JACKSON BLEVINS ’21 | STAFF WRITER • The visiting Artist Series brought Kaki King to the Salter Hall stage on Tuesday night, and King delivered a mesmerizing performance. The audience got to experience a truly remarkable show from King, a brilliant artist has been hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as “a genre unto herself.” King has quite the résumé, as she released six studio albums, performed with music icons such as the Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and the Mountain Goats, and contributed to prominent film and television soundtracks.
On Tuesday night, King blended her impressive guitar skills with a vibrant visual production to provide a unique experience that would be tough for this audience to forget. King’s show, “The Neck is a Bridge to the Body”, was a multi-media performance that blended King’s ability to rapidly pick the guitar with a visual scene being displayed on her guitar and a projector behind her. King began the show by walking out on onto a dark stage as she was dressed in her all white, a tactic she believes takes the audience’s attention away from her and focuses on the audio and visual aspects of the show. The fairly new technology of projection mapping allowed her guitar to come alive while she displayed her guitar skills that she has been crafting for more than 30 years. On her guitar and the projector, there were scenes of moving shapes and changing colors, and even a cinematic approach of different images and videos that related to King’s hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
King dove into the unknown of the music industry by the uniqueness of her shows, and it took some time for her to work through the issues of touring and playing a new show.
“Everyone is navigating through the industry because it is infinitely complex,” King said. “Through this show, I have had the luxury of being a guitar player that could go to a jazz club, to a rock club, or to a theater atmosphere. Being versatile has allowed me to go to many different places with many different audiences. This specific show has brought itself to a more theatrical setting, which has been really great. Being able to play in performing arts centers and theaters has taken the show and made it a much more elegant and picturesque show that with beautiful sounds and beautiful lighting.”
The sold-out Salter Hall crowd displayed their appreciation throughout the night with many strong applauses. “I didn’t know what to expect for the show, and I think that was a good thing,” Caleb Wood ‘21 said. “I really liked the projection on the guitar, and she was probably the best guitar player I have ever seen.” When King played a guitar that was bursting with colorful graphics alongside a projector screen with various forms of video, it was a combination that warranted the audience’s attention, and that it did.
The person who brought King to Wabash was chair of the Visiting Artist Series, Matthew Weedman, BKT Assistant Professor of Art. Weedman went to graduate school with King’s producer/technician, and he felt that King would be a perfect fit for the Series.
“One of the main reasons I thought of Kaki was because I wanted stuff that Wabash students normally don’t see in this area,” Weedman said. “We have strived to put together a season of performances that are artistically rich, but also as liberal arts minded as possible.”
Weedman was spot on with his intuition, and on Tuesday King ultimately captivated the audience with her powerful performance.