Jun 22, 2008

The Black Keys @ Manning Bar

Blistering, ferocious, passionate and intense. Just a few of the adjectives that always accompany a Black Keys show. Just when you can possibly feel jaded by the prospect of live music and its potential to deliver, this Akron, Ohio duo are a strong and potent reminder that live music of this skill and intensity will always fulfill and excite. If only I could watch a performance like this without an annoying crowd nearly ruining the experience. But, firstly the music.

I witnessed the power of The Black Keys for first time just over a year ago at the Enmore Theatre. They were outstanding then, they were outstanding Saturday night at the Manning Bar. They are just so dependable. Extremely skilled musicians playing with a fervour and zest that shows no sign of slowing down. Their music is tough and sturdy, strong and virile. Full of that emphatic blues sound that they have mastered over the years. This was never better emphasized then on their classic opener "Thickfreakness". This strapping song had the crowd shaking their rumps and feeling their bones. The night proved to be a great blend of their best songs from down the years and also a good spread of tunes from their 2008 release "Attack & Release". Songs to stand out were the incendiary "Set You Free", the explosive "10 A.M. Automatic" and a version of "Stack Shot Billy" which tore a hole in the walls of the University venue. Of the newer songs "I Got Mine" sounded great, whilst "Oceans & Streams" showed off Dan Auerbach on electric piano. Speaking of Dan, the man is a supreme guitarist. He fingers are just frenetic, blowing away chord after chord. His voice is a weapon too, soulful and deep, it reaches deep into your insides. Patrick Carney provides the beat and he is one extraordinary drummer. Playing with barbaric power, he impresses with his absolute power.

So, a great set, delivered by a band who always delivers. Now, I am sure that the audience were a devoted and adoring set of fans. But, a combination of a late start (11.30) and plentiful alcohol seem to make for an aggressive and discourteous crowd. It would appear that the ambition of enjoying a show in my own comfort zone, is made almost impossible with fans barging into me and finding a way to spill drinks all over. Now, it wasn't exactly a System of a Down show, with fans in a rapid frenzy, but a little bit of manners to your fellow concert goer isn't too much to ask for. Having said that, I do salute Dan and Patrick. Totally. Without hesitation.

Set List
Girl Is On My Mind
10 A.M. Automatic
Same Old Thing
Set You Free
Things Ain't Like They Used To Be
Stack Shot Billy
Everywhere I Go
Strange Times
Your Touch
I'm Glad (Captain Beefheart Cover)
Oceans & Streams
No Trust
I Got Mine

Psychotic Girl
Have Love Will Travel


  • At June 29, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I actually went to the early show at 3.30pm. The crowd was very well behaved and was a relaxed atmosphere. Show was amazing. Coming on at 11.30 is very late.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home