This show was my 4th time seeing The Black Keys live, and easily the best show yet. The first time was an shyer version of the band at MSG opening for Pearl Jam. The second was a show at Terminal 5 that was solid, but left me wanting more. Then there was Bonnaroo, which was good, but you lose a lot at festivals. I was in the pit at MSG, and was as close as you could get to the stage. The Black Keys didn’t disappoint. How could they?

The band sounded crisp and electric, bringing a tremendous amount of power for what is honestly only a duo. Dan Auerbach’s vocals sounded crystal clear, and Pat Carney was going as humanly hard as possible on his poor drum set. The band knocked out a steady slew of songs from their most recent albums, backed up by two additional band mates. “Gold On The Ceiling” was a knock out live, bringing the best of the bands two different eras to full formation.

The real fun was in the middle of their set when it was just the duo of Dan and Pat, and they played all of their older cuts. How can you deny the hard-hitting soulful “Thickfreakness”, the pounding of “Your Touch” and the ever so bluesy twang of “I’ll Be Your Man”. The band went back and forth between eras after this, and they had me moving and grooving throughout.

“Tighten Up” and “Lonely Boy” were as electric as they should have been, and were a perfect lead in into the encore, which saw the release of a giant disco ball that made the encore even more theatrical. “Everlasting Light”, “She’s Long Gone” and “I Got Mine” were the final three cuts, and they proved to be as hearty and strong of a finish as you could have asked for.

I love myself an intimate show just like the next guy, but when you get two bands that are bound of big things, sometimes the worlds greatest arena is the perfect fit. That was certainly the case on March 22.

Below are some photos as well as the setlist.

Howlin’ for You
Next Girl
Run Right Back
Same Old Thing
Dead and Gone
Gold on the Ceiling
Girl Is On My Mind
I’ll Be Your Man
Your Touch
Little Black Submarines
Money Maker
Strange Times
Chop and Change
Nova Baby
Ten Cent Pistol
Tighten Up
Lonely Boy

Everlasting Light
She’s Long Gone
I Got Mine

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