Thanks to Jeremy’s foresight, I was at Terminal Five last night rocking to the Black Keys. What a show!
Jeremy asked me back in November whether I wanted to go to this show, and he got the tickets well ahead of time. It ended up sold out, for good reason. These guys absolutely rock. Just two of them, guitarist-vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, make this incredibly full, vibrant sound that reaches directly into your gut. Very powerful stuff.
Before the show, we met at a tavern near Jeremy’s apartment. Along for the night was Uncle Stu, whom Jeremy refers to as Disco Stu, playing on Stu’s hatred of disco. The three of us set out for Terminal Five, a relatively new venue on the west side. The place is huge, and can fit 3,000 people. The show was sold out, so I guess that’s how many heads were filling up the joint. Down on the floor you could not get far even when the opening act was just starting.
That act was the Heartless Bastards, out of Memphis. Their style can be described as white trailer trash rock. The singer was a grumbler, and I didn’t get into the music at all. But they clearly had a lot of fans in the place, including a tall black woman next to us who was jumping with the music and singing every word. I asked her about them in between songs and got a little background info that may have made me more sympathetic to them, because by the last song – which was a solo by the singer, accompanying himself on guitar, I was applauding without irony or disdain.
There was a long pause before the main act came out, and it was fun to see some college dudes acting the part near us, totally excited to be out at the show, experiencing the city. Despite the harsh patting down all received at the door, reefer smoke was all around, and security was not going around cracking skulls as they are prone to do in many venues. Of course, when there’s three thousand people on the floor, you can’t really walk around policing them.
I started a couple of chants in the interim while we got impatient, and the college dudes were a great help here. I simply started in near one of them, “Let’s GO! Let’s GO! Let’s GO” and he and his buddies took over from there. I did it again with “Black KEYS! Black KEYS!” and I feel that this overt display of desire was one of the primary signs that the boys backstage were looking for in order to come out, so I’m glad of the small part I played in the evening’s activities. If you think I’m full of myself, well, there’s lots of other blogs on the internets you could be reading right now…
My skillz were strong again towards the end of the show when I suddenly said to Jeremy, “Let’s get our coats.” It proved prescient as we avoided a mile-long line that formed as soon as we’d got them.
What happened in between was your standard rock and roll show, with the lights, the blur, and the pure noise briefly rendering a gangly mass of beings into one shining, swaying organism, steadfast against the void.