On Sept. 20 and Sept. 23 I traveled to see my favorite band, The Black Keys, play two shows.
The Grammy Award-winning rock duo, hailing from Akron, Ohio, consist of Dan Auerbach, singer and guitarist and Patrick Carney, drummer. With their new album released in May, entitled, “Turn Blue” debuting atop the Billboard Top 200, the Keys hit the road to begin their Turn Blue World Tour earlier this month.
I traveled to Philadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 20 to see the Wells Fargo Center show. I ended up sitting in the first row on a side-angle. No matter where I am in the arena I attend, Dan, Pat and the crew always know I’m in attendance singing every word to every song. Bassist Richard Swift and keyboardist John Wood came along on tour. They both add something special to each show. The Keys played an 18 song set. After the final song, the ever-popular, “Lonely Boy”, the band left the stage. Moments later, everyone in the packed arena flipped on their cellphone flashlights, demanding an encore. The place glowed, it was a beautiful sight to see. A few minutes later, the band took the stage again and played a three-song encore. My wish was granted when I got to hear the seven-minute long, guitar solo-ridden “Weight of Love” off of “Turn Blue.” I was definitely overwhelmed to say the least.
On Tuesday, Sept. 23, I waited outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for hours to guarantee I would be in the first row front and center since I had a General Admission ticket. That is exactly how it went down, just the way I planned it. I could not believe how close I was to the stage. I got waves and smiles from everyone on stage.
I love every song of theirs the same. The Keys played many “oldie but goodie” songs as well as their more recent hits. However, it was incredible to hear “Leavin’ Trunk”, a song off of their first album “The Big Come Up.” They just started playing that song again live for the first time in ten years. Hearing “Too Afraid To Love You” off of their album “Brothers” was chilling to hear live and in-person. Also, I really do love their cover of “A Girl Like You”, a ‘90s pop song by Edwyn Collins.
The lighting and effects on the video boards were astounding. During the encore, the spinning, hypnotizing “Turn Blue” album cover vortex was spinning in the background during “Weight of Love.” During the title track off of their most recent album “Turn Blue,” all the lights were low, just as the lyrics were sung.
This was my fourth time seeing them live. No matter how many times I have seen them, the feeling I get never weakens.
Nothing makes me happier and puts a smile on my face than going to a Keys show. Dan and Pat are the nicest guys. I’m not just saying that, I have met them twice. Just the fact that my idols know me by name and light up when they see me makes me the happiest person in the entire world. Never in a million years would I ever have thought that would happen, let alone meeting my idols and telling them how much they mean to me. It means the world to me that they know how much they mean to me and that I could put a smile on their faces, the way they do for me. I am a genuine member of the Keys family.
Dan and Pat are the hardest working people I know. They are my idols in every way. They truly love what they do and do the best they can every day. I carry that attitude and outlook with me every day. There is a smile on both the faces of the guys and every single crew member. These past few days are ones that I will never forget in my life. In the words of of their Richard Berry cover off of their 2003 album, “Thickfreakness,” “have love, will travel.”