Archive for the ‘Live Show Reviews’ Category

This is the first post from Jade Luber for The Black Keys Fan Lounge .

I arrived at the front of the line at Oceanside, California at 2:30 PM to enter the gates of 94.9 FM’s Independence Jam 2009. Dead Confederate, Metric, Yeah Yeah Yeahs were set to open for the headliners The Black Keys.

Gates opened at 4 PM and immediately the hundreds of people waiting ran to the main stage to get the front row view at the beautiful venue right near the shore. You could hear the waves crashing as fans awaited eagerly to stand for 6 hours rocking out to some amazing bands.

Dead Confederate and Metric did a great job of getting the crowd pumped. It wasn’t until the Yeah Yeah Yeahs got up to rock, however, that people started crowd surfing. A beardless Dan Auerbach watched them from the side for about 45 minutes ’til their setup was started. Dan seemed to be enjoying Karen O playing with the crowd, and later on that night, Nick Zinner, their guitarist, watched the Keys from beginning to end.

I saw Dan peeping out every now and then, and occasionally he would watch the crowd. I was more into his presence than anything else, that I just decided to wave to him as the crowd was focused on Karen O. Dan kindly smiled and waved back and then went backstage.

Occasionally I saw Patrick adjusting his drum behind the curtains. When the Yeah Yeah Yeahs finished, a lot of the people who were there for them moved to the stands and the Black Keys crowd snuggled up close to the stage.

They took about 45 minutes to set up and I saw Patrick and Dan about to come out. The crowd was a little quiet and I took my opportunity to yell Patrick’s name. When they ran out on stage the crowd went nuts.

Dan and Patrick arrived at around 9:10 PM. There were technical difficulties due to the two shows that they had played two days before, and Patrick didn’t have his normal drum set. Nevertheless, Dan and Patrick played their hearts out and the crowd went crazy. I looked up a couple of times and saw people watching from the pier, from the parking lot, and all around me was just full of people, swaying and loving what they heard.

Every song was just so entertaining. Right before they played “Strange Times” Dan was trying to fix his amp and Patrick kinda relaxed and played his drums softly. People started yelling “Drum solo!” and he laughed a little and tapped his cymbals and whatnot. When Dan came back, he smiled and said, “I”d like to see a drum solo, too.” The crowd went nuts and Patrick started “Strange Times” off. Fantastic. A long drum solo would’ve been awesome, too, though!

They ended their show with “I Got Mine”. As you can see on the set list (below), they would have played two more songs but Oceanside is really strict and it was a Sunday night. They finished at 9:58 and I stayed behind and saw them, hoping for a pick or Patrick’s drumsticks. Soon enough I will see every show they play in California or Nevada or nearby.

I am very fortunate to have Dan’s set list and I got to say ‘thank you’ to him after their show while they were hanging out on the stage and their roadies were putting away the last of their equipment. If you compare the handwriting in the booklet of “Attack and Release”, that is Dan’s genuine handwriting.

The technical difficulties seemed to make Dan a little agitated and embarrassed, understandably. They did follow the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and by then so many people in the crowd were drunk and just being obnoxious. So much so that two girls ran on the stage, kind of danced around Dan, and then got pulled off. There was a lot of crowd surfing and at one point one guy belly flopped into the crowd and Dan literally played a little softer, almost stopping, for a few seconds to see if he was alright.

Watching Patrick and Dan play is such an experience. They each play with so much passion and talent and I just absolutely get lost watching them on stage. The quality of their music is so distinct and their humble and genuine style is impeccable.

I love my set list!



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The Black Keys have just spent 3 big days, 5-7 June 2009, performing at The Three Rivers Festival (Pittsburgh), The Roots Picnic (Philadephia) and the 94.9 FM Independence Jam (Oceanside, California).

The Black Keys haven’t done much touring this year, but they have cherry-picked significant festivals of choice in advance of recording in August. Consequently, the ‘Keys have been able to concentrate at these festivals on laying “rubber for nearly an hour with an impressive set of whiskey-soaked shit-kicker rock”, as Rolling Stone described their performance at the Roots Picnic.

Various reports mentioned some technical difficultities at each show and blown amps, so it looks like the boys really did kick out the jams. It was remarked upon that The Black Keys did drown out Kid Cudi’s performance on a nearby stage.

