The group debuted new tunes and broke out some classics
Last night, The Black Keys brought their Dropout Boogie Tour to the Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, NJ. In tow were special guests Band of Horses and local upstarts Ceramic Animal. The result was a summer night of back-to-the-roots rock ‘n’ roll.
Ceramic Animal started things up. The quintet hail from just up 95 in nearby Doylestown, PA. The group caught the eye of The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. He invited the group down to Nashville to write and record their fourth album Sweet Unknown at his Easy Eye Sound studio.
“I liked what they had going on, and I liked how obviously hard-working they are,” says Dan. “When I spoke with them, I liked them even more. They’re very down to earth, but they’re also incredibly ambitious. They’re so genuinely confident with themselves, and that allows them the freedom to explore music and ideas together. They have a lot of the qualities I see in very successful groups, but they’re just at the beginning, really.”
The band’s set was brief, and they used their time wisely to heavily promote their new record. They churned out four tracks from their latest LP, opening with “Valerie.” From there they ran through “Up In Smoke,” “Forever Song,” and “I Can’t Wait.” They wrapped things up with “All My Loving” from their last effort, 2020’s High End
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to the group was favorable. They draw on a variety of different sub-genres including classic rock, blues, and folk to brew a simmering stew chalk-full of tasty riffs and smooth melodies. This was Ceramic Animal’s last stop on this tour, but keep your eye out for the next time they come around.
Band of Horses started their set with “Is There a Ghost.” The GRAMMY®-nominated group proceeded to perform material from four of their six studio albums. They focused on tracks from their 2007 outing Cease to Begin. The lone cut from their latest effort – 2022’s Things Are Great (BMG) – was the lead single “Crutch.”
Other highlights included “No One’s Gonna Love You,” “The Funeral,” “Laredo,” “The Great Salt Lake,” and more. There’s a subtle energy to the band. While their music tends to be on the more mellow side, they certainly know how to get a bit rowdy in a live setting, especially bassist Matt Gentling who at times jumps around and headbangs like he could be in a metal band.
The Black Keys strutted onto the stage and launched into their hit 2008 single “I Got Mine.” The swagger of the song’s main riff saturated the venue. It was an excellent way to kick off their set. The entire crowd swayed back and forth and sang along. Oh, The Black Keys are back, baby.
From there, they launched right into the instantly recognizable smash “Howlin’ For You” which kept the crowd on its feet.
Just a few songs in, the group unleashed their platinum-selling smash “Gold on the Ceiling.” More noteworthy performances included “Tighten Up,” “Fever,” “Your Touch,” “Lo/Hi,” and many more. Hearing “Next Girl” is always amazing, given the track’s exceptional groove.
The band did a great job of spreading out their set, pulling material from eight of their eleven studio outings. They debuted three tracks from their latest release, including the album’s two singles “Wild Child” and “It Ain’t Over.” They also introduced the audience to “Your Team Is Looking Good.” The reaction to the new stuff was favorable to say the least.
While The Black Keys are not short on their own material by any means, the duo through a handful of covers into he set, including “Crawlin’ Kingsnake” by John Lee Hooker and a pair of R.L. Burnside tunes.
The band wrapped things up with “She’s Long Gone” from their 2010 GRAMMY® Award-winning album Brothers. They returned to the stage for a two-track encore of El Camino hits – “Little Black Submarines” followed by their fist-pumping anthem “Lonely Boy.” One thing can be said for certain – The Black Keys always bring it.
The Black Keys’ latest LP Dropout Boogie arrived on May 13 via Nonesuch. It is their eleventh studio effort. The record peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums Chart.
As they’ve done their entire career, The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney wrote all of the material for their new album, Dropout Boogie, in the studio, and the album captures a number of first takes that hark back to the stripped-down blues rock of their early days making music together in Akron, Ohio basements. After hashing out initial ideas at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville, the duo welcomed new collaborators Billy F. Gibbons (ZZ Top), Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound), and Angelo Petraglia (Kings of Leon) to the sessions, marking the first time they’ve invited multiple new contributors to work simultaneously on one of their own albums.
“That’s always been the beauty of the thing Pat and I do. It’s instant,” says Dan Auerbach. “We’ve never really had to work at it. Whenever we’d get together, we’d just make music, you know? We didn’t know what we were going to do, but we’d just do it and it would sound cool. It’s the natural chemistry Pat and I have. Being in a band this long is a testament to that. It was a real gift that we were given. I mean, the odds of being plopped down a block-and-a-half from each other in Akron, Ohio – it just seems crazy.”
The Black Keys’ Dropout Boogie Tour rolls on into the fall. The trek wraps up on October 18 at the Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, TX. Tickets for all dates are on sale now HERE.