It’s been a minute since The Black Keys last burned rubber on the open highway, but the release of their ninth studio album, Let’s Rock, has put their heavy blues rock refrain back action and they’ve never sounded better.
Standing larger than life in front of a jam-packed Rogers Arena in Vancouver on a dreary Sunday night, a lengthy dose of rock and soul from the Akron, Ohio duo was precisely the pick-me-up needed.
At a Black Keys show the drums are always pulled front of stage, allowing for the two long-time friends and core members, Dan Auerbach (guitars, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums), to duel and feed off each other’s explosive energy.
With steadfast abandon, they rifled off a blended setlist that combined older noise-rock tracks like “Thickfreakness” and “10 A.M. Automatic” with cruising renditions of newer tracks like “Go” and the always rowdy, “Lonely Boy.”
Encircled within what looked to be a massive radio dial, projected psychedelics backdropped the experience, augmenting what was an already mind-blowing musical adventure. The guitar-work was inevitably jaw-dropping, the drumming unequivocally powerful, but it was Auerbach’s vocal performance that stole the show with a smooth fusion of falsetto and his patented southern wail, most evident on the fearless execution of “Everlasting Light.”
90-minutes later, after a wicked encore and a final goodbye, the crowd filed back outside with a lingering sense of harmony and newfound satisfaction. It was the kind of rock show we only dreamed might have once existed, an awe-inspiring time-capsule that was fun while it lasted.
Pacific Northwest indie darlings, Modest Mouse, did their part in warming up the home crowd as lead-singer, Isaac Brock, stormed the stage wearing a vintage Canucks jersey. Fresh off the heels of a new single, “Ice Cream Party,” the salty frontman has never sounded sweeter.