I don’t think The Black Keys came into my orbit until I heard the song “Strange Times.” Shortly after this a roommate of mine schooled me on the rest of their catalog that I had been missing out on. My first opportunity to see them after my awakening came as they were touring for the album Brothers that had come out just four months prior to this. In my eyes they were already a huge band after Attack & Release so I was both floored and confused to learn they were going to play at Soma, which only holds about 2,700 people. It sounded great in theory but getting a ticket was an entirely different animal. Tickets were going for an exorbitant amount on the resale market because the concert was sold out and I did not feel like relying on the old ‘walk through the back door’ trick as I did in the past.
Just as I was coming to grips that I probably would not be attending an angel came to me in the form of a manager that worked where I did at the time. She was over shooting the breeze and I randomly mentioned my frustration with the situation. She disappeared and when she re-appeared about an hour later handed me a piece of paper. It was a ticket to the show! I said “no way” and asked her how much she wanted for it. FREE!!! As in here you go no strings attached. Apparently one of her friends bailed last minute so she had an extra and told me she would rather give it to someone that she knew actually wanted to go instead of mess with selling it.
I decided to ride my bicycle to the venue because it was only about two miles away and I wanted to smoke a joint beforehand. This pot was good stuff so when I arrived at the security checkpoint one of the security guards (not even the one that patted me down) said “Whooooeee. That’s some stinky shit!” as he looked at me with a mile wide smile. Being called out by a security guard is usually the kind of thing that makes a person paranoid but I could tell by his smile that there was no reason for alarm.
The Black Keys killed. So much sound and groove coming from just the two of them. This is one of the those bands that plays better live than on the record. They played with an urgency that I had not seen in awhile and their set was just downright explosive. This would be the last time being able to see The Black Keys in such small quarters since Brothers ended up being their commercial breakthrough which meant on to bigger arenas/stadium shows.
SETLIST: “Thickfreakness,” “Girl Is On My Mind,” “10 A.M. Automatic,” “Stack Shot Billy,” “The Breaks,” “Everywhere I Go,” “Everlasting Light,” “Next Girl,” “Chop and Change,” “Howlin’ for You,” “Tighten Up,” “She’s Long Gone,” “Ten Cent Pistol,” “I’ll Be Your Man,” “Strange Times,” “I Got Mine,” “Sinister Kid,” “Your Touch”