Photoset: The Black Keys (March 2, 2012 @ US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, OH)

The Black Keys first tour stop in the United States this year was in the band’s home state of Ohio. Playing to a sold-out crowd, Dan Auerbach (guitars, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums) were on stage for 90 solid minutes, playing several songs from their 2011 release El Camino in the 21-song set. They opened with the popular “Howlin’ For You” from 2010’s Brothers, followed by “Next Girl” from the same record, but wasted no time getting to the new material by launching into “Run Right Back” with the third song of the night. In all, six songs from El Camino were featured in the set.

The crowd was ecstatic throughout the performance, honestly one of the most energetic crowds I’ve ever seen, and the Black Keys fed off of the audience’s energy. Many times a singer will try to rile up the crowd with some stage banter in between songs, but the audience didn’t need it last night, and that wouldn’t be Auerbach’s style. He spoke before the first song, and then not again until after “Lonely Boy,” 18 songs later. The degree of professionalism shown by the boys on stage was very impressive. There were no musical missteps, no forgotten lyrics; just straight-forward rock and roll.

Carney is especially fun to watch. He attacks the drums with such force; it is hard to believe the amazing sound he gets out of those skins. Completely in sync with Auerbach, the duo delivers a wallop in concert.

The Black Keys won three Grammys in 2011, including Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “Tighten Up” and Best Alternative Music Album for Brothers. It will be interesting to see if the Academy recognizes the band’s continued success and if El Camino will get the same industry recognition. Selling out arena shows (including a 15-minute sellout of Madison Square Gardens) should help get the nominating committee’s attention.

The setlist for the March 2 show in Cincinnati was:

  • Howlin’ for You
  • Next Girl
  • Run Right Back
  • Set You Free
  • Dead and Gone
  • Gold on the Ceiling
  • Thickfreakness
  • Girl Is on My Mind
  • I’ll Be Your Man
  • Your Touch
  • Little Black Submarines
  • Moneymaker
  • Strange Times
  • Chop and Change
  • Nova Baby
  • Ten Cent Pistol
  • Tighten Up
  • Lonely Boy


  • Everlasting Light
  • She’s Long Gone
  • I Got Mine

The verdict: if you have a chance to see the Black Keys in concert, don’t miss it. A great rock show from beginning to end.

More photos from the concert after the jump.

About JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

Posted on March 3, 2012, in music, photoset, reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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