The Black Keys (Dan Auerbach,Patrick Carney) brought their no-frills blues rock straight from Akron, Ohio to the big city last night, packing a gorgeous venue on the west side with six string blasts and kick drum bombs. Lacing into their set with “Girl Is On My Mind,” the duo crunched out the meaty riffs that would serve as the main course on this night. “Your Touch” pounded and the newer “Strange Times” pumped. Surprisingly the duo did not spend a lot of time with their newest release Attack and Release and instead played a sampling of their back catalog. Perhaps they felt that some of the added instrumentation they experimented with would not work as well in a live twosome setting.
One thing is for certain – this band has a hard time slowing down. Carney’s ferocious kit-wrecking is wasted on the slow jams, and the two man band loses their way when they try to mellow out. The fire roared again and the harsh metal blues shone though on rough cuts “Short Stack Billy” and “10 A.M. Automatic”, with Auerbach wailing away on the latter so hard that he missed a few lyrics. Encoring the brief (just over an hour) set with “Till I Get My Way” left the audience wanting more, but the simplicity of what The Black Keys do well was on exhibit here tonight