|Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys (Danny Clinch)|
THE BLACK KEYS
Sept. 14, 2006 @ The Avalon (Hollywood)
To say that the Black Keys have blown up in the six years since this show would be an understatement. To put it in perspective, they went from playing the Avalon (and the even tinier Troubadour the night before, Sept. 13, 2006) to headlining two nights at the Staples Center next month. Yes, the Staples Center! Although they have used two additional musicians (a bassist and keyboardist) on the arena tour so far, vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney have primarily pulled off gigs in the massive venues on their own. It's not surprising, considering the mastery both band members command over their respective instruments. A mastery that I first witnessed at the Avalon.
The duo had just released its fourth studio album, Magic Potion, and several of its singles were stand-out moments of the night. Auerbach displayed his bluesy guitar swagger with "Just Got to Be" while his voice was able to shine on "You're the One," and Carney's pulse-pounding beats drove the crowd into a frenzy during "Your Touch." They satiated the audience with older songs like "No Trust," "Set You Free" and the Richard Berry cover "Have Love Will Travel" from 2003's Thickfreakness, as well as "10 A.M. Automatic" and "Stack Shot Billy" from Rubber Factory (2004).
Whenever friends and I would talk about the awesomeness of the Black Keys, I think we knew deep down that they would only remain our secret for so long. The next time I saw them, at Sunset Junction in 2008, the hoards of people clamoring to get close the stage were insane. From competing in a "sell-out-off" against Vampire Weekend on "The Colbert Report" and several appearances on "SNL" to gracing the cover of Rolling Stone, the Black Keys have become pop-culture fixtures.