Rocked the House

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18 Jun 2007, 8:47

Sun 17 Jun – The Black Keys

It is hard to imagine The Black Keys putting on a bad show, especially on the way home from their performance this father’s day evening. At that moment, it was hard to imagine a better show. Put simply, these guys know how to rock.

I went to this event with my brother as both of us have a strong like for heavy blues. We got to the warehouse a little late and caught Dinosaur Jr. a couple songs into their act; they were loud as hell, and this was painfully clear from the back of the warehouse. But they also knew how to play, and it definitely showed in the guitar solos. My only nitpick was that you really couldn’t hear the lead singer’s voice at all over everything else. The rest was astoundingly good for an opening act, and a lot of interesting effects of the guitars could be heard. Plus it was just plain impressive to see four huge amplifiers stacked up on stage and even more impressive to hear it.

After Dinosaur Jr. finished, we made our way to the front left corner near the stage, really close up and not really that far from The Keys with the way this venue was set up. Once they finally got on stage, I believe they opened with “Just Got To Be”, the first track of Magic Potion. I was almost concerned at first; Dan’s guitar sounded rather weak compared to Patrick’s drums, and it was just a tad of an awkward introduction. I think there may have actually been some technical issue because a roadie actually came out and fiddled with the equipment hooking up to the guitar. After maybe ten seconds, Dan repeated the opening riff again with much technical success, and all was well in the universe.

The performances were amazing. Every guitar-solo was filled with energy and poise as was any other impact point of every song they played. The sound was perfect; both players balanced each other well, and the live versions of their music were raw, aggressive, and flawless by my account. Plus they took more liberty with tempos, building up energy and a phrase to perfectly set up a loud, slow, and heavy blues riff.

I was equally satisfied with the song selection as I was with their pristine performance. From what I can remember, they played quite a few songs from both Rubber Factory and Magic Potion. I particularly appreciated this because Rubber Factory is my favorite album of theirs. Magic Potion really took shape after I heard it live. Seeing Dan’s mannerisms in the tasty licks on “Your Touch” made me love the song more than I ever thought possible. That being said, the standout songs and performances for me were “Your Touch”, “Strange Desire”, “10 A.M. Automatic”, and “The Breaks” (which is actually from their debut).

On top of the outstanding performance was a bunch of little things that also added to the enjoyment of the event. I loved Dan’s humble appreciation of the audience; he was full of thanks, and I really wish I had time to meet him after the show. I also liked the diversity in the audience, especially with the difference in age. I saw more than a few old people which is convincing me even more that The Black Keys have held on to the right elements of rock and blues to keep just about any music-loving audience happy and enthused. Oh – and this is not a little thing at all, in fact it was huge – they played an encore after they walked off stage. I cannot emphasize enough how much enjoyment and musical euphoria I got from this show. I definitely look forward to the next.

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