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Keb’ Mo’ at the Keswick Theatre: In a Dangerous Mood

Concert recap and all photos by Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog.

©2012 OnTapBlog All Rights Reserved

Keb’ Mo’ and his band of musicians played at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA, on Friday night to a packed house of enthusiastic music lovers.  And dancers. The crowd gathered outside the theatre under the lights of the marquee while those inside crowded around the bars nestled next to the Victorian marble stairs that led to the balcony.  The drums and keyboard and mic stands were arranged on a barely lit stage.  Long, lean and in his trademark hat, Keb’ Mo’ glides to the center of the stage all alone with the exception of his prized, golden, dobro guitar.  Exchanging banter with those at the front of the stage, Keb’ begins the show as he ended it:  on the stage, alone, with a great looking and sounding guitar.  ‘Just happy to be here.  Happy to be in front of you all.’

Keb’ Mo’ and the golden dobro

Playing from a setlist that crossed from blues to soul, the four musicians made each song a story about making it through each relationship,  learning the lessons that life throws your way.  From ‘Suitcase‘ to ”The Whole Enchalada’, Keb’ reminisced about carrying your baggage from love lost and regained to being the man you have to be to get and hold onto love.  ‘I’m in a Dangerous Mood’ gave notice to the audience that I can be good and true but I like to be a little crazy, too.

Les Falconer, Vail Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, Michael Hicks

Each musician was featured and to the surprise of the audience, they not only played their instruments but also sang!  Vail Johnson on the bass has a deep voice that is rich and full.  Les Falconer, high on the white hot drum stand sang and accompanied himself on drums. Michael B. Hicks, who plays three keyboards each night, sang the opening verse of  ‘America the Beautiful’ after which Keb’ completed the song in a slow and jazzy style.  A standing ovation was the reward for a song that united the crowd of American music lovers. All four musicians created a sound that sounded more like a band of six or eight pieces.

Michael Hicks on Keyboards

From the highly acclaimed The Reflection, Keb’ got into his near-dangerous side with ‘I’m Just Lookin‘, a coy song laced with a  possible liaison except for the fact that the man enjoyed ‘just lookin’ but is steadfast that he is  movin’ on.

Many in the audience were repeat recipients of the blues and soul treatment that is a Keb’ Mo’ show.  Singing, clapping and dancing along, it was a palpable undercurrent that the audience just wanted to get up and dance in their seats and the aisles.  The last half hour of a two and a half hour show consisted of some of that exuberance felt in the chairs.  But, it was the dancing in the streets song ‘She Just Wants to Dance‘ when the aisles began to fill up from front to back with dancing revelers who just could not contain themselves for one more minute.

Vail Johnson on bass; Keb’ Mo’ on harp; Michael Hicks on keyboards

Les Falconer and Keb’ Mo’ gettin’ dangerous.

Near the end of the show, Keb’ was on stage again by himself.  The guitar tech brought the last beautifully made guitar to Keb’ and as he sang, he introduced his band again and his support crew.  Mentioning the guitar tech by name and the bus driver and then taking their final bows, Keb’ showed his respect and complete appreciation for all the staff who make it possible for him to move smoothly through the setlist and the tour schedule knowing that if he got in a ‘dangerous mood’ on the road, they would always have his back.

Keb’ Mo’ Band.

Vail Johnson on Bass.

Keb’ Mo’ and Vail Johnson

Les Falconer on drums

 

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. ontapblog #

    Beautiful photos and recap, Louise! Talented musicians and warm, genuine people – Keb’ Mo’ and his band are among my favorites. So glad that you had the opportunity to attend this show; thanks for sharing the fun with us. Would love to have heard that performance of America the Beautiful. I’m going to have to check Keb’s tour schedule!

    November 5, 2012
  2. Thanks! Always a pleasure to see Keb’ Mo’. What a treasure. His CD, The Reflection, is one of my favorites.

    November 5, 2012

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