Black Keys: The Real Deal
I saw the Black Keys Sunday night in Grand Rapids Michigan. 9000 people showed up in all age ranges. The Black Keys are an Anthropologic Blues Based Rock Band. I say that because just like where Blues is based, you can hear the past. However you can also hear the present angst of Akron as the promise of the future of music. This makes for the Anthropology of a music that is growing from the past and headed to the future. Sprinkled out most of their works are all three times represented with the exception of Chulahoma which is all the work of Junior and brilliantly mesmerizing as acoladed by Junior’s widow at the end. This was the case Sunday in GR too.
Sunday the past was powerfully represented in Pat Carney’s African fervor drum banging as well as the thick chords of the Misippi Delta…. ala Dan Auerbach’s mastering of Junior Kimbrough. Opening with “Howlin for You” off of the “Brothers” cd set the stage for a racous night of music punctuated with glimmers of funk, soul and pop of the future. All the while the set had the energy and driving force of a locomotive.
A few songs were done by just Carney and Auerbach alone. It was astonishing the sound these two alone put out. It was like the little ol band from Tejas….ZZ Top ….only LESS ONE…Brilliant!! My friend Johnny Angel kept insisting there was a bass player in the shadows…..there was not.
I marvel at this duo and band. I know Carney has voiced his displeasure at being called a Blues band. My guess is that he did not want to be pegged in any one idiom. It is very hard for me to categorize this band, …hence the Anthropologic part of my description earlier is an attempt to try to describe what they are to ME now…with a hint of their growth into who knows what in the future. I firmly believe though that their roots to date lie in such a cool, strong place that as the morph I think I will love whatever they become.
I highly suggest you see this band live at this point in time. They rocked my a s s off!!