After following Kaki King’s music for over 10-years, Alex finally got a chance to see her live in a gig at Uppsala Internationella Gitarrfestival in Sweden. Read the full review here.
Kaki King live at Uppsala Internationella Gitarrfestival 12/10 - 2018
It’s no exaggeration to call Brooklyn based Kaki King (born Katherine Elizabeth King) a genre unto herself. Her unique style of playing the guitar with alternate tunings, finger-picking, jazz-style plucking and using the guitar as a percussive instrument makes her one of a kind.
The choice of venue is an interesting one. Uppsala is Sweden’s 4th biggest city and on the concert day, the venue hosts an international guitar festival.
I estimate the audience size to about a hundred, wïthout a doubt not the biggest audience Kaki King has played for, but perhaps one of the most geeky ones: The audience is full of guitarists and musicians that all seem to appreciate the craft and the art Kaki King brings to the table.
With front row seats, me and my friend Matthis often hear comments during the show about the guitar projections and Kaki King’s playing from guitarists a few rows back.
Having been a fan of Kaki King for over 10 years, it was a no brainer for me to purchase the “Soundcheck” ticket for this Kaki King’s concert.
Although this session was labelled as a workshop in the programme (and a few attendees even got refused entry with their gigbags and guitars due to security reasons), the half hour pre-show slot was more of a sound check. It featured a candid and nice conversation with Kaki King and her side kick (who was behind the mixing desk and controlling the lights) where they went into the ins and outs of the audio and lights set up.
Geeky as anything!
The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body is a spectacular live show. It is also a nice nod to the different parts of the guitar. Kaki King truly pays tribute to the guitar and the instrument that made her career all throughout her set in songs such as “We Did Not Make the Instrument, the Instrument Made Us”.
What makes this concert so unique is the marriage of technology and Kaki King’s guitar. The guitar is elevated and stuck to a stand which places it in the middle of the show. Kaki King
It is always a pleasure to be able to catch a glimpse of American artists and bands the few times they do decide to tour on this side of the pond. Kaki King has not been in Sweden since she opened for First Aid Kit all the way back in 2010 at Pustervik in Göteborg (Gothenburg).
Sneak peak from the gig: A snapchat-esque light “filter” is projected live and applied to the guitar. You can see the video below for a good glimpse of what this incredible feat looks like.
When the show ends and Kaki King goes up to the microphone to thank the audience, she could not help but comment that it felt so relaxing to be able to come to a Sweden full of autumn colours and autumn leaves before hustling back to a busy and always switched on New York.
The setlist and the future of the tour
I can not help but wish that the show contained more of Kaki King’s old numbers than just the single song it did, but just like Kaki King told me during the sound check (when I asked if she had considered it necessary to compose a whole new album to fit with this technology): You have got to keep on looking forwards
It will be interesting to keep an eye on her next tour in the years to come as Kaki King will no doubt be continuing to push the envelope and take this unique concert experience further.
Why Kaki King is not better known in Europe is something I am very much struggling to understand.