Interestingly, it was reported a new song was debuted in Pittsburgh. Not sure if anyone out there has a recording of it?

At The Roots Picnic my hoped for drum battle between Pat and Questlove sadly didn’t eventuate.

Below are a couple of live videos that reflect the crowd, scene and band. Pat looks like he’s not quite at his normal playing weight, and the freshly shorn Dan made a welcome return.

For other awesome black and white video of The Black Keys at the Independence Jam check out the YouTube channel of Black Keys’ fan BatCountryX who was hard at work at the gig. Previously this site has featured her Pomona live videos in this post

Three Rivers – Same Old Thing

Independence Jam – I Got Mine

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One of these days I’ll go to the Coachella Festival in California, USA. Hopefully The Black Keys will be playing the year I go. They have, of course, played this year. The best I can do this year is ‘listen’ to people tweet about it via their phones on Twitter in real time.

Not a bad way to get an instant review of the show and feel some sort of vibe and observations from the fans attending. I like it because you are hearing the fans and the expressions are raw and real.

There’s also a range of Twitpics to view too: http://twitpic.com/3hr6b , http://twitpic.com/3hok9, http://twitpic.com/3hq3g

I can’t say I’d be into live tweeting a show (although if The Black Keys asked me to do so via this website’s @blackkeysfans no doubt I would!). It really must pull you away from being engaged in the show on stage and the atmosphere. Trying to analyse your present enjoyment seems contradictory in the context of watching a rock band.

Taking a photo on your camera phone and tweeting at concerts seem to be the modern equivalent of holding up your cigarette lighter during moody concert moments in past years.

There’s bound to be a range of video and other images to look at in the days ahead. For now here’s a review of the show from fans via Twitter while the band were playing at Coachella on Friday 17 April 2009.

@nobettersafe: Saw molotov and the black keys. Tried to see ting tings but the tent was overflowing. Waiting for franz ferdinand now.

@schnittlich: just caught the last song of the black keys set!!!

@beatlefan8: “I got mine. I got mine. I got mine, oh baby, I got mine.” –The Black Keys:) They make me happy:)

@jessietai: The Black Keys are the best two piece band ever (sorry white stripes). Now its about time for some conor oberst. Mmm delicious.

@princess56: The black Keys were awesome!

@unitedfront: Kicking it vip with sun, super nice paul walker, and marvin scott jarrett as black keys killllls the main stage. Ting tings here we go.

@AestheticsCrew: The Black Keys were cool… Nothing else I wanna see till Paulie boy gets on @ 10

@codymelcher: was blown away by the black keys, which means franz ferdinand

@biLLybOypoiSon: black keys are off the hook!!! waiting for franz ferdinand @ coachella…

@lightoutlet: the people at coachella are starting to annoy me, but at least the black keys are awesome

@pairaces: @coachella need to turn down the techno so we can enjoy Black Keys. Know one does techno any more! Turn it down!

@ltgoodluck: N beer garden listening to the black keys, beers seem smaller, but still $7

@jasongrimes: The Black Keys are always RAD!

@thegrandsocial: So here’s the deal, this line is angry. They’ve run out of vip bands. Everyones missed the black keys.

@The_Gildo: Some chick just pulled out her boobies next to me and o in the black keys crowd

@toosunnyouthere: Black Keys: “We could pay people to tune for us, but we’re cheap. We’re from the Midwest.”

@the_hig: http://twitpic.com/3hq3g – The black keys are there somewhereeee

@emtgreg: The Black Keys know how to rock #coachella

@ststerling: @ Coachella: the black keys are killing it right now!

@SisterSafetyPin: The Black Keys are fucking A-may-ZING!

@xxjeannexx: The black keys are tearing it up!

@SPINearth: #coachella the black keys are a gift from the music gods. That guitar is zeus’ trident. It throws lightning bolts

@emayoh: From The Hold Steady to Felix Da Housecat to The Black Keys, killin’ it at #COACHELLA

@hubbarddd: Hurts me to say the black keys were boring, now the ting tings are late.

@deciderla: Black keys are up and seem to have brought the crowd.. Auerbach’s beard isn’t disappointing either.

@jontotton: The Black Keys are totally awesome live! #Coachella

@dharma69: The BLACK KEYS are just nasty!

