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.
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.
I’ll Be Your Man
10 A.M. Automatic
Everlasting Light (New Year’s Eve)