Saul Williams @ Richards on Richards    
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written by Plus One - November 1st, 2004    
Saul Williams is an oddity. He's a successful spoken word artist who has gained worldwide acclaim through his performance as a "Slam" poet, in a film that he co-wrote with the same title. The question though, is, "What's he like on stage?"

In short, brilliant. Saul breathes beautiful life into the recorded words he assembled. I was expecting to see a passive, but vocally energetic performance of a poet on stage staring into the crowd beneath a lone spotlight. However, aided by a violinist, drummer and DJ plus utilizing a draped guitar over himself, Williams delivered a rebelliously energetic show bordering as being categorized as punk (or as he defines it "industrial punk-hop").

His spoken word introduction and encore wowed all in an attendance as he enunciated every word perfectly at a pace hard to keep up with. The sleek frame Saul possesses allowed him to flail his limbs and slide across the stage continuously. Using more than half of his performance to recreate material from his latest self-titled release, Saul controlled the hundreds at his mercy within Richards, vaguely touching on material from "Amethyst Rockstar."

My only complaint was that Williams' set felt far too short. However, I know not whether that was due to the energy he conjured throughout the performance, or whether it really was that short.

* All photos taken by Hugo Lunny. Not to be reproduced without discussed consent.

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