The Black Keys satisfy fans

Dan Auerbach The Black Keys.jpg
Photo: Jay Ouellet

The Black Keys vocalist and guitarist Dan Auerbach.

On Saturday night, the fans' anticipation for The Black Keys was running high. The group was the main attraction at the Bell Stage on the Plains of Abraham.

However, the folk band Father John Misty were first on the line-up for the night. They were followed by hard-rock band Eagles of Death Metal. Lead singer and guitarist Jesse Hughes remarked on the Québécois and their ability to party, commenting, "I haven't slept a minute since I got here." The band thrashed out their songs for over an hour, even running over their scheduled time. At 9:15 p.m., Hughes said, "We've been told to stop, but we're going to do one more track."

Crowd interaction was heightened by Hughes' walking around the front of the stage playing his guitar while a technician ran after him holding his amplifier. At the end of the track, Hughes tried to speak to the crowd but he walked away frustrated when the microphones were switched off.

Anxious to see The Black Keys, fans whistled and chanted the band's name as music technicians reset the stage at 9:20 p.m. The band appeared 15 minutes behind schedule and performed for a satisfying 75 minutes. Female fans' screams could be heard emanating through the air when the band finally appeared on stage or when they played a favourite.

Excitement rippled through the crowd when the band started their gig with "Howlin' for You" followed by "Next Girl." With ever changing, funky and psychedelic backdrop and lighting, the show came off quite polished.

The enthusiasm and vigour with which drummer Patrick Carney played was a sight to see. Sweat poured from him and saturated his blue cotton shirt. The black-rimmed glasses he usually wears were placed to the side after the first couple of tracks. There was something quite mesmerising watching him play in such a passionate, vibrant manner.

The fusion of energy and talent between Carney and vocalist-guitarist Dan Auerbach make it easy to understand why people come to see the duo. Auerbach's distinctive voice coupled with the lyrics convince listeners that he has lived through each experience he sings about. As sung in "Ten Cent Pistol," "There's nothing worse in this world than payback from a jealous girl." The groovy beat of this particular song betrays the fatal consequences of a particularly jealous woman.

The Black Keys' performance came to an end with "I Got Mine." In fact, fans seemed to be sufficiently satisfied that no encore was demanded and a sense of contentment settled over the crowd after the duo had left the stage.