The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys at Chaifetz Arena, 4/27/12: Review, Photos and Setlist

Categories: Show Reviews

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Kholood Eid
The Black Keys | Arctic Monkeys
April 27, 2012
Chaifetz Arena

There was a nice moment in the middle of the Black Keys' impressive concert last night when guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach sent hired guns Gus Seyffert and John Wood away so he could play alone with drummer Patrick Carney. It was a nod to the group's roots as a duo that got everything out of shit-kicking blues-rock that two guys could get. This four-song excursion threw a bone to old-school Keys fans with selections from the group's pre-Danger Mouse era and highlighted how effective the duo is at crafting and delivering simple, catchy fist-pumping rock. They even proved they could improvise with a jam at the end of "Girl is On My Mind." But when the full-band rejoined Auerbach and Carney for the slow-building "Black Submarines," it was clear that the move to an expanded lineup and instrumental palette was the right one. The keyboard, bass and second guitar lines fill out the group's sound, add atmospheric touches the songs and overall just make the Black Keys a better, more diverse band.

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Kholood Eid
But really, both versions of The Black Keys were on their A-game for their show at Chaifetz Arena. Auerbach's voice loses a small bit of luster removed from the studio, but the man's pipes are no joke. He also conjures up tones fat enough to prove that the group wasn't messing around when it named one of its albums "Thickfreakness." Carney, meanwhile is as dependable and uncluttered of a drummer as you can get. Everything but his bass drum should have been slightly louder, but from the way he viciously pounded the drums, the problem was likely in the mix. Seyffert and Wood acquitted themselves nicely by providing a solid canvas for Auerbach to paint his bitchin' leads over and by chiming in with the little parts that often make the songs. The irresistible shuffling stomp and organ grind of "Gold on the Ceiling" proved to be an obvious highlight, as did the whistling in "Tighten Up." But the non-singles also went over well. "Nova Baby" worked as a great bubblegum break from all the dirty blues, and "Ten Cent Pistol" showed that the Keys is also capable of subdued grooves. And when it came time to muscle up, The Black Keys made good with a punchy attack.

Location Info

Map

Chaifetz Arena

1 S. Compton Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

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9 comments
andiyoureastar
andiyoureastar

My friends started that "Let's Go Blues" chant back by the audio booth haha

westendres
westendres

Never seenThe Black Keys before but thought they were great.  Arctic Monkey sucked, just because you play REALLY loud doesn't mean we can't tell you can't sing or play the guitar very well.

Melissa
Melissa

I was really not that impressed with the sound at Chaifetz. Should have been better.

HappyMan
HappyMan

Concert was way too short. Arctic Monkeys were way better.

Cgcivello
Cgcivello

Bob, no offense but were you even at the show the other night.  I've seen the Black Keys several times and Saturday night's show was not up to par.  The band rushed through the set at an uncomfortable pace, and the band's sound was more rough than usual.  With choppy guitar riffs and tensed up drumming- the band wasn't on their game that night.  I think a lot of 1st-time screaming fans (like 12 year olds at a Justin Beiber concert) really ballooned the perception that it was a good show when it honestly wasn't that great.  

LittlemanofHappy
LittlemanofHappy

Okay. First off, why did you not mention how the Black Keys set was about an hour long? The encore added about 10 more minutes; even stltoday.com mentioned it.

I thought the Black Keys rocked, but seriously, why the short show? I thought the part without the full band was the best. I just can't believe they couldn't pull off a 90 minute set. The Arctic Monkeys played about an hour (they honestly stole the show and their energy surpassed the Keys). This was about the biggest hyped St. Louis show, and to not even make an hour and half is upsetting.

It took me longer to get out of the parking garage than the Black Keys' set.

Stl_Bob
Stl_Bob

As I said, I'm a casual fan. Thus, I haven't seen them as often as someone like you would have. The only other time I saw them was in 2004. So yeah, I wouldn't detect nuances the way a hardcore fan like you would. From my perspective, this was a fun show. It wasn't mindblowingly amazing, but I enjoyed the performance and thought they played well. The fans seemed to agree. Maybe the first-timers' reaction made them seem like they played better than they did, but fans' reactions are an important part of the concert experience and it would be wrong as a reviewer to discount them. The sound might have been slightly rough, but that's to be expected at an arena show. According to the utterly infallible wikipedia, this is The Black Keys' first arena tour, so that's likely why the sound wasn't as good as say their show at The Pageant.

Cliff Notes version: I respectfully disagree.

HappyMan
HappyMan

I agree that they rushed through the songs. Why did Dan introduce Patrick 3 times??? haha.

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