The Black Keys have become one of the biggest acts in rock today and their recent headlining gig at the Garden proved why.
I first heard The Black Keys in 2003 when a copy of their second album Thickfreakness found its way to me. I was hooked instantly and saw them live at Avalon in 2005 and again in 2006. Caught them at the Orpheum in 2008, then again at the Pavilion in 2010, then opening for Arctic Monkeys at the Garden in 2014. As you can see, I’m a pretty big fan.
Those early Avalon shows were magic. Two guys from Akron, Ohio just whaling the everloving shit out of their instruments, making the noisiest, most raucously rockin’ blues possible. Over time, their sound would evolve and they’d add a backing band to the festivities. This turned off some “purists,” but not me. I loved seeing Dan and Pat playing the old songs in small rooms as a duo, and I love seeing them play the new songs in big rooms to tens of thousands of people. Because I’d rather have them playing the Boston Garden then landscaping in Akron, you know?
Not every band can make this transition successfully, but The Black Keys have. They energy at the Garden last weekend was the same as it was 15 years ago. And they haven’t forgotten their roots, either. They played at least one song from eight of their nine studio albums, so no matter your entry point to the band, you’re getting songs that you love. Click here to dive into the setlist. And if you’re new to the band, I suggest Thickfreakness as a starting point, followed by their breakthrough 2010 release Brothers.