The Black Keys performed at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles on Saturday night, and proved why they are quite possibly rock’s last great arena headlining act. There hasn’t been a band since The Black Keys gained massive commercial success in the late 2000’s to become arena headliners, with only metal leaning acts able to play arena tours, mostly with co-headliner bills.
The Black Keys packed the Forum and played a set befitting of their status as the torch bearers of classic rock and roll in the last 15 years. The band opened their set with a barrage of hits, with singalong hits like “Gold on a Ceiling” and heavier numbers from their early days, or as frontman Dan Auerbach called it, songs from the ‘basement.’
The Black Keys also performed songs from their covers album with special guests, allowing Auerbach to shred on guitar, showing off his blues chops. Auerbach is a unique frontman, he is all business and all about the music. While many frontmen of his status spend large parts of their sets pontificating their views, Auerbach was a man of few words, using his spoken word moments to thank drummer Patrick Carney and other performers, along with the fans at the Forum.
Patrick Carney is one of rock’s most underrated drummers. For The Black Keys’ poppier hits like “Fever” he grooves along, and then on heavier numbers like “I Got Mine” he hits the drums harder than anybody in his generation.
Band of Horses were a solid opener, as were The Velveteers, who had two drummers, with a highlight being one of the drummers giving part of his kit away to a fan in the audience. The Black Keys’ Dropout Boogie tour is a well rounded night of rock and roll, check it out if you have not seen it!