I had high hopes the last time The Black Keys came to town. In April, this duo played The Warfield the day after Attack and Release debuted. I was underwhelmed; Dan Auerbach seemed sluggish and Patrick Carney's drumming seemed out of sync. They just didn't seem well prepared and went through the motions.
All is forgiven after their electric performance yesterday night.
They played a sold out show at the Fillmore (my first time there). The crowd was really into it and pretty chill. Auerbach's vocals and guitar work were crisp, but not to the point they were stilted or choreographed. He spent a lot of time improvising his solos, and Carney matched him every step of the way, just punishing his drum set. Carney's style reminds me a lot of the uber-aggressive drumming of Dave Grohl when he was drumming for Nirvana and again with Queens of the Stone Age.
Best $11 bucks I've ever spent.
As a side note, special guest Dr. Dog was forgettable. They spent so much time making it look like they are rocking out (see generally any commercial for Rock Band or Guitar Hero, or any post-grunge / alternative / hard rock music video in the last ten years) that they forgot about whether the music is any good. I'm not exaggerating either; they spent about 85% of their time jumping around, swinging their guitars from here to there -- but the music was just an afterthought.