My The Black Keys Experience @ Fillmore, 06/03/10

When did The Black Keys get so popular?  When did they start selling out large venues? When did they start fetching $100 a ticket from scalpers?  And when did they get a sense of humour?

Is this the same band that released Rubber Factory?  Really?  Well, I guess none of that matters.  All that matters is they rocked the shit outta the Fillmore last night!

My night started out in court for 6-point traffic violation.  I sat in that damn place for an hour and a half and now have to go back on the 16th to plea down what will probably end up being a $400 fine.  Not a good way to start a night.  So by the time I got to the Cheeky Monk I was in dire need of a drink.  I ordered a Lucifer and then another and gradually my nerves started to calm.  Angry courthouse thoughts gave way to excitement for the gritty garage blues I was in for later in the evening.  I was lucky enough to score a ticket on craigslist for $8 over face.  I guess lucky would be an understatement given that people were asking anywhere from $80 – $200 a ticket.  And I didn’t even think this show would sell out!

When my friends showed up the scalpers were getting $90-100 a ticket out front…even after the opening act had taken the stage.  We had a couple more beers and some grub at Cheeky and then went into Sanchos Broken Arrow for one more cocktail before I went into the venue.  It was 9:00 and my friends had given up on getting tickets.  It was in Sanchos that my buddy’s girlfriend scored a couple tickets for $50 each from a couple at the bar.  She rocks!  We pounded our drinks and walked across the street and into the Fillmore just as Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney took the stage.

I bought a cool Black Keys Akron, OH shirt, a beer and a cocktail and then we made our way through the dense crowd about half way to the stage.  One thing I hate about the Fillmore is how big it is.  I always feel like I’m so far away from the band and the sound is never great.  I had serious doubts about how The Black Keys were going fill that stage.  That’s a mighty big place for two guys.  But as it turns out…The Black Keys are a mighty big band with a mighty big sound.

To be honest, I am not a huge fan of their recorded work.  It’s not that I don’t like it…I’m just indifferent to it.  I actually think their new album, Brothers, is their best.  That being said, I love everything these guys do live….so it really didn’t matter to me what songs they played.  This is rare for me, but I cannot even tell you what songs they played, much less provide you with a complete setlist.  It really doesn’t matter though because they are just a band that has to be experienced live.  Kinda strange thing to say about a band that only consists of guitarist/vocalist and a drummer*, I know, but if you don’t understand, it just means you haven’t seen them yet.

As I am writing this I realize I am not really reviewing this show.  I guess that’s because all I can really say is that they rocked it!  They were both up at the front of the stage, they had a cool backdrop with two hands clasped together and they rocked it!  That’s it…that’s all I know.

I gotta say it was so nice to be at a show and not be worried if they were going to play this song or that song (Next Girl rocked though!), not worry about getting good pictures (mostly blurry, no great ones) and not worry about remembering what funny things they said (nothing).  I just stood there for however long they played and rocked the f**k out!

The fact that two guys could hold my undivided attention through a full set and encore amazes me.  But to say they did just that is the highest compliment I can give them.

I realize this is a pretty shitty review, but I just can’t put The Black Keys experience into words…you just need to get a few drinks in you and experience it yourself!

* they did bring out a few other musicians for some of the new material from Brothers.

update: found the setlist