May 14, 2007

The Black Keys @ Enmore Theatre

Passion, power, soul, that's what you expect from The Black Keys. At the Enmore Theatre on Sunday night that's what was delivered. "You've got pain, like an addict, I'm leaving you. You got pain like an addict, 10 AM automatic" I was humming before the show and it's still lodged in my cranium. But first things first, they blistered into "Thickfreakness" before playing "10 AM Automatic" and the old theatre was shaking. "Just Got to Be Me" was all pure blues and had me rocking before a couple of newer songs eased things down. Then the unmistakable riff of "Stack Shot Billy" had the venue jumping. Patrick Carney's drumming was punching a hole in my stomach. If this song didn't move you maybe you left your pulse at the door. Plenty more highlights flowed. A soulful "Everywhere I Go" was inspiring. "Set You Free" and "Your Touch", back to back, was punch your fist in the air time and they closed with "Have Love With Travel". A quick encore including the almost poetic "You're the One" had everyone smiling, but ultimately wanting more. A few more songs would have done nicely, but I guess this band is not holding anything back so long sets might be bad for their health. This is a music lover's band. Dan Auerbach has a surprisingly soulful voice and just handles the guitar with passion and dexterity, whilst Patrick Carney pounds the drums like few can. I will actually admit that my conversion to The Black Keys has come late in the piece. I was initially not taken by their seemingly straight forward blues sound, but I have recently invested myself in their sound and the investment has paid off. While they will never reach the level in my heart of, let's say a Spoon or My Morning Jacket, I really appreciate the purity of their music. And to see them live is a living, breathing visceral experience.

Set List (This was done to the best of my knowledge, so I will gladly stand corrected on any errors).

Thickfreakness
10 A.M. Automatic
Girl Is On My Mind
Just Got To Be
I Got Mine (new song?)
The Depths (I'm sure this is how Dan introduced it)
Stack Shot Billy
Busted
Everywhere I Go
Set You Free
Your Touch
Countdown
Grown So Ugly
No Trust
Have Love Will Travel

You're The One
Till I Get My Way

MP3: 10 AM Automatic
MP3: Have Love Will Travel
MP3: Meet Me In the City (they didn't play this, but I would have died to hear this Junior Kimbrough cover, my favourite song)

For some truly gorgeous photos of the night, please go here and here.

I caught WA band Kill Devil Hills in support and they were very impressive. A six piece, they were channelling Nick Cave through a blend of gothic, country, folk. Mandolin and violin added to their interesting sounds. According to their MySpace they are about to do some dates in Canada. I would certainly like to see them again if they come back this way.

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