Review: The Black Keys, New Year’s Day 2011

The Black Keys just wrapped up a three-day Chicago set spanning New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, in what is becoming an annual tradition. For the second year in a row, we attended, this year the New Year’s Day show at Aragon Ballroom.

I must admit, I was worried when The Black Keys latest album, Brothers, was released. I selfishly (and privately) felt that they might destroy the best two-person sound this side of The White Stripes. And even after listening to the album several times over, I still needed to see how it would stack up live to be truly convinced that The Black Keys didn’t lose the magic. I thought the Keys couldn’t possibly get any better than they already were.
black keys, 2011, new year's day
They did.

After ripping through some classics like 10 A.M. Automatic, Girl is on My Mind (and envisioning that jackass drawing a heart on a frozen window) and Stack Shot Billy, Nick Movshon (bass guitar) and Leon Michels (keyboards) joined Dan and Patrick on stage for some new classics; the likes of Next Girl, Howlin’ For You and Tighten Up. The songs had more power than I thought they would. They were polished but still carried the Keys’ trademark “dirtiness.” Thing is, after seeing it performed live, Brothers kicks ass. The Black Keys have managed to enhance their sound, not detract from it. It was just the first day of 2011, but I already know that this show will go down as one of the year’s best.

Some videos are posted below, of varying quality from The Black Keys on New Year’s Day. The sound is not the best, but I recommend watching the vid for “I Got Mine,” to get a feel for the atmosphere – at least the first minute. The last video is from New Year’s Eve. That awesome photo, by the way, from Joshua Mellin.

Read our review of The Black Keys on New Year’s Eve, 2009.

Tighten Up

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfIO6K5ZqEs[/youtube]

I’ll Be Your Man

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmiCicOxaiI[/youtube]

10 A.M. Automatic

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyREfhxMnbQ[/youtube]

Everlasting Light (New Year’s Eve)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev8luj56-_E[/youtube]

The Black Keys New Year’s Day Setlist.

4 thoughts on “Review: The Black Keys, New Year’s Day 2011

  1. Hirsch Cutlass

    Thanks man! This is awesome… I had a late chance to go to this show but couldn’t make it… The new years 2010 show was fantastic too. Glad to hear Brothers rocks live… as it should

  2. DaveL

    Calling these guys a Blues-Rock Band has to be the biggest insult to real guitar players worldwide…Call them “Alternative” because musicians expect the players of this style to have a couple of catchy little vocal melodies but suck big-time as players… Anything else… but please do not call them Blues-Rock Musicians…They are some idiot producer’s abortion successfully fooling those that don’t know better into thinking they are talented…

  3. Mike Post author

    Thanks for the trolling, DaveL.

    We all know the Keys have talent. Even you, I suspect.

  4. ben

    I fee exactly as Dave. They use expensive vintage equipment, so yea the tone is good. At first I was like wjhose this. But then, every song just goes down hill. These guys dont really “have it” like Beck, ZZ top, and countless blues cats.

    The thing is anyone can afford a guitar and a tascam, and if you have a basement your are half way there. Except one thing, individual talent. The Black Crowes are the real deal.

    All the bands that form as friends, usually suck. Take a band like Zep, where Page scouted for the best pro individual players, and this is how the British Invasion happened where band membership was thought out. Skynrd formed as friends,m but in this case they were super talented, but it does not happen often.
    The jam bands today are good, but the songwriting is not.
    Basically, music has been in the decline since 1987.
    All those alt bands from the 90′s , while some songs were good, the playing was not,Where are the new bands of today who can compare to Rush and Yes, Van Halen?? Its because the influences of kids today ware Nirvana and not Buddy Holly and Big Boonzy, Muddy Waters etc,.
    Its also because nobody can arrange music today. The old cats who were instrumental in developing all those old bands are gone. The kids at these labels (which are all sinking) know sqat about music. Also, Fleet Fox is no CSN

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