The last rays of sunlight were creeping up the sycamore trees as Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys loped onto Central Park’s Summerstage Tuesday evening. As they kicked off their set I was instantly reminded as to why I hold the Black Keys in high esteem - simply put, they rock.
With Auerbach on his amped up Gibson and Carney sitting high above the crowd, they commanded the crowd’s affection as they tore through a string of older songs, including “Thickfreakness”, “The Breaks” and, “Busted” (one of the first songs they ever wrote), before inviting a bass and keyboard player onstage for some of their new material off Brothers. Highlights from their new material included “Everlasting Light” and their cut, “Chop & Change”, from the new Eclipse soundtrack. (Say what you will about the Twilight series, but the song is damn good).
Auerbach and Carney formed the Black Keys in 2001 and recorded their first two albums, The Big Come Up (2002) and Thickfreakness (2003), on a Tascam 388 eight-track recorder in Carney’s basement. Both albums were received with critical acclaim and the Black Keys pushed onwards, releasing their third album, Rubber Factory, in 2004. In 2006 they signed with Nonesuch Records and released Magic Potion. The band’s fifth album, Attack and Release, was produced by Danger Mouse in 2008 and their sixth full-length album, Brothers, was released earlier this year.
With ten releases(six full-lengths, three EPs and one hip-hop collaboration) in the last nine years and a demanding touring schedule, The Black Keys are certainly one of the hardest working bands in America. Their 2010 tour stretches from April to just before Thanksgiving. All I can say is, keep up the good work boys.