Rockin’ with The Black Keys

This past Saturday I took another trip in to London for some live music, this time it was to see the blues/rock duo from Ohio, The Black Keys.  I was first introduced to these guys around 2005 and have been following their career ever since.  Naturally their first few albums are more raw compared to the studio polished 2011 release El Camino, but it doesn’t really matter  -they can rock.  If you aren’t sure if you know their music, run a YouTube search for “Tighten Up” or “Howlin for you” and I bet you’ll recognize them.  The videos are entertaining anyway.

The venue for this show was a place called Alexandra Palace, or as it is affectionately known “Ally Pally”.  The building is located in North London in Alexandra Park as you can see above.  What you can’t see from that picture are the amazing panoramic views of London, something that I will visit again when I have my camera handy.  The site was originally named for the new Princess of Wales, Alexandra of Denmark, but has retained it’s title as “The People’s Palace” ever since.  Built in 1873 as a public center for recreation, entertainment and education it has been home to many acts and changes over the years, as you can imagine.  The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zepellin, and Jay-Z have all perfomed at Ally Pally, which can hold up to 10,000 people.

The concert on Saturday probably had closer to 3-4000 people, but I didn’t get a really good feel for the entire crowd as I was closer to the stage so my estimate could be way off.  The picture above is the view that I had for the show, it is the closest that I’ve been for a rock show in a long time.  In short, the concert was great.  The guys played a mixture of songs from their new album and old albums, and they played for 2 hours straight.  I had heard that they can put on some epic shows, and I was hoping for something like that as this was the end of their European tour, but no such luck.  They sounded fantastic, and there were video crews taping them and the crowd all night, so maybe we’ll see a live DVD sometime in the near future.

This was my favorite song of the show, Little Black Submarines.  Some of their songs were more popular, but this one hit the mark with me.  It started out slow with just Dan, and then Pat comes in, then they do what they do best.  There are shades of Stairway to Heaven and Mary Jane’s Last Dance in here if you listen closely, but otherwise just enjoy.  I know I did.

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