The Black Keys Live at O2 Academy, Glasgow 28/10/10


A band that has only recently received the appreciation they deserve following the release of sixth album, Brothers, which reached number three in the Billboard 200 earlier this year, garage rock duo, The Black Keys, embody the epitome of the evolved blues-rock sound which saw a resurgence in the 1990s.

Hailing from Akron, Ohio, vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney capture the raw energy of blues but with the cutting distortion of rock to produce an electric sound that is best seen live.

Entering the stage to what appeared to be an off cut of the Blackroc album, the duo proceeded to play the title track from their 2003 album Thickfreakness, a slower blues number with heavy distortion but full of feeling.

Focusing on older material for the earlier part of their set, they reiterated what an impressive backlog they have; the older fans relishing the fact that they weren’t just playing their latest release, a problem found with all too many bands.

Difficult to comprehend as the work of only two men, the duo manage to have the energy and sound of a whole band without ever sounding sparse or weak. “Stack Shot Billy”, for example, provided an emotional outlet for Auerbach, whilst “10am Automatic” saw the two playing literally on top of each other, the intensity shared by both being truly remarkable .

As the set developed, they moved on to play some of their newer material, ably aided by Nick Movshon on the bass and Leon Michels on the organ from The Mighty Imperials. As a giant disco ball emerged from a box on stage, the band broke into “Everlasting Light”, with Auerbach’s falsetto resonating over the ensemble.

Despite the songs working very well,with the added band members allowing for greater flexibility, the highlights of the show were definitely when the pair were left on their own. As a two piece, the chemistry between them seemed to flow, the simple bond of guitars and drums creating a huge level of raw intensity. The deftness of Auerbach’s fuzzy guitar combined with the fervour of Carney’s drums allowed for a deep heartfelt passion of the music they were playing.

Ending with “I Got Mine”, which left the crowd in a frenzied stupor, they returned after due applause to play “Sinister Kid” and “Your Touc”h to leave the audience mesmerised by what they had just seen.

On the train home, it was impossible not to overhear countless numbers of people who had been truly blown away by what they had just seen. If you have yet to see The Black Keys live, then make sure you get a ticket, as it is something that really can’t be missed.

Taken from The Student, published Tue Nov 2nd 2010.

One Response to The Black Keys Live at O2 Academy, Glasgow 28/10/10

  1. It was nice to read your post. Thank you for posting this piece!

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