The Black Keys played their first show of 2014 with a special performance that was a part of Super Bowl week. The show was sponsored (heavily) by Citi bank. You needed a Citi card to purchase tickets to the show, which definitely put off some fans. For those lucky enough to be in attendance, they were treated to a typically strong set from the rock and roll duo from Akron, Ohio.
Albert Hammond, Jr. got the show going, and sounded just as razor sharp as he did when I saw him open for Jake Bugg a few weeks ago. This time the crowd was much bigger, but the execution was just as on point. Was it wrong that all throughout the set I was anticipating The Strokes performance later this summer at Governors Ball? What? Just being honest.
I’ve seen The Black Keys quite a few times now. At this point in their career, it was a treat to see them at the rather intimate (for them) Roseland Ballroom, which is closing in a few months. Which makes this show likely my last at the venue. Seeing The Black Keys there is not a bad way to go out.
With a show like this, you knew it was going to be a special one. Dan agreed, sharing a bit of cool information during one of the only talk breaks he took. He mentioned that the last time they played Roseland was 11 years ago, when they opened up for Sleater-Kinney (!). Dan said it was them who taught them how to tour. It was a nice moment, something that put The Black Keys insane success into perspective.
“Howlin’ For You” kicked the show off, as it normally does. From there they gave us “Next Girl”, “Run Right Back” and “Same Old Thing.” El Camino tracks were prominent, such as “Gold On the Ceiling” and “Nova Baby”, but it was of course “Lonely Boy” that dominated the evening, with a massive singalong that served as a reminder at just how big this band has become. This time around the full band stayed throughout the whole show, no longer leaving when the band returned to earlier material that was ideal for just Dan and Pat to play.
The encore consisted of a big performance of “Everlasting Light” that included a big disco ball drop down as well as a performance of “I Got Mine” that saw just Dan and Pat for the first time, a nice reminder of the band’s more grounded days. With that said, it’s safe to say that seeing the band in venues that aren’t arenas will be a thing of the past.
I was surprised that they didn’t play any new songs, but I guess that was just me expecting the band to keep up their pretty impressive pace of new materiel. There are no other tour dates announced so it looks like this show was just a one off show. Hopefully we will get some more new music sooner than later, because the world can always use the presence of real rock bands in this day and age.
The Black Keys:
Albert Hammond, Jr.