Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Concert review: The Black Keys

The Black Keys
Friday April 16, 2010 at CMU Wiegand Gym (Spring Carnival concert)
with Deepak, Lisa, Asa, Charlotte, Chris L.

I don't think the term “American rock 'n roll” really has a definitive meaning but, in some ways, the sound of The Black Keys filters into my ears when I say that phrase out loud. So do many other sounds and images, but they're definitely in the mix. They're not everyone's favorite band or style, but I've always had an affinity for the kind of bluesy garage rock that they seem to endlessly crank out; it's perfect to listen to on a road trip, when I'm doing the dishes, when I'm grading quizzes, when I'm jogging, etc. I even rather enjoyed their hip-hop collaboration album, Blakroc. The two-man sound is not as full as most other rock outfits, but they can jam plenty of catchy hooks and riffs and thumping beats into their songs, so who even cares. Their latest album Brothers even sounds a bit richer than their past efforts, with a few more genre-bending songs and studio effects.

This show was fun, loud and boisterous, which was just what I expected. The guitar/drum duo translates well in the live setting, and the acoustics of the gym were actually not that bad. The room was mostly packed, or at least felt that way since we kept edging closer to the stage, and the crowd seemed to be really enjoying the show. The singer had some fun dancing-with-his-guitar moves as he belted his signature crooning howl into the microphone, and the drummer was all business pounding the rhythm behind the guitar licks. All in all, a fun and upbeat show. Glad I got a chance to see them in person.

Show photos from Hugh's blog (the photo above is his, as well)
Show setlist
Show review from the CMU student paper

"Your Touch" and "No Trust", live recordings from this show!

"Have Love Will Travel" live in a tiny club

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