Photo by Andy Wilhelm

This is the first new album and North American tour in four years.

The Black Keys were back in the state where it all began as the Akron, Ohio natives, fresh off of releasing a new album and embarking on their first North American tour in four years, blew the roof off of Columbus’ Nationwide Arena on Wednesday, October 2nd.

The band wasted no time setting the tone, opening their set with the soulful “I Got Mine.” Dan Auerbach’s guitar licks along with Patrick Carney’s thunderous drumming gave everyone an idea of what was in store for the evening. It was a foot-stomping, head-bobbing, powerful start to the show.

Once “I Got Mine” came to a close Auerbach took a minute to address the audience. “Ohio, how you doing?” he exclaimed. “My name is Dan, we’re The Black Keys from Akron, Ohio.” And with that, the crowd erupted.

“Eagle Birds” was up next, followed by “Tell Me Lies,” both tracks coming from Let’s Rock, the band’s 9th studio album which dropped this past June. “Lies” is a groovin’ number and was fantastic in the live setting with both the crowd and musicians feeding off of each others’ energy.

Before beginning their fourth song of the night a curtain behind the five-piece live band raised (in addition to Auerbach and Carney, their touring lineup also includes Steve Marion on guitar as well as brothers Andy and Zach Gabbard, on guitar and bass, respectively), revealing a large circular projection screen. A couple dozen hanging lights also descended at this point, adding to the production and live experience for the rest of the evening.

“Next Girl” was definitely a highlight, the band really brought the soul with this one. They had the audience swaying and singing along and the energy only continued to grow from there. The arena went wild during Auerbach’s solo in fan favorite “Howlin’ for You,” and he addressed the crowd once again at the conclusion of “10 A.M. Automatic.” “We’re gonna play some Akron basement music. Thank you so much.” And that they did, launching into “Your Touch,” from 2006’s Magic Potion.

“Thickfreakness” was an absolute rocker live, as the band went “back to the basement”. The gritty number goes from a chill, mellow groove, to body-shaking rock and roll and back again, and had Auerbach wailing on his guitar, balancing on one foot at times as he riffed, while Carney simultaneously annihilated his drum set.

Auerbach pulling out his acoustic guitar for the beginning of “Little Black Submarines,” with the crowd singing along, was a goosebump-inducing moment and the band closed out their set with “Lonely Boy,” leading to a huge ovation from the audience. An encore of “Lo/Hi,” “Go,” and “She’s Long Gone” sent everyone home happy.

If you are in the mood for some bluesy, raw, soulful rock and roll I highly recommend catching The Black Keys live on this tour. They were phenomenal in Columbus!

Upcoming tour dates can be found here.

10/2/19 Columbus Setlist

  1. I Got Mine
  2. Eagle Birds
  3. Tell Me Lies
  4. Gold on the Ceiling
  5. Fever
  6. Next Girl
  7. Fire Walk With Me
  8. Walk Across the Water
  9. Everlasting Light
  10. Howlin’ for You
  11. 10 A.M. Automatic
  12. Your Touch
  13. Strange Times
  14. Tighten Up
  15. Thickfreakness
  16. Ten Cent Pistol
  17. Little Black Submarines
  18. Lonely Boy

Lo/Hi, Go, She’s Long Gone

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