Thursday, March 8, 2012

Concert Review: Rockin' Out to the Black Keys

I'm going to come right out and say it... I had never even heard of the Black Keys until I heard them on the Eclipse soundtrack. Yup, I pretty much live under a big giant rock in the music world. I really liked the song Chop and Change but never did anymore digging to see what this band was all about. But then I started hearing them more and more on my local alternative station and I kinda got hooked. And I still had no idea who these guys were.


If you spend most of your time under the same rock as me, you might be interested to know a few things about this band. The Black Keys are a two-man blues-rock band from Akron, Ohio and they've been around since 2001 (I had no idea). The band consists of a singer/guitarist (Dan Auerbach) and a drummer (Patrick Carney). They often tour with a couple of back up musicians -- a bassist and a keyboardist. And for chrissakes, they even won a couple of Grammy's last year. Gawd, I'm so out of the loop!

So a few months ago I see that they're playing here in Maine at the Civic Center in Portland and I know I just have to go. I got my free tickets (because I work in media and I haven't paid for a concert in 15 years) and gathered up my concert buddy, Double_Dippin, had some drinkies and noms and headed into the sold out show. When I go to a concert, I immediately turn 80. I'm like a grumpy old woman and if I can't find a seat amongst the throngs of sweaty twenty-somethings, I get a bit pissy.


I don't do this. Just looking at this makes me claustrophobic.

The opening band was definitely not my cup of tea. Actually, the Arctic Monkeys gave me the sudden urge to jam my car keys into my eardrums. It took every ounce of will power to make it through the hour-long set. But I did. Playing Words with Friends helps pass the time.

And then it happened. The lights went down and from my perch in the seats off to the side, I could see the band populate the stage. I'm not sure what I expected, but it's not what I heard. It was a sound that blew through my core (probably because I was very close to those big overhead speakers). My feet involuntarily started tapping. My head bobbing. And my mouth formed the biggest smile that didn't wane until the concert ended.

Yeah, this might have been us... while sitting in our seats!

The heavy, gritty sounds of Dan's guitar and Patrick's violent pounding on the drum (he busted a head at one point) -- it was like nothing I've heard before. Even when they sent the two backup band members off the stage and played a handful of songs with just the two of them, it still sounded like a full band. I was amazed.

I didn't recognize every song they played, and I didn't even know the words to the ones I did, but I had as much fun at this concert as any I'd been to in recent years. They definitely gained a big fan and my iTunes account is going to take a wicked hit this week when I buy some of their stuff.

My sad little video of Chop and Change... great rendition.


Make sure to watch for the dancing dudes... they were cracking my shit up.

Are there a lot of Black Keys fans out there in Twitardedland? I'm wondering if I'm being over zealous about this concert because I just don't get out much... or are they really that fun to watch? Please tell me I'm not totally crazy. 

18 comments:

  1. I only own one album by the Black Keys, but I love every song on it. Like a lot of other bands, all the songs start to sound alike after a while. I think (hope) if I get another album that was recorded a few years before or after the one I have, they will sound different.

    Lucky you! I'll bet the concert was awesome!

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    1. They put a new album out in December called El Camino. I can't promise that it doesn't sound the same, but it is at least new-the-same!

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  2. Oooh, C&C was my favorite song on the Eclipse s/t. Also, love the official video for Lonely Boy...the dancer is so cool:) Glad you enjoyed the show!

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  3. Love The Black Keys! Saw them twice as an opening act for Kings of Leon and didn't know anything about them until the second time they opened for them (which was right after the release of the Eclipse soundtrack). Love most all of their music except the album BlakRoc. That one features a bunch of rap artists and I just didn't care for it.
    Looking at all those people in the concert photo makes me claustrophobic too. Too many people makes my skin crawl.
    I love it when you guys post music stuff. That's how I came to own all of the Man Man CDs.

