Let's get it movin'
Anyone who knows me knows how big of a Black Keys fan I am. They know that even though I love Jack White like the best of 'em, The Black Keys were my first love. They will never be trumped and I'll be an unconditional fan for as long as they're in existence. Mainly because with the catalog they've created over their illustrious career they'll be able to fill an entire live show no matter what new material they need to crowbar into the show. That being said, go to another website if you want an unbiased opinion.
The 'Keys started off their 'Turn Blue' North American tour in their home state of Ohio. They were down in Columbus at the Schottenstein Center and will be in Cleveland at Quicken Loans arena on Saturday night. I really wasn't sure what to expect with the new content coming off of their latest album, 'Turn Blue'. If you haven't lived under a rock over the last 5-6 months, then you know that the boys release a bit of off the beaten path record with 'Turn Blue'. It has a psychedelic vibe and can be a bit moody at times. Still a fantastic piece of work, but I wasn't sure how it would fit in with their more than energetic shows. It turns out they did just fine with both the new content and as expected their old content.
The show started out in fury as the high energy band of misfits, Cage the Elephant opened. I missed Cage the Elephant earlier this summer at Bonnaroo to catch Damon Albarn. Although I don't regret that decision for a second, the conflict in the festival schedule sucked and I couldn't wait to get another opportunity to see a band that I really like a lot. Lead singer Matt Schultz brought a surge of pep to the arena by immediately jumping around to each inch of the stage to his lyrics. Impressively, he didn't hurt himself. Midway through the set, Schultz ripped off his shirt and stage dove into the crowd. He continued to do it twice more and the crowd loved every minute of it. He reminded me a lot of a mix between Mick Jagger and Randall "Pink" Floyd from Dazed and Confused. 70's at heart, he more than did his job and captivated the crazy college crowd. I'll definitely be tracking their concert schedule going forward to check them out again as soon as possible as they're a must see.
After about a 30 minute break from Cage the Elephant, the stage crew got the 'Keys equipment locked and loaded. I felt myself get giddy as I hadn't seen them since last summer at their last show at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville as the last show of the 'El Camino' tour. I remembered them as monsters on stage and when they stepped on stage they reminded as such. They stepped out to a fury of tracks spanning 'Gold on the Ceiling' to 'Howlin' For You' to 'Fever'. They fit in tracks from as far back on albums 'Thickfreakness' to 'Rubber Factory'.
They killed it for a solid hour and fifteen minutes before exiting before the encore to the 'El Camino' megahit 'Lonely Boy'. They left the stage with the crowd in a rabid frenzy. Only coming out to 'Stack Shot Billy' to enhance the frenzy. Auerbach then cruised into 'Little Black Submarines' before heading into the night close of 'I Got Mine'. And although missing the trademark 'The Black Keys' flashing sign in their backdrop as we've seen on the last two tours, they still thunderously crushed the night and kicked it to the side. They mean business and North American should be on notice. I can't wait for tomorrow night in Cleveland.
The boys seemed at ease on stage as if there was nothing left to prove. They had made it on the 'El Camino' tour and the 'Turn Blue' tour seems as though its going to be a realization of the true love of the music they create. Its no longer about selling records or selling out arenas. Although, I'm sure they have vested interest in each of those, they seem as though they feel they can do whatever they want because they've made it. The die hard fans will remain and the new fans will continue to flock because anything they produce turns to gold.
Patrick Carney's brother Michael Carney who designed the 'Turn Blue' album cover created Columbus' gig poster. It's a psychedelic print that I think is black light as well. I went out to Michael Carney's twitter account and saw that he'll have another of his prints for sale in Cleveland on Saturday night. It's supposed to be a green variation of the Columbus poster.