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The Black Keys played the Verizon Center last Thursday, and while the band is now playing arenas, it still fascinates me how members Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney make music so basic and yet so full. The duo’s blues-based songs filled the Verizon Center to its rafters. The Keys have a little help with a bass and keyboard player now that they’ve graduated to arenas, and that’s made their sound more lush without sacrificing subtlety or complexity. The downside to their growth is that audience members didn’t see Auerbach and Carney interacting with each other as much as they they used to—-watching Auerbach up on Carney’s drum riser, the two playing off each other, was an old highlight I missed.
Cage the Elephant opened and, true to form, hyper-frantic lead singer Matt Shultz used the long stage as his playground. Cage has always seemed like a band meant for arenas, in terms of its big sound and Shultz’s showmanship. The band did not disappoint.
See photos from both sets in the gallery.