If I had to pick a book best explained my thoughts of the human condition, it would be Milan Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being.
If I had to pick an artist whose style was the closest to how I would like to paint, it would probably be Georges Seurat.
And if I had to pick a band that spoke the most to my soul, it would be The Black Keys.
In all seriousness, and with all dramatics aside.
My first introduction to The Black Keys was when my friend Michael Douglas (not the actor) put “Do the Rump” and “I’ll Be Your Man” on his first mix for me back in high school. Growing up in the 90’s and not really learning to appreciate music until after 2000, you don’t hear blues-rock with the same sultry and the ability to be bold. Five years later and I can never get tired of a Black Keys song.
Skip to when Pandora first came around, and I can proudly say my Black Keys Station is on point. If an algorithm says that The Black Keys have the same musical stylings as Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker, by god I am not going to disagree with math.
Skip to last month when I didn’t have any sort of job and had $300 to my name. I watched the video for “Tighten Up” , saw that The Black Keys were coming to New York, and that the Central Park Summerstage shows were already sold out. So do I buy tickets for myself and my beau that I can’t afford?
I went to see The Black Keys last night at Terminal 5. It was my first time at the venue and I was impressed with its three floors and the on-point grilling station on the roof.
All I can say was that for over an hour and a half set, my expectations were met and Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s performance exceeded anything I could have imagined. Every song I ever loved they played, and played with a prideful, loving attentiveness for the audience. It was like how when your lady friend/gentleman friend kisses you, but in a way that says “you think you’ve been kissed before? Psh then let me take my time and SHOW you what it’s really like.”
Auerbach and Carney reminded me what it’s like to listen to music that a recording cannot do justice for. Both had the chance to take time with each song, exploding into a riff, leading one song into another, reminding all the young folks in the audience what real musicianship was.
Anyone I talked to today can attest to this: I feel depressed knowing that when I listen to “Strange Times” on my iPod, it’s not the same. I will probably invest in a long search for their albums on vinyl – if I can find them, if they exist.
This is the review that they deserve, not what Nate Chinen of The New York Times wrote about how The Black Keys are not prepared for the mainstream and they have big adjustments to make if wanting to play larger audiences. Shut up. Going mainstream is overrated. If The Black Keys sold out on a grand scale (I do not count their work with Danger Mouse), I will probably crawl into a deep hole that I will never climb out of. So don’t do it. Ever. Please.