. Concert t-shirts are usually a good indicator what type of show you are attending. One might have thought I was at the wrong concert if you judged the concert t-shirts I saw at the Kaki King show. I was originally surprised to see fans sporting Primus, Tool, and Alice In Chains shirts. After watching Kaki King play guitar though, it would later make sense. Kaki King just plain rocks.

Matt Sheehy

Matt Sheehy by the way of Portland, Oregon was armed with an Ovation acoustic guitar and a batch of honest songs when he took the stage. I couldn't help but think of the similarities between Matt and The Helio Sequence in that they are both from Portland and feature guitars, drums, and vocals. Matt was adept at using his Line 6 sampler to build loops into the songs and got extra points for playing the bass notes to his songs on his midi foot controller. Matt even sampled a miniature toy box through his guitar for an intriguing effect for one of his songs. Matt was later joined by Kaki King for a duet. Matt is self releasing his latest album "Tigerphobia".

Kaki King

After reviewing her latest album "Dreaming of Revenge", I was hoping Kaki King would be able to recreate the spools of aural textures in the live format. Kaki delievered big time. I could sense the feeling that everyone around me played guitar in some way.

Kaki blew me away with the percussive rapid tapping of "Bone Chaos In The Castle" as the band would later join her on the stage and kick the song into overdrive. "Life Being What It is" had Mark Price (Guitars) add some smooth bow like guitar sounds as watched the Kaki's fingers deftly touch all her strings. "Pull Me Out Alive" was excellent with its hypnotizing jangle coupled with Kaki's silky smooth voice. I was also excited that Kaki had my Fulltone Supa-Trem in her setup that she stepped on a few times. When Kaki wasn't playing her Ovation acoustic guitar, she would opt for her Hamer guitar. Kaki is the type of performer that makes you want to throw away all of your instruments because you realize you may never acheive her level of mastery of the instrument.

"Sad American" had a language of its own without any words as I could see Mark mouthing the notes on his guitar while he played. "Saving Days In A Frozen Head" was prefaced with a story by Kaki explaining she wrote the song in the midst of doing her scoring work on the "Into The Wild". "Open Mouth" lived up to its namesake as I found my mouth agape. "I Need A Girl Who Knows A Map" bordered on flamenco speed fingerpicking and is available as an itunes exclusive track.

Kaki teased the audience by waiting until the final encore before shredding on her lap steel guitar. I admit I was secretly hoping Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters would pop out of the crowd and jam with Kaki but alas I had no such luck. I was still awestruck by Kaki's talent and will not be surprised if she breaks out into the mainstream.

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