The Black Keys Tonight in Covington: What to Expect

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(Note: CityBeat's Keith Klenowski caught the show by Akron's Black Keys last night in Columbus. The Indie/Blues/Rock duo plays Covington's Madison Theater tonight. Here's Keith's report from last night's show, to give you an idea of what to expect.)

Going to a concert out-of-town is like visiting another country.  They have different customs, people are never as friendly, and the women seem much more exotic.  Luckily going to Columbus is like going to Canada.  Though instead of the friendly “Eh,” every conversation ends up being about the Buckeyes.  I have come to love seeing shows at the Promowest Pavilion.  They have been pulling in an absurd amount of talent lately.  This week alone the venue hosted My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie and The Black Keys.  I know people are watching their wallets, but as gas keeps getting cheaper check out who has skipped Cincinnati and give our neighbor to the North some love. 

The Black Keys are playing at the Madison tonight in Covington.  So why did I drive two hours to see them perform?  Because they just might be one of the best live groups performing today. The past two times that I have seen them have been religious experiences.  Time literally stops.  As a photographer I haven’t shot anyone more exciting.  I took 578 photos last night.  Most of which were taken during the three songs I was allowed to shoot.  There is this primal energy that shakes my body the second Dan Auerbach picks up his guitar. To me it is raw Rock music.  If I could only listen to one band for the rest of my life, it would be the Black Keys. 

After driving faster than I should have to get there, I was surprised that I arrived in time for the Royal Bangs opening set.  Not that I enjoy labeling any band, but they reminded me of early Modest Mouse before they became popular and commercialized.  The crowd seemed receptive but kept their distance.  I enjoyed them immensely and would recommend getting to the show early to catch their set.  Plus I felt bad that they were dealing with a broken van and barely made it to the show.  Give them some love tonight!

Dan and Patrick took the stage shortly after 9:15 p.m.  The next hour and twenty minutes was one happy blur.  I was really intrigued to hear what the songs off their album Attack and Release would sound like live.  The album has a lot more whistles and bells and I wondered how they would pull it all off.  "Strange Times" sounded brilliant and Patrick extended the song with a little drum solo in the middle.  I was a little less impress with "I Got Mine."  I think that I just need to give it some time.  I remember having similar thoughts upon hearing songs from their last album, Magic Potion

Tonight seemed like a greatest hits show of sorts, which was completely fine with me.  Everything that a casual fan would want was played. "10 A.M. Automatic" was a highlight for me and really got the crowd into the show.  This started an intense run of songs including "Stack Shot Billy," and "Busted." The Keys really could do no wrong on the stage.  Dan apologized for his ragged vocals, though to this writer, he sounded right at home. 

The show tonight is the next to last show of the tour.  I have heard it said that the next to last show is always better then the actual last show.  So I am praying for something special. If you were on the fence about the show, pull the trigger and get yourself down to Covington .  You might even be able to make it over the Southgate House afterward and catch some of the noctaluca/Cari Clara release show.

— words and photos by Keith Klenowski

(For more photos from Keith from various concerts, including the recent Ryan Adams show at the Taft, go here.)

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