Review: The Black Keys Riviera Theatre Chicago

The Black Keys played two sold-out shows at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago on New Year’s Eve and New Year's Day. We were lucky enough to get tickets to the second show, spending the first day of January in the Windy City.

 The Black Keys

After settling into a spot relatively close to the stage the show opened with Kurt Vile and the Violators. A competent but unremarkable set of hard edged guitar oriented material ensued with Kurt Vile’s long wavy hair making him a candidate as a distant relative of the Adams Family “Cousin It.”

The classic rock coming through the sound system during the break between bands included Strawberry Letter #23 and the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin” stoked the energy level of the crowd. The Black Keys always wear their influences on their sleeves. Bluesy guitar riffs fronted by gritty vocals melded into an original indie rock concoction that makes being from Akron, Ohio cool.

From the punchy “10 AM Automatic” to the soulful “Everywhere I Go,” the dynamic duo of singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney delivered a commanding performance shrouded in dry ice and bright back lighting. The 14 song set seemed short, but played to a very enthusiastic audience with a two-song encore to satisfy the Black Keys’ faithful.

Compared to the majority of indie rock shows that pay little attention to stage theatrics, the Black Keys provide an entertaining mix of lighting affects and stage props that complemented the total experience. Dan Auerbach thanked everyone for coming out and commented “See you next year.”

We will definitely be back.

The Black Keys - I Got Mine Live

Dan Auerbach

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