This Is a Blog Post for The Black Keys Playing Live at The Ryman Auditorium

I’ve heard a ray of sunshine. Yes, that is correct, heard…in an otherwise dismal world of current music. Auerbach is generational and talent like that only comes just so often. I was blown away…there is hope.

The Black Keys. The Ryman Auditorium. Nashville, Tennessee. Does life get any better? Arguments could be made that no, it does not. A good friend’s dad who wrote the above quote upon listening to The Black Keys’ latest album, Brothers, would agree I think. Last Thursday, the Black Keys provided a set of the best rock and roll around today moving from their standard two-man show to their Brothers 4-man lineup and back again for one of the most insane set closers I’ve seen. The funny thing about the Black Keys is that they don’t vary their sets too much, save the new 4-man songs, but each time, audiences walk away wanting more and more. There was not a moment during their show in which they didn’t have complete control over the crowd. To quote a friend, “After ‘I Got Mine’, Dan Auerbach could have told the crowd to go ransack Nashville and the Ryman would have taken it to the streets.” Continue reading for a full review and more pictures and video.

Chris Chu

Showtime was 7:30 and this was around the time we were ushered to our church pews in The Ryman, which was originally opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892. The Morning Benders were the opener and as a fan of their latest album Big Echo, I was excited to see what they were like live, but I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was. Lead singer Chris Chu was splendid with his Beach Boyish vocals throughout their set, particularly on on their closer, “Excuses“, where Chu laid down vocal loops to harmonize with himself before singing the last verse and picking up his guitar to shred the ending (like this). Once the openers from Berkeley, California left the stage, the vibe in the room changed from the somewhat relaxed atmosphere the Benders had created to a more tense and exciting one as the audience started to think about what was next.

Thickfreakness, Girl Is on My Mind, The Breaks, Stack Shot Billy, Busted, Act Nice and Gentle, Strange Times, Everlasting Light, Next Girl, Chop and Change, Howlin’ for You, Tighten Up, She’s Long Gone, 10 Cent Pistol, Your Touch, I Got Mine

Sinister Kid, Til I Get My Way

The Black Keys | Photo: Lance Conzett of Nashville Scene

Rewind back to lunch on the day of the show. Some friends and I ate lunch at Burger Up (amazing burgers by the way…local beef brah) where we saw Keys drummer Pat Carney grabbing a bite as well. He was wearing the same shirt when they came on for the show…guess it’s just another day at the office for these guys. Anyway, on with the show. The always solid opener “Thickfreakness” got everyone warmed up perfectly with it’s steady tempo and switches between groovy verses and headbanging guitar riffs. “Girl Is On My Mind” sped things up with more with raw guitar playing from Dan and flailing limbs drumming from Pat. Next was a song I was unfamiliar with in “Breaks”, but I could not get the guitar riff out of my head all weekend after this show. I remember noticing during “Stack Shot Billy’s” rolling verses how great the sound is at the Ryman, which boasts the second best rated acoustics in the world behind the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The boys slowed things down a bit with a nice smoothed out “Act Nice and Gentle” before launching into the crowd favorite “Strange Times”.

It was only a matter of time before the Keys were joined onstage by their two touring bandmates to play some newer tunes off Brothers, the first being “Everlasting Light”. This is a personal favorite and it was absolutely great. Not that Dan and Pat need backup or anything, but imagine having your face melted for 7 songs by two guys and they they get a bassist and keyboard player onstage with them! The deep bass came through crystal clear coupled with Auerbach’s falsetto vocals. I was waiting for Frank the Funkasaurus Rex to appear during “Next Girl”. Next, they played “Chop and Change”, which I had not heard. It’s off the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack which is actually chocked full of great artists…who’d have thought? The band continued their selection from Brothers with the heavy rocking “Howlin’ For You” with Pat’s drum kit seemingly shaking the whole building. “Tighten Up” was “Tighten Up”, which means it was fucking awesome and my buddy and I wanted to fight each other when they slow it down for the last verse. You know what part I’m talking about. When the two backup musicians left the stage, this is when the pandemonium really began. “Your Touch” had the entire place banging heads and “I Got Mine” was so damn intense. I know it was probably crazier the last time I saw it, but holy shit. It was amazing. By the time the band came on for the encore, I was already drained of all my adrenaline, but “Til I Get My Way” mustered the last little bit for one hell of a closer.

The Black Keys completely kicked our asses. My neck hurt for the next few days whenever I tried to check my blind spot or look down. My buddy was hitting his calf muscles so much on the pews that he had massive bruises the next morning. To quote him, “Bruise update day 6: still have a softball sized blue and purple marking on my left calf. Also discovered a baseball sized bruise on my right knee. Awesome, awesome show.” I think that sums it up.

Catch The Black Keys as they continue their 2010 path of destruction and stop in North Carolina on September 10th in Charlotte and September 13th in Raleigh, both with The Whigs and Kings of Leon. They also are playing a sold out show at The Orange Peel in Asheville September 14th supported by the Whigs.

The Black Keys | The Ryman Auditorium | 08.12.2010

The Ryman Auditorium | Nashville, TN

Here is a video of the “Thickfreakness” opener with two dudes getting into it up front around the 2:15 mark.

Here’s one “I Got Mine”.

~ by johnnyjay on August 18, 2010.

2 Responses to “This Is a Blog Post for The Black Keys Playing Live at The Ryman Auditorium”

  1. check at about :50 right when the lights come on as well.

  2. Looks like it was an amazing show, I’ve only see the Black Keys once but man did they rock. Such an amazing sound coming from those two.

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