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Friday Night Surprise

Heidi Shenk "Merriweather" "music" "the black keys"

In case you missed my Instagram or tweet, this was the fun surprise for Andrew last night--

And it was pretty awesome. Except I'm really bad at not taking photos so this is all I've got. Let me just say this-- the show was raw and stripped down which is the way music is supposed to be. And it was a perfect night for a show at Merriweather.

Andrew had read an