Review: The Black Keys at Tripod
Review of The Black Keys at Tripod on October 27th
Review by Oisin Tormey
Photos by Alessio Michelini
Following an impressive gig at Oxegen
this Summer and riding on a wave of increasing popularity, The Black Keys returned to Ireland, with a packed out Tripod on Wednesday night facilitating the start of the European leg of their tour. Despite hearing two middle-aged men waiting outside the venue discussing Lady Gaga’s show, the plaid shirts were out in force and the night was set for a gritty, rock and roll gig with expectations high amongst the waiting audience.
Before the Keys took to the stage the crowd were treated to a 30 minute set by Lisa Hannigan, who was previewing songs from her upcoming album and a mesmerizing performance of ‘Lille’. Her set was a mellow start to the evening (lost on many talking at the bar) , with a mandolin, electric guitar and ukulele all getting usage during her short set .This was their first airing, apart from a preview to her housemate and her cat she joked. If the tracks she previewed represent the full album, it is a certainty she will appear on the Choice Music Prize shortlist next year. Visibly nervous, she put this down to opening for her favourite band and said she could not wait to see them perform, a sentiment shared by the excited crowd.
Following a short 20 minute funky interlude The Black Keys appeared on stage to an eruption of applause. Opening with ‘Thickfreakness’, the 20 minutes of tuning was all that was needed as grinding guitar had heads lightly moshing throughout the venue, while Patrick Carney’s bass drum had a boom that could kick-start a heart. If you closed your eyes you could imagine yourself in the dirtiest run-down bar in middle America, with some of the characters around Tripod looking like they would well fit in too. Despite promoting their newest album the Keys didn’t overly rely on it for the first half of the set at all, with crowd favourite ‘Girl Is On My Mind’ the second song played to a rapturous reception. If anyone was wondering whether rock and roll was dead, it was truly answered tonight.
This greatest hits-style gig continued for the first part of the show, with ‘10AM Automatic’ releasing cheers from the crowd, and ‘Stack Shot Billy’ getting the crowd bouncing around the front pit. Dan Auerbach interacted well with the crowd, recalling his experience from the night before on Jools Holland’s show and how crazy it was to be in the same room as their heroes Sir Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello. This led to a cover of a song from one of their other heroes, ‘Act Nice and Gentle’ by The Kinks.
The duo were then joined by “some friends” for the second half of the show, which showcased songs from their newest album, ‘Brothers’ which began with ‘Everlasting Light. The time touring with a bass and keyboardist has improved the sound of the songs from the newest album (something which seems near impossible when dealing with an album as good as ‘Brothers’). They seem to be enjoying this time too, with it opening up more avenues in terms of a louder sound. Four songs into the second half Dan Auerbach says six words that every fan wants to hear that night; “Don’t worry, it’s not over yet!” before breaking into ‘I’ll Be Your Man’ with Carney impressively using a maraca as a drumstick.
The band left the stage to rapturous cheers and screams before the obligatory encore which everyone was both hoping for and expecting. Returning to the stage as a duo for the final two songs, the Keys look delighted with the reception their return has acquired. Finishing with ‘Your Touch’, the crowd leaves ringing ears, smiling faces and the sense that for all the spectacle and glamour of Lady Gaga’s gig nearby, this was the must see gig of the night.
Setlist (With thanks to Dimeadozen.org)
Girl is on my mind
Stack Shot Billy
Act Nice & Gentle (Kinks cover)
Chop & Change
Howlin’ for you
She’s long gone
Ten Cent Pistol
I’ll be your man
I got mine