The Black Keys with Band of Horses on the Budweiser Stage

Pictures of Neil Van

On what was the first day of school for many Torontonians, the Black Keys brought a bluesy garage rock crowd to the learning annex known as Budweiser Stage for their Dropout Boogie tour.

When it comes to artists who have figuratively gone from kindergarten to doctorates in musical acumen over the past 20 years, the dean’s list of those who can claim to be as educated as Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney becomes awfully short in a hurry. The class was definitely in session on the evening of September 6, and like good teachers, the dynamic duo know how to capture students’ attention from the get-go. I’m not a fan of the term “certified bangers,” but Akron Ohio’s favorite sons have plenty to spare and they’re not afraid to cram them all into a tight ensemble that gets crowds of ability dancing spontaneously like s they were at the biggest sock store in the world.

The first half hour might as well have been an alt radio hits best of since 2010 as the ‘Keys broke out in successive order “Howlin’ for You”, “Tighten Up”, the current single “It Ain’t Over” and “Gold on the Ceiling” much to everyone’s delight. Due to the way they’ve rocked constantly since the start of the new millennium, a good portion of their fan base are now parents who, it is true, “will smell” it the next day – This may explain why there were seats in the usual pit area.

Watching his best cool “Smoking in the Boys Room” with sunglasses on at night, Dan Auerbach is obviously pretty confident in his brother Carney’s ability to please that they feel they can squeeze in a series of jams from pandemic album early release slow blues Delta Kream. The music purist in me loved it; the majority of the attendees seemed to stay up for the first song “Stay All Night,” but the beauty and appreciation for history that The Black Keys were trying to conjure simply got lost in a spacious amphitheater. The reaction I feel would have been so different in a more comfortable environment like Danforth Music Hall when Auerbach brought his Easy Eye Sound Revue there in 2018.

I felt bad for the Band of Horses openers, good old Southern boys whose professional indie rock should have been much appreciated by slightly older audiences. Although they played the fading favorite “Nobody’s gonna love you”, I found they were mostly greeted with a lukewarm response that shouted “We need to save our energy, our kids can’t miss their second day of school.” school because we went to bed late.” By the time the band arrived on “Is There a Ghost,” a few people were out of their seats and rocking. Vocalist Ben Bridwell humbly thanked us for the warm hospitality and good vibes. See, just because Labor Day is over doesn’t mean summer is over here!

I was also hoping to catch up with Early James who I had heard about for good… but I didn’t get to Bud Stage soon enough.

I’ll steer clear of how drummer Patrick Carney is perhaps only second these days in jerks behind Arcade Fire’s Win Butler. For those who may not know, it was discovered that he had cheated on his wife of only a few years, Michelle Branch. Suffice to say, after transporting us to Mississippi and back, Carney’s pounding drum and Auerbach’s guitar prowess brought things right home during the encore with “Little Black Submarines” and “Lonely Boy.” .

The Black Keys are far from being relegated to the casino circuit, although I, for one, would be very open to a scaled-down, blues-heavy performance like the one we had in Toronto. I would even skip school to see it!

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Be sure to check Live Nation Ontario to see all the other great acts they’ll be bringing to Toronto this year.

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