Originally published May 17, 2012
I have the post show smitten blues. It happens to me after I see a great concert. I drag around for a couple of days like a love-sick puppy. This time the band was The Black Keys and they lit up the Target Center Tuesday night to a crowd of 11,000.
The Black Keys consist of drummer Patrick Carney and guitarist/vocalist extraordinaire Dan Auerbach. They originated out of Akron, Ohio and have been acquainted since childhood. When they played Minneapolis two years ago at First Avenue it was to a small crowd of a couple hundred people. Their fan base has grown tremendously since the release of Brothers in 2010 meaning they got to move across the street and play at the big house, namely the Target Center.
They were even better live than I had imagined. Beforehand, I was thinking it would be pretty good and I might as well go check them out. Two concert t-shirts and one Black Keys coffee mug later, I think my personal band ranking just saw The Keys move up a couple notches. That's what a concert is supposed to do, right? I am amazed at how hard Patrick Carney works those drums. He doesn’t just play the drums. He beats those drums so ferociously that I’d be willing to bet he has to replace or repair them on a regular basis.
The band’s lyrics surely suggest much heartbreak and romantic disappointment in their past. If you are feeling like me, you might get mad at the girls who broke their hearts but then find that you’re actually glad they did it cause now they are writing these great songs about it. Not since Paul Rodgers of Bad Company have I heard a guy croon out such sweet, heartfelt words. I feel compelled to console these guys. You want them to lay their heads on your shoulder and tell them it’s going to be ok. I guess that would be called effective song writing.
As for his guitar playing, I hear remnants and riffs of Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young and Jack White. In other words, this guy CAN play guitar. His on stage presence reminds me of Jack White, almost like a mad scientist in the lab ready to cook up a big experiment of something. Going here and going there, adding this, turning up that, louder, louder, bubbling, fizzing, exploding. It’s fascinating to watch and hear.
Well, I wish I could show you some awesome images from the show, but not having a press pass means that I can’t get my gear into most of these big venue arenas and a lot of times, the smaller ones too. I have resorted to shooting video out of my little camera because I can and it’s more fun to look at than the little JPEGs that come out of it. Now if I could just get a tripod in there. I’m telling you, I could nail some killer shots if they let me down front or let me bring in my stuff.
Here are a few of my videos.
The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”:
The Black Keys, “I Got Mine”:
The Black Keys, “Everlasting Light”:
The Black Keys, “She’s Long Gone”:
One last thing…I’m thinking if the White Stripes could possibly for us, just this one time, reunite and double bill a show with The Black Keys it would be the best show ever. Can you imagine if they all came out for an encore, together? Or to really mix things up they could put Jack and Pat together and Meg and Dan. You know, just to shake it up a bit. Then they might have to change their names to The Black Stripes and The White Keys though.
Then to promote the show, like it would need that, Rob Jones could make up some killer art posters featuring a piano keyboard or zebras or something and it would be really awesome. Rob does some really great work and has worked for some prestigious bands and he’s a darned good writer too. Check out his website at:
I’m crossing my fingers. Can you hear me Jack? Meg? Dan? Patrick? Will Horton hear the Who?
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.