Six years ago, the biggest name in Rock Music without a doubt would’ve been Akron, Ohio’s The Black Keys. Racking up Grammys left and right, with albums like ‘Brothers’ and ‘El Camino’ offer entire albums worth of hits. The garage rock duo were at the height of their success, at a time where Kanye West and Drake were releasing arguably their best work and hip-hop artists were becoming the new rock stars.
With a mentality of tour, plug in, and play loud The Black Keys offered something that some indie acts where already doing but not to the extent that was able to fill arenas and stadiums.
Then in 2014, the duo would release what would be their last album for five years ‘Turn Blue,’ a psychedelic dive into their sound. With songs like ‘Weight of Love’ experimenting with the space in their sound and adding bass from producer Danger Mouse, it seemed as though the band had grown tired of both the distorted guitars and thunderous drums from Dan Auerbach (Vocals and Guitars) and Pat Carney (Drums).
But in June of this year, the band returned, reviving their raw sound with an album title and a mission statement that was simply “Let’s Rock.” Last Wednesday that’s what they did. The Black Keys returned to Ohio playing at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, to a crowd of dedicated fans new and old.
With a tour billed with Indie legends Modest Mouse opening, playing loud and whatever they wanted. Modest Mouse joined with the Keys in playing songs that they wanted and not pandering to the audience with any of their hits.
With the Black Keys though, it’s almost impossible for them to not play songs that were hits. Even if you’ve never knowingly listened to the Black Keys you’ve heard them on many commercials. The band has never been shy about making money either, coming from a proud Midwest working class background the two made its and money along the way, even referencing a stack money that was undeniable in their music video for the song ‘Go’ off the latest album.
As the duo took the stage, with some backing musicians, they took no time kicking it off with a bang. Opening with ‘I Got Mine’ off their album ‘Attack & Release’ the band showed the audience they were only going to play the “bangers.”
At times feeling like they were playing to a club of a hundred people the band knew they had a job and they did it. Even at one-point Auerbach saying to the crowd, “We feel like we’re playing in the basement again,” and “We’re gonna play some Akron music.”