Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Black Keys
It's a rock and roll given: with each new generation of middle class white boys, a few brave souls will attempt to play the blues. Some fail (Pat Boone), some succeed (Eric Clapton). Emerging American duo The Black Keys are succeeding with an approach wholly different than their generational kindred spirits, The White Stripes.
The White Stripes consist of a guitar and drums, just like The Black Keys. They're both from pathetic Rust Belt towns (Detroit and Akron), and they both play a sort of free-form, heavily-amplified blues/rock. But the similarities end there.
While the Stripes adhere to a strict color scheme (red, white and black), the Keys seem to wear whatever was laying on the floor. While the Stripes exude sexuality, the Keys are average-Joe nerds who could use some exercise.
The full house at The Granada last Friday night was hot for the Keys, though, and they certainly delivered. Dan Auerbach is an idiot savant on blues guitar, spitting out loopy, muscular riffs that seem to draw upon the entire history of the genre. He's surprisingly congenial with the crowd, and he works himself (and the audience) into a frenzy with a combination of old fashioned hard work and a symbiotic relationship with his drummer.
Their performance became noticeably more loose and authoritative as their set wound down, leaving their audience sweaty, satisfied, and as the cliche goes, wanting more, much more.