The Black Keys | 12.09.14

Black-Keys 75This was an insanely great show.

Black-Keys 500

Scottrade Center, St. Louis

American rock duo The Black Keys rocked the Scottrade Center Tuesday night. The Akron, Ohio, natives were touring behind their hit album Turn Blue in a worldwide tour. The pair was in sync, and displayed an almost seductive confidence as they performed their psychedelic, mind-altering set.

The show began with a dimly lit, empty stage. A haunting, ghoulish voice beckoned the crowd with the words “Spins, spins, spins, let yourself go. If you follow me, you will turn blue. This is where it begins. Close your eyes, let’s breathe. Breathe in, breathe out. Focus.”

At this moment, Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach sauntered out. The duo launched into “Dead and Gone,” the hit single from El Camino, the group’s seventh album.

One thing that stuck out to the crowd was the use of the space onstage. There were various swirling/multi-patterned screens that moved around throughout the set depending on the mood of the song: grainy black and white, sepia-tinted, and hypnotic blue swirls.

After “Dead and Gone,” the arena went black and a faint red light lit the stage. The screen turned to trippy colors and the group launched into “Next Girl” from their sixth album, Brothers. The crowd looked like a crazy, reflective sea with all of the lights, everyone moving in time and singing.

The arena went black once again and, keeping with Auerbach’s quirky sense of performance humor, he continued to tell the crowd, “Thank you so much, thank you—that’s my friend Patrick on the drum kit.” He said this roughly three or four times throughout the set.

The duo performed several songs from multiple albums:

  • El Camino: “Run Right Back,” “Gold on the Ceiling,” “Nova Baby”
  • Attack & Release: “Strange Times”
  • Brothers:“Too Afraid to Love You” and “Howlin’ for You”
  • Turn Blue:“Gotta Get Away”
  • A song by Aaron Collins: “A Girl Like You”

The show ended with Dan saying, “Thank you, St. Louis. Thank you,” amid ear-splitting applause and chants from a crowd that wasn’t ready for the show to end. The crowd clapped, stomped and lit the pitch black arena with a sea of swaying cellphone “lighters” for five minutes until the duo came back out.

A few of the band’s all-time top hits were performed, such as “Thickfreakness,” “Fever,” “Tighten Up,” “Your Touch,” and “Lonely Boy.” The band and crowd had more energy during the encore set than the official set.

This was an insanely great show. Opening act St. Vincent, an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, dazzled the living daylight out of the crowd with her set of upbeat, synth-filled, Yeah Yeah Yeah–esque music.

Equal parts The Black Keys and St. Vincent makes for one amazing show. | Danielle Pauly

Photos: Greg Artime

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