Live Gig Review and Photos: DJ
The end of August picks up where festival season left off, with more local headline shows that are finally starting to pick up the long list of backlog concert tours from the 2-year wait due to the pandemic.
The Black Keys, the Ohioans natives bring The Dropout Boogie Tour to Hunstville at The Orion Amphitheater. This muggy Sunday night proved to be a welcome sight as the weather was beautiful and primed and ready for another blissful Sunday evening.
Opening for The Black Keys was Birmingham native Early James who brought his blend of Americana, Blues, and Folk rock to the table. While not overly familiar with his previous works, I know enough to know that Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys discovered James while spending time in Birmingham. James does certainly feature a unique raspy voice, which blends well when delivering the slower soulful/folk tunes. A couple of stand-out tunes like “A Strange Way To be Alive” and “Racing To A Red Light” with their trippy bluesy vibes leave an impact.
Next up was former Seattle now South Carolina based Rock group Band of Horses. Bringing their unique blend of alternative and groovy vibes to the stage, the guys waste no time as they launch into “Is There a Ghost” with its ominous sounds and grungy sounds, the guys certainly have a distinguished sound. This is one of those songs that starts slow and quickly builds up. A couple of tunes play right with the crowd in “No One is Gonna Love You” and “The Funeral”. Their set ends with a huge ovation from the folks in attendance.
The night is primed and armed in hand for The Black Keys to deliver a rocking set. The guys burst on stage promptly and are clear to see and hear why the group has been so steadfast in their success. The quality of the musicianship is outstanding; and they provide a crisp sound throughout their performance which is something to behold.
Superb tracks like “I Got Mine” and crowd favorite “Gold On The Ceiling” all sound even better live. Dan Auerbach with his cool shades on delivers a thoughtful and imperative performance on this Sunday night. Patrick Carney has his Drum kit ready to roll as the two provide a clear dynamic that only years of playing can deliver. The same kinship vibes come full circle with “Fever” and later with big hits such as “Lonely Boy” and “Wild Child”.
Midway through the setlist, the late summer rains and showers showed up to cool off the packed house. Not many left and preceded to rock out with the Keys. Another nice memorable night, one in which saw many press and photographers at the venue, more so than we had seen in the past. The aptly named tour name “Dropout Boogie Tour” matches well with the energy The Black Keys bring with their performance. Excellent set overall.
The Orion has already had some pretty great reviews not only in the region but across the country. Hopefully, the venue keeps booking solid tours as the wave of backlog concerts keeps clearing. To many more!!!