The Black Keys work fans into fever at Consol
Grammy Award winning blues-rock duo The Black Keys kept up a steady pace of past hits before settling into material from their latest album, “Turn Blue,” during their Saturday night Pittsburgh performance with Cage the Elephant at Consol Energy Center.
After a colloquial greeting of “Hello Pittsburgh, how yinz doing?” from front man Dan Auerbach, drummer Patrick Carney started off the set with a merciless pounding of his drum kit on the opener “Dead and Gone,” from their 2011 album “El Camino” and was relentless in his assault on the skins throughout the show.
Followed by “Next Girl,” the signature gritty guitar work of Dan Auerbach kicked into high gear and ripped through “Run Right Back,” “Same Old Thing” and “Gold on the Ceiling” with a ferocity that seems like the louder it's played, the better it sounds. Backed by bass player Richard Swift and John Wood on keyboards, the band delivers the full force behind every hook and riff, stomping their way through “Strange Times” before downshifting into the melodic “Nova Baby.”
Reaching back to their 2002 debut album, “The Big Come Up,” to play the traditional blues standard “Leaving Trunk,” the first dozen songs were from their previous seven records, not including a cover of Edwyn Collins' “A Girl Like You.”
If fact, there was less than a handful of new tracks played from the latest album, “Turn Blue.” Towards the end of the night, “Gotta Get Away” followed the fan favorite “Howlin for You,” which filled the aisles with people jumping, swaying and singing along through the chorus. “Fever” was sandwiched between “Long Gone” and the single “Tighten Up” from the 2011 “Brothers” album, featuring another shredding guitar solo from Auerbach and the audience echoing every line in unison.
“Turn Blue” was the first song of the encore, complete with the hypnotic blue and red spiral album art projected onto large screens on the backdrop. Darkening the stage to a single spotlight, Auerbach showcased a solo acoustic intro to “Little Black Subarines” on a 1930's brass body dobro guitar. Fans filled in the blackout by stomping their feet into the electrified second verse that gave way to the anthemic closer “I Got Mine.”
Although “Turn Blue” lacks some of the heftier licks the band is most known for, the group's show was nothing short of a knockout performance that will keep fans coming to their performances throughout the 42 stops of their curent tour.