@rypryp: Just lovin the black keys

@SpinnerTweet: The Black Keys are from Akron, OH. Does that make them ”Akron Family”? Either way, these two are ripping it in the desert. #Coachella

@deciderla: Front row seat for the black keys. Auerbach is ripping so hard his vest might tear.

@ritzylicious: Getting my tan on with the Black Keys.

@TransitCake: Rockin to the Black Keys and sippin strawberry icee at Coachella.

@killerqueen11: The black keys are playing. Mega awesome!

@batchitcrazy: coach-stage, lounging in grass listening to the black keys/experiencing a contact high from sitting in cloud. california, california.

@LAist: The Black Keys are unleashing a powerful concoction of fuzzy blues …

@mbartko: Watchiog the Black Keys with 10,000 of my closest friends.

@lalagee: The black keys!

@angelina419: All is good. Got water, grub, and The Black Keys.

@pecom_audiofile: I’m glad I am chillin with M. Ward over the Black Keys. I want mellow before Cohen.

@djsmilesdavis: Watching the Black Keys put it down on the main stage Coachella style!!!

@csteph01: The Black Keys make me understand #coachella

@martincizmar: The Black Keys sound great… Best show of the daylight, by far. Ak… Rowdy… http://twitpic.com/3hok9

@abbylinne: The Black Keys! So rad!

@BradGroux: the Black effing Keys! http://twitpic.com/3hofq

@redletterbrad: Always known: the Black Keys are just kinda lame.

@KUCInights: watching The Black Keys. the sound now isn’t loud enough! next off to The Tings Tings

@codymelcher: is runnin ova to the black keys

@willbond007: and the black keys take the stage

@kebtron: The Black Keys. Ohio baby!

@schnittlich: black keys taking the stage…and I’m in the car sitting in traffic. oh well.

@countxero: The Black Keys are bringing a little electric blues to #coachella

@lenthegr8: Listening to The Black Keys on the main stage. Was told by friend it was the “set of the day”. #Coachella

@princess56: The Black Keys have commenced!

@sdsab: we are the black Keys. We’re from Akron Ohio.

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I saw Dan Auerbach and the Fast 5 live on Thursday, 9 April. A fine show it was.

By chance, after the gig I was able to take this photo of Dan’s set list.

This random girl appeared when I was taking photos of the playing times on the Corner Hotel window. She showed me the list she had been given as a souvenir from the stage. We quickly stuck it on the window with the gaffer tape that had held it on the stage to take the shot.

I can’t recall the two extra songs that were played as an encore. Does anyone else? I was too busy having a good time.


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Easter is always a good time for live blues and roots music in Australia. It’s a time when the best artists arrive to play side shows around the annual Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival. This year Dan Auerbach was in Australia to perform a string of shows including the festival supporting the release of his solo ‘Keep It Hid’ record. I saw him in Melbourne at an almost full Corner Hotel, a place where The Black Keys sold out 3 consecutive nights in 2005.

I missed seeing Hacienda’s support slot while I slurped beers in the roof top bar. The deep resonance of Tony Joe White’s voice drew me downstairs to catch the last few songs of his set and encore. I don’t know why, but I love a man who plays in a hat and sunglasses indoors.

The Corner Hotel uses a curtain in front of the stage between acts. Where The Black Keys have an introduction to the stage by an MC, Dan Auerbach and his Fast 5 (Hacienda plus Patrick Hallahan from My Morning Jacket) simply acknowledge the crowd as the curtain pulls back and launch into ‘Trouble Weighs A Ton’. As with the album, the song works as a welcoming introduction, a lilting reflective tune before the racket of the bands jamming style.

‘I Want Some More’ quickly follows ‘Trouble’ and the crowd starts hollering and lurching for more too.

I can finally see what people have been saying for weeks about Dan Auerbach and the Fast 5 live. The song’s take on a new life, the band is tight but light enough to be watching each other shine, there’s something about maracas that adds some interesting spice, and it’s not just Dan fronting up rather it’s a real band effort that drives the songs on.

Dan played 2 covers ‘Oh Carol’ by Rockin’ Horse, and ‘Inside Looking Out’ by The Animals, not to mention the recorded Wayne Carson Thompson track ‘I Want Some More’, to flesh out the set. ‘Money and Trouble’ is apparently an un-released original by Dan.

