The Black Keys Rock It Loud and Sweaty In Toronto

The Black Keys
photo by Reid Long, courtesy of Nonesuch Records

The Black Keys
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
March 14, 2012

The Black Keys are rock music’s equivalent of being on a roll, a streak they more than kept alive as they blew into Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Wednesday, March 14th. It didn’t take long for the duo born and raised in Akron, Ohio to make everyone wish it were August already and they were seeing the band in the open-air Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, where the North American leg of the El Camino tour will wrap up before it jets off to Europe.

No matter where you were in the ACC, it was sweaty, which had everything to do with the Keys’ combustible and electrified mixture of blues, soul, and glam. Not only sweaty, but loud. No one complained though as guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney blistered through a 90 minute, 21-song set that leaned heavily on tracks from the aforementioned El Camino as well as 2010’s Brothers. I think it’s fair to say that these are the songs the majority of the crowd recognized, considering how much their fan base has ballooned based on the success of their last two albums. While there was never really a time where the cheering subsided, there were veritable explosions of approval for current modern rock radio hit “Gold on the Ceiling”, as well as the back-to-back shot of “Tighten Up” and “Lonely Boy” (see video).
 
This is one music bubble that isn’t going to burst any time soon. The Black Keys may have honed their skills to the point where their live show runs like a well-oiled machine, but they still brought plenty of energetic fuel, topped off with a level of enthusiasm that made Torontonians feel they were witnessing something unique. It is going to be incredibly tough for any act playing Toronto in 2012 to top them in terms of intensity, enjoyment, and sheer rock awesomeness – that is until they come back to town in August.
 
Set List:
 
Howlin' for You 
Next Girl 
Run Right Back 
Same Old Thing 
Dead and Gone 
Gold on the Ceiling 
Thickfreakness 
Girl Is On My Mind 
I'll Be Your Man 
Your Touch 
Little Black Submarines 
Money Maker 
Strange Times 
Chop and Change 
Nova Baby 
Ten Cent Pistol 
Tighten Up 
Lonely Boy
 
Encores:
 
Everlasting Light 
She's Long Gone 
I Got Mine