Where: The Orange Peel- Asheville, NC
When: September 16, 2010
So, here’s the deal. The Black Keys are currently on tour with oh-so-demanding divas, Kings of Leon as, get this, the OPENING ACT. I don’t know what this world is coming to…
Because I have zero tolerance for a) diva behavior and b) good bands opening for lesser acts, I chose to forgo seeing The Black Keys in Charlotte when the KOL tour came rolling through.
Instead, I opted to see them in Asheville, NC at The Orange Peel on one of their solo shows during the KOL tour.
Best decision of my life thus far.
This was a night of firsts for me. As you will remember, I saw the flu-ridden Dan Auerbach last year in Chapel Hill and I was so impressed with his dedication to the fans by still showing up and playing the show. But until last week, I had never seen The Black Keys perform live, something I had been wanting to do for years. I had also never had the pleasure of seeing a show at The Orange Peel (might be my new favorite venue in the Carolinas)
The sold out show opened with “Thickfreakness” and the surprisingly robust sound coming from a lone guitarist and drummer vibrated through the wood floors in the tightly packed venue.
I generally wear ear plugs at concerts because I’m getting old and losing my hearing, but midway through the show I took them out because the sound was just so good and clear in The Orange Peel.
Dan and Pat did a great job on the setlist, which included a beautifully orchestrated tour through their eclectic 10 year career. The first third of the show featured songs from Thickfreakness, Rubber Factory and The Big Come Up. The second section included songs from their most recent album, Brothers, where they were joined by two friends on keyboard and bass. And the last portion featured songs from Attack and Release. They played “Sinister Kid” and “Your Touch” as the encore.
What I love about this band is their accessibility and their undeniable talent. They were so humble on stage and repeatedly thanked the crowd for coming out, something I know for a fact KOL does not do.
And if you’ve ever wanted to see someone possessed by an instrument, you only need watch Dan Auerbach play his guitar. Both times I have seen him live, it felt like he was discovering the guitar for the first time, like he just couldn’t get enough of it. Truly amazing.
My favorite moment of the night was seeing the guys play my favorite track “10 A.M. Automatic” live. Face. Was. Melted.
The crowd seemed to get pretty wild during “Howlin’ For You” but if you’ve heard the track, then you know it’s kinda impossible to not get excited.
It’s not a secret that I am a die-hard, they-can-do-no-wrong kinda fan of The Black Keys. Dan Auerbach’s album Keep It Hid was my favorite album of last year. But I just really enjoyed my hour and a half with the band last week so much. The dynamic between Dan and Pat is so evident and made the show so exciting. I like how they are evolving and I like how they respect their fans.
Speaking of which, there’s nothing more amazing than getting to share an experience like this with 1,000+ people who love the band as much as you do. And I must give a particular shout out to Lynn and Jerry Kersey. I couldn’t imagine bigger fans of the Keys than myself, well, until I met the Kerseys. I had a blast with you guys and I hope to see you soon!