| July 14, 2011 | Comments (8)

Yes, The Black Keys (Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach) made a stop in London, ON at the John Labatt Centre on Tuesday.  Yes I drove there from Toronto. Why? Because I thought seeing them in a smaller venue outside Toronto would be a great experience. Overall I was right. I went in having a little bias toward the band. What I’ve heard in the last year or two by them has been some of my favorite new music to come out.

From the get go Dan’s guitars were blasting along with Patrick’s pounding drumbeats. One downside being that the set is the same one they’ve played for the entire tour. Maybe going with the adage, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Once I got to my seat from the pit and I looked at the stage. It seemed like there was tons of energy. That was until I looked around the Arena. Almost everyone in seats was, well, in their seats. It was confounding. The GA appeared to only be half-full despite being “sold-out”. Only half of that was really moving to the music. This didn’t affect the performance however as the show continued.  Half way through the set I was sure that the audience was going to erupt when the current radio favorites “Howlin’ For You” and “Tighten Up” were played back to back. Even they couldn’t rouse the Londoners up past singing along. Well I enjoyed it, and so was the guy at the mix table, dancing harder than 90% of the crowd.  ”Ten Cent Pistol” slowed things down again, and almost to play with this crowd they stopped it short for about 30 seconds, letting the crowd cheer. Only once everyone was really showing their appreciation did the guys finish the last chorus of the track.

Since I’ve ripped so much on the John Labatt patrons I will give them some kudos. At the end of the set after announcing it was the last song of the night, the entire arena finally stood and applauded the duo that have been touring the “Brothers” album for over a year. Even though it wasn’t their last song, everyone remained standing throughout the encore,  “Sinister Kid” and “Your Touch”. At the end of the night Dan thanked the crowd and Canada as a whole, since they’ve been here since late June, except 3 dates back in the U.S.  I wish I had seen these guys sooner, but I’m glad I saw them in London. Some of the Toronto Amphitheatre crowd might have been good to have along for the ride though too. Worth the drive? Yes, I’d do it again!



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