The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Keller Williams captivates autience at Park West

Anticipation filled the room as onlookers gazed strongly at the long bass and six-string guitar propped up on stage in excitement for Keller Williams to take the stage and perform.

Unique doesn’t begin to explain the true make-up of this singer-songwriter from Fredericksburg, Va. Growing up, music was a constant aspect in his life as both of his parents sang in a church choir. At an early age, Williams learned the guitar and slowly mastered the instrument as he progressed through high school. As college and post-college life came around, Keller developed his distinct way of performing his music on stage.

After moving to Steamboat Springs, Colo. in 1995, Williams began to approach restaurant owners and other small businesses to play his music. This would be his sole source of income while he lived at truck stops and campgrounds up until 2000. Williams’ career took off when he approached famous bluegrass band The String Cheese Incident in a local bar in Steamboat Springs and asked if he could potentially open up for the band for free. The band agreed and Williams’ career took off from there.

As the clock inched closer to 8:30 p.m., the roar of the crowd steadily increased with excitement. Suddenly, a beam of light appeared on the left side of the stage. Guitar in hand, Williams slowly tip-toed to the center of the stage while bobbing his head and dancing to the beat. As he approached the microphone, the crowd erupted into a fierce cheer and the festivities officially began.

With the absence of socks and shoes, Williams meticulously crafted together a beautifully improvised opener song that left the attending audience in awe. With the use of an advanced loop pedal, he was able to intertwine a slick bass line with a melodic guitar tune to go along with the strumming of his own acoustic guitar. On top of that combination, Williams carefully changed the tone of his voice to finish this complex song.

The event continued for what felt like a continuous steady flow of music. Each song fluidly progressed into the next, which encourage constant applause from the crowd. Along with the heavy applause, music-goers kept their feet in motion all night long. Each and every creative riff caused the crowd to engage in one uninterrupted dance.

Although the set quickly approached the end, Williams had a special treat in store for veteran listeners of his diverse music. After leaving the stage for a few minutes to revive his energy, he burst on stage with the opening notes of one of his most appreciated songs, “Freaker by the Speaker.” Simultaneously with the beginning chords, people in the crowd appeared to smile as each individual turned in amazement to the people beside them.

Satisfaction filled the hearts of every music lover in sight that had descended upon Park West for this lovely performance. While walking out, a younger fan appeared especially blown away by the set.

“This was my first time ever seeing Keller Williams, and I couldn’t have asked for a better performance,” said Alex Skowron, a Lake Zurich resident.

More to Discover