Concert Review: The Black Keys at Nautica Pavilion

All Keyed up
  • All Keyed up

Hot and sweaty rock: the kind that leaves your hair matted and your knees weak. This is what the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney delivered at the Nautica Pavilion on Saturday.

Among the Internet buzzings of an ugly divorce, relocations, and last-tour shows, the Akron duo produced a live show that can only be called extraordinary. The energy was as palpable as the humidity.

Opening with some songs from their latest album, Brothers, the sold-out audience went insane for tracks like "Girl Is on My Mind." The Keys did their part by adding little extras: longer outros, some impromptu solos, and tweaks to lyrics that made the show more than just an album rehash.

"Your Touch" was so sexy and fanatical, it felt like a one-night stand. Every rich breakdown and salacious riff sounded magical. A bassist and keyboardist made "Too Afraid to Love You" and "Sinister" even more haunting.

The Keys addressed their fans like preachers from a Pentecostal church — eyes rolled back, sweaty mops, headshakes. That was their version of speaking in tongues.

Auerbach’s shredded, honey-dipped voice chilled on "She’s Automatic," and Carney totally ripped on drums. The sheer force that came from his lean, lithe arms defied physics. He seemed to be everywhere — like he has eight arms.

Drunk on hometown pride and $9 beers, the crowd was worn out by the spirited "I Get My Way." It doesn't matter if the Keys leave Ohio for good. They could live in Yemen, just as long as they keep coming back and playing like they did Saturday night. —Jara Anton

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