The Black Keys / Cage The Elephant – June 29, 2011, Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB

The name of this band is The Black Keys. Their latest album is called Brothers. They have defied all odds and played a sold-out show at one of the largest venues in Edmonton. Personally I’m surprised at the concert being sold-out, I guess Sonic 102.9 (a local radio station) has more pull in this town than I’ve been led to believe, but everyone seemed to be having an awesome time rocking out to the blues infused sound of two guys from Akron, Ohio.

Flash back 5 years and The Black Keys were still obscure enough to not sell out a 500 person venue in Edmonton, 2 years ago they still would have trouble filling the Starlite Room (a local 500 – 750 person venue). Even a year ago they may have had trouble doing that. Over the last 8 months or so radio stations across North America have picked them up, they’ve been on Saturday Night Live and their music has been featured in at least a few commercials. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that 80% of the people at the concert first heard the Black Keys sometime in that 8 month timeframe and were a bit oblivious to more than half the show, but I didn’t see anyone having a bad time.

They opened their set with five numbers from their first few albums, a nice shout out to some of their older fans, with some blazing guitar work from Dan Auerbach. After finishing off this introduction with their cover of the Kinks track “Act Nice and Gentle”, they invited out a bassist and organist to play some tunes from  Brothers and their contribution to the Twlight soundtrack, “Chop and Change”. These tunes were the big crowdpleasers of the evening, but I wished more people were dancing. Well one guy was, but he was also giving the devil horns after every song, so who knows if he even knew where he was.

What followed was a few more songs by just the duo of Auerbach and Patrick Carney, and then a quick two song encore. The length of the set was the only real disappointment of the evening. The Black Keys have over 75 songs in their repetoire and played only about 15 or so for a set that totaled about 75 minutes. An additional 30 minutes of music would have been welcome since the concert seemed to build and build and just stop.

Overall it was a great show that sounded excellent (at least from the floor). I still think the sound of The Black Keys is better suited for a smaller venue, but I was surprised at how they made Rexall Place their own for the night.

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2 Responses to The Black Keys / Cage The Elephant – June 29, 2011, Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB

  1. Sheps says:

    Kris,
    I hate to be that guy, but I believe you meant Patrick Carney, not Watson, the Polaris prize winning singer/songwriter from Montreal.

    Last night was a great show all the same. Was definitely pleased by the performance of just the original duo. I’ve been meaning to see them for years but had not had the chance until yesterday, so it was awesome to hear a few songs from rubber factory and thickfreakness, especially in such a venue.

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