After a bold opening set by cock-out rocker Jay Reatard (whose drummer, Billy Hayes, resembles a young Bruce Vilanch), the Black Keys introduced Attack and Release on its release date to a sold-out Wiltern. Per usual, their set was comprised more of upbeat crowd favorites than soul-melting blues ballads, “You’re the One” the sole exception, to which we all knew the words.
According to the boys behind me, crowd pleasers like “10am Automatic” and “Stack Shot Billy” seem to be to blame for why the Black Keys’ fan base is largely comprised of “Eddie Bauer models” and their girlfriends. But these aren’t my words.
And as usual, the set ran out far too quickly, especially with new tracks like “I Got Mine” and “Strange Times” seamlessly blending in with those single-ready rockers we’re so used to in the Keys’ live sets. What was freshly revealed, though, was that the synthesized drums on Attack and Release are not synthesized for the most part, but rather an effect added to Pat Carney’s live kit, and that Dan Auerbach on keys sounds nearly identical to Dan Auerbach on guitar. Simply perfect.