The Black Keys kicked off their summer tour of North America performing as special guests of The Flaming Lips Friday night in upstate New York, and a Saturday set in their home state of Ohio at Cleveland's Nautica Pavilion. The band plays D.A.R. Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, tonight, followed by three sold-out shows in New York City in the coming days: two nights at SummerStage in Central Park and a late-night show at Terminal 5.
"When the Black Keys headlined a sold-out concert Saturday night at Cleveland’s Nautica Pavilion," raves the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "all was right in our little corner of the world." Reviewer John Soeder exclaims: "I’ve never seen this two-headed rock ’n’ roll monster from Akron put on a bad show. Yet this was the most superlative-sapping local performance to date by a band that emerged from a Northeast Ohio basement nearly a decade ago to conquer the world."
He goes on to use just a few of those superlatives to describe the night's events: "Eardrums were ravished. Minds were blown. And when singer-guitarist Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney finally made their exit, sweat-soaked and utterly spent, it was no small wonder that the downtown skyline was still standing."
Read the complete concert review at cleveland.com.
Soeder recently spoke with Auerbach for a concert preview in the Plain Dealer. "It's official," Soeder begins, "The Black Keys are big-time." The article explores highlights from the band's career, not least their latest Nonesuch release, Brothers, and the heightened acclaim it brought.
"Auerbach sings like an old soul unfettered," says Soeder. "As for his guitar, he doesn't merely play it; he exorcises the instrument, casting forth diabolically catchy riffs and howling solos." As for The Black Keys' other half, Soeder writes, "Carney has been known to decimate his drum kit by any means necessary, including thwacking the cymbals with a tambourine. He pounds the skins harder than anyone you've ever seen, like King Kong throwing a tantrum."
The article also takes a look at the band's Akron roots and how their home town has shaped them and the band they have become.
As Auerbach tells the Plain Dealer: "Akron rubs off more on your subconscious, you know what I mean? It shapes who you are as a person. And you take that wherever you go."
Read the article at cleveland.com.
The Cleveland Scene used this evocative description to sum up the night's event: "Hot and sweaty rock: the kind that leaves your hair matted and your knees weak. This is what the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney delivered at the Nautica Pavilion on Saturday." Reviewer Jara Anton said "the Akron duo produced a live show that can only be called extraordinary. The energy was as palpable as the humidity." Read the complete review at clevescene.com.
And speaking of The Black Keys' Akron roots, Dan Auerbach's father, Chuck Auerbach, and Patrick Carney's father, Jim Carney, appeared on local public radio station WKSU, out of Kent State University, last Friday to talk about their sons, the origins of the band, and the impact the elder Auerbach and Carney men may have had on its success, from the music they listened to at home to the support they offered their sons along their less traditional career choice.
"If you are lucky enough to have a kid who has a passion, you're a fool not to support it and encourage it and guide it," Auerbach advises. "That's what we did, and it doesn't always work out as well as it did for Dan and Pat, but, even if it doesn't work, they'll know that they gave it a shot, and they wouldn't have regrets for the rest of their lives."
You can listen to the interview online now at wksu.org.
For more information on The Black Keys tour, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour. To pick up a copy of The Black Keys' Brothers, on CD, vinyl, MP3, and the deluxe edition, head to the Nonesuch Store.