The Black Keys : Marquee Theater, Tempe, AZ 9/16/2006

Following an opening stint for Radiohead on the American leg of their summer tour, along with the past week’s release of Magic Potion, their debut on Nonesuch Records, the Black Keys have grown up from from their blue collar Akron roots. After all, it was their break-through album Thickfreakness that was recorded mostly in its entirety in drummer Patrick Carney’s basement on an early 80’s Tascam 388 8-track recorder. Magic Potion proves the Keys are set in their simple lo-fi ways, with little room for reinvention, unless it’s to avoid those merciless White Stripes comparisons. Their show at Tempe’s Marquee Theater proved to be predictable and short, but heavy on musical muscle.

Hardly sounding like a white guy in his 20’s, Auerbach’s howlin’ bluesy boogie is as pure rock and roll as his denim jacket and jeans. Carney, pounds the drums in thunderous Bonham fashion, proving the greasy rhythm to the throwback sound. Although each Black Keys song sounds like an old school beer commercial, the duo makes up for their lack of diversity by sporting a sweaty stage swagger that keeps you hooked and thirsty for more. Clocking in at just over an hour, with hardly time to grab a beer, the Black Keys deliver it quick and raw. Covering the bases of all four albums, they moved through the familiar (“Set You Free”) to various new ones from Magic Potion, giving their audience a "garage" rock night out.

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