The Black Keys

Live Shots

Live Shots
Photo by Gary Miller

The Black Keys

Frank Erwin Center, April 25

Arenas suit the Black Keys, another unlikely feat for the onetime niche band on a big winning streak. In front of massive pop art projections, they broke out "Howlin' For You" and "Next Girl" off 2010's Brothers before hitting pay dirt in the heavy grooves of "Gold on the Ceiling." "We're gonna play a couple of songs, just the two of us," announced guitarist Dan Auerbach, sending the backing band offstage and launching into an accelerated version of "Thickfreakness," a song demonstrative of the Keys' unique qualities: Auerbach putting an unreal amount of energy into every simple lick and drummer Patrick Carney constantly elevating the songs with beat changes. It was enough to keep the sold-out house on its feet all night, even during the sedated, classic rock homage "Little Black Submarines," in which the auxiliary musicians segued back and ushered in a full-bodied finale that included "Lonely Boy" and a remarkably theatrical version of "Ten Cent Pistol" that they milked dry. For the obligatory encore, two giant disco balls lit up the Erwin Center as Auerbach nailed the falsetto on a transformative "Everlasting Light." The show ended with a small, plain banner that read "The Black Keys" descending from the rafters. It didn't look like much until 100 light bulbs began flashing to the music with glorious effect. That's the twopiece blues band from Ohio: musical grandeur from minimalism.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Black Keys
<i>Murder Ballads</i>
Murder Ballads
This blues-infused crime thriller suggests a number of Dangerous Things to Do Outside Shreveport Until You’re Dead

Wayne Alan Brenner, Nov. 24, 2017

Playback – SXSW 2016: FOMO
Playback – SXSW 2016: FOMO
Fear of Missing Out at SXSW Music 2016? Best pack it in now.

Kevin Curtin, March 18, 2016

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey
Conspirators (Record Review)

Reid Jowers, Sept. 27, 2019

Texas Platters
The Texas Horns
Get Here Quick (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Kevin Curtin
The Austin Chronic: On Joint Rolling, Wonderment, and Turning 40
The Austin Chronic: On Joint Rolling, Wonderment, and Turning 40
Am I Feeling Anything Yet?

July 12, 2024

Caleb de Casper, Money Chicha, and More Crucial Concerts for the Week
Caleb de Casper, Money Chicha, and More Crucial Concerts for the Week
Classical, hip-hop, jazz, blues, and much more

July 5, 2024


Black Keys

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle