Review: The Black Keys in Cincinatti

Last Friday Brandon & I ventured to Cincinnati Ohio to see The Black Keys at US Bank Arena and they were phenomenal!!  The Arctic Monkeys, the opening act, was not so great.  I say this for several reasons:

1st. You could hardly understand the lead singer due to his incredibly thick accent.

2nd It doesn’t appear that the sound guy did his job very well because our ears were nearly bleeding from what sounded like racket at one point in their performance

3rd It was simply not what I wanted to hear.

Despite the unnerving opening performance the Black Keys finally took the stage and they sounded crisp and just downright phenomenal. I know I’ve said that already but I can’t think of any other way to describe them.  I have several critiques of the show and of their most recent albums

  • There were at least 4 songs that both Brandon & I, avid Black Keys fans initially thought were new songs because we did not recognize them. False.  After doing some research I found the songs in question, the problem is that the recorded versions were so overproduced that they sounded like two completely different albums.  To solve that I simply scoured YouTube and sadly I illegally downloaded the live versions because I have not been able to find a live album of such recordings.
    • Black Keys release a LIVE album.  Your live version sound a MILLION TIMES BETTER THAN THE ACTUAL RECORDED VERSIONS.
    • SWITCH PRODUCERS/CHANGE IT UP.  The last two albums have sounded terribly over produced and some of the songs lack the soul and rock that your “old” fans fell in love with.
    • I wish the show would have lasted longer.  Their performance went a little over an hour.  I’m not sure If it’s because the songs are short, but even with an encore the show was maybe an hr and 15 mins.
    • My favorite song performances
      • Ten Cent Pistol
      • Strange Times – prime example where they sounded a million times better than the recorded version
      • Lonely Boys
      • I Got Mine
      • Tighten Up
    • Here listen for yourself…..

Overall I’m so glad that I purchased these tickets. It was one of those where it was a gift for my boyfriend that I would enjoy just as much.  I’d love to see them again just at a different venue.  I didn’t care very much for the US Bank Arena and the bathroom situation, 8 stalls for thousands of women, no bueno.  If they come to Nashville or the Greater Louisville area we’ll definitely make the haul to see them again.

**Funniest moment:  We had excellent seats, the row right below us there were these four high school aged boys who were accompanied by a woman who appeared to be one of the boy’s mother.  At one point, I believe it was during the encore the boys had made good friends with a pair of guys smoking weed and we just thought it was hilarious watching the boys try to use their phones, or cameras to mask the marijuana.  Surely she could’ve have been that dumb, the smell was very pungent and it seemed to drift from one side of the arena to the other but nevertheless I’m sure for those guys it doesn’t get any better than to have great seats to their favorite band, with their closest friends, while sneaking a little weed under the mother’s nose lol.

2 Responses to “Review: The Black Keys in Cincinatti”
  1. rsmithing says:

    Hi Shakia – cool post! I saw the Black Keys over the weekend and totally agree with you on the production. One of the most interesting things about the band for me is how much they can do within the limitations of a 2-piece, and hearing so many tracks geared to be “hits” is kind of a turn off. One or two on a record might be okay, but like the videos you include here show, there’s a special kind of power to raw performance.

    I actually link to your post over at my blog where I include some video from the gig. I’d welcome your perspective there if you’d care to comment. Thanks again for writing this post!

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