Quick Concert Review: Kaki King

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Last night’s Kaki King show at Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club was simply amazing.  She played a variety of guitars with a variety of techniques, ranging from the venerable Fender Stratocaster to her custom Ovation and Adamas guitars, and showed off serious chops on all of them. Take the skill of both Rodrigo y Gabriela and roll them together into one 5’1″ NYU alum, and sit back and wait for her to blow your mind.

Her range of guitars was matched by a range of songs that included complicated, layered instrumentals and simpler song structures with vocalizations reminiscent of Laura Veirs.  Arlington, VA native Dave Grohl, (yes, you’ve heard of him), puts her artistry in context for you: “There are some guitar players that are good and there are some guitar players that are really fucking good. And then there’s Kaki King.”  In short, no “Best Guitarist” list is worth the pixels it consumes if she’s not on it.  Period.

While not my favorite tune of hers, this video captures some of her incredible skill, with a dash of humor thrown in for good measure:

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Behrnsie has a love for music that dare not speak its name. He attends many shows and can often be found counting out the beats for no discernible reason. He played alto saxophone in his middle school jazz band, where he was best known for infuriating his instructor when it was revealed that he played everything by ear, and could not in fact read music. He takes great pride that this is the same talent/affliction that got Tori Amos kicked out of the Peabody Academy. He does not live in his parents’ basement….except during the holidays.