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  4. I LUV these guys, can't believe you are new to them! Try a listen to "Band of Heathens"

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  5. I LOVE the Black Keys! I live in MA and a bunch of my friends went to the show in Portland and the show in Boston. I've been wicked jealous of them, and now you, all week! I wish I hadn't dropped the ball and I got tickets to these shows. The Black Keys seriously blow me away, they kick so much ass! Don't forget to check out Dan Auerbach's solo album, Keep it Hid. It's a good album and it sounds pretty similar to the Black Keys stuff :)

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    1. Awww total bummer! It was so much fun. Next time you'll know... get on those tickets. Totally worth it.

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  6. I can't wait until they come to the west coast and your review made me want to go even more!!! I can't believe you get to go to concerts for FREE!!! I'm so jealous. I love alternative music, but for some reason I only just started going to concerts a couple of years ago (I'm 42), but I'm making up for lost time. I've been to 39 concerts since about mid 2009 and I have purchased two tickets already for the next couple of months.

    Bringing this back to Twilight, I went and saw Mutemath last month. I didn't realize they had a track on the Twilight Soundtrack until my concert buddy pointed it out to me. I hardly knew any songs, but the ones I did know are amazing and it was a really good time. They spent a great deal of effort getting the crowd involved in the concert and their fans were really into it. If they're in your area you should check them out too!

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  7. I love them! I own the last two albums and my friends and I got to go to the El Camino Tour opener in Cincy last Friday! We made T-shirts for it on Cafepress. We are dorks! I liked the Arctic Monkeys, but with all the strobing lights, I couldn't even look at them.

    @ Paintedmermaid - I had "Keep It Hid" recommended to me as well, definetly have to check that out.

    @Therugbymom - If you have "Brothers" try El Camino, it is a little more upbeat and very good.

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  8. I have never seem them live, but I've seen video before and it looks like something worth venturing out on a school-night for! Very jealous (especially since you didn't have to buy tix!).

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  9. Hells Yeah Grrrlfriend!!! They totally kick ass & as an olderish twitard, I too agree that going to the Garden or any other larger venue makes me say No fuckin way. If they aren't playing at the HoB or Paradise, fuck it. I may have made a mistake because I don't see them playing anything smallish. For 2 guys they make a big sound. My 9 tr old just told me the other day the the Black Keys are his favorite band. sniff sniff, i'm so proud.

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  10. So jealous. Would have loved to have seem them and the Arctic Monkeys. Saw they were playing in Portland and didnt feel like being the old maid at the show either. At least it is a small venue. Don't really listen to CYY anymore but hear them on satelite all the time. Great Band, hubbie likes them too.

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  11. I love love love the Black Keys! Got into them a few months before the Eclipse soundtrack. Rob is a fan you know. ;)

    We have tix to see them in May and I can't wait!! Thanks for the tip on the opening band. I'll be sure to leave any sharp objects at home.

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  12. ...No one? No one saw "he busted a head" and thought dirty thoughts? Well you can count on me :)

    Love me some Black Keys! A friend introduced them to me about 3 years ago and I never turned back. Great stuff. Gritty, smart, and kick-ass fun. My kind of tunes. Glad you enjoyed!

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  13. I have heard of The Black Keys before but Chop and Change is the only song I know by them. I can't believe you didn't like Arctic Monkeys?!?! I saw them in concert this past summer and they were great!

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  14. JEALOUS!

    I love El Camino, it's on repeat right now xxx

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  15. I'm going to see them at MSG tomorrow night!!!! Woooooohoooo!!!!!

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  16. MyHeartGoesPitterPattinsonMarch 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Love em! I think I actually started listening to them a few years back when I read somewhere that their song The Lengths was one of Rob's faves. I took that info with a grain of salt but loved them nonetheless. I'm also seeing the White Rabbits, who I'm pretty sure JJ has mentioned before in a post, in April. (And possibly also M83.) April is looking to be a great concert month. Can't wait.

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