When Dan was only accompanied by his own guitar on tracks like ‘When The Night Comes’ you feel as if he is finding his true self. These simple, evocative songs gripped the audience’s attention. For me this track was the highlight of the night.

Generally, the melodic lines of the tracks really shone through live and the 60s guitar jangle accentuated a poppy feel to tracks.

Interestingly, even a weaker album track like ‘Keep It Hid’ became a highlight as the band contorted it into something much more than the sum of its parts. In this respect the double drummer attack when Patrick Hallahan left the maracas, bongos and iron bar and got behind a drum kit gave some inspiring visual and beat-heavy power to the live sound.

Believe the hype, the reviews are true to their word. Don’t go along looking for The Black Keys (there were a few TBK t-shirts in the crowd), although some songs are similar only in so far as Dan’s guitar dominates (Dan uses the same guitar throughout). If you liked the ‘Keep It Hid’ album, then you’ll love the live experience which expounds upon Dan’s vision and creates something altogether more fascinating than you expected.

Stay tuned…in coming posts for photos and video from Dan’s Corner Hotel show.


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I must say I have been pretty jealous reading reviews about Dan Auerbach’s recent live shows. It’s not long now, however, until I get to see Dan in concert. I recently received my ticket in the mail.

I’m yet to see a poor review of the live show. If you haven’t got a ticket yet then make a move, it doesn’t look like he’ll be doing too many more shows than what are already announced.

Unanimously people have commented on:

– how at ease Dan is with his playing and other band members

– how genuinely happy he looks

– how so much more powerful and full the sound is with the live band compared to the record.

– the songs have taken on a life of their own.

Live performce at KCRW

This is awesome. Live in studio performance for Jason Bentleys’ Morning Becomes Eclectic radio show

Here’s some links to some recent live show reviews. I’ll, of course, be adding to the mix when I get to see him in April:

–  Gustavus review of the First Avenue show

Sound Citizen review of the Chicago show

Grimy Goods review of the Bowery Ballroom show

Broken Headphones review of the Beachland Ballroom show

Watching fans reactions pretty much real time on twitter, its clear the new songs are bringing something special for the females in the crowd. These two from one fan really caught my eye.

Enough said:

Dan Auerbach just made me a woman! diggity diggity diggity > 9:46 PM Mar 11th from TwitterBerry
OH MY GOD! If an orgasm had a musical sound= Dan Auerbach > 3 days ago from TwitPic

Dan’s reported set list:

Trouble Weighs a Ton
I Want Some More
The Prowl
When I Left the Room
My Last Mistake
Mean Monsoon
Oh Carol [Rockin’ Horse cover]
Real Desire
Street Walkin’
When the Night Comes
Whispered Words
Heartbroken, In Disrepair
Keep it Hid
Inside Looking Out [The Animals cover]
Encore: Goin’ Home

My Ticket:


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Normally I would write a review about a show I’ve seen. This time I thought I’d do something different.  A chance to let the pictures tell a story. So I created my own personal Crystal Ballroom-like effort albeit on a much more modest scale.

So, here’s a short film about the Palais, Melbourne concert from January 11, 2009. There’s a bit of something here for everyone.

The Palais is such a grand old theatre in the beachside suburb of St Kilda. I’ve therefore tried to set the scene at the start of the film with the Palais’ location.

As Pat mentions at the end of the film, the band would rather play non-seated venues. It’s hard to get audience participation despite Dan’s encouraging words for people to get on their feet. Most did by the last song before the encore. Nevertheless, the grandure of the venue is filled with the size of their sound.

The gig started early (Dr Dog came on at 7pm before being followed by the excellent Gomez) and there were intermissions between sets to run to the bar and back to your seat.

I was so pleased they played my favourite ‘Keys track, ‘The Breaks’ from The Big Come Up.  It was a storming rendition. You’ll also hear parts of Girl is On My Mind and the intro to Stack Shot Billy.

I had hoped they might play The Breaks when I was speculating about getting an interview last year.  I don’t know if the band had read this post although Pat did tell me he has checked out this blog.  I didn’t get an interview as I had hoped (apparently the band were just concentrating on the tour) but I along with other fans did get to meet Pat and Dan after the show (more about this in future posts). I’ve added a bit of footage of fans meeting the band near the end so hang in there.

Well, it seems I have written a review of sorts afterall. Could well be 2010 before they return to Australia so enjoy the video for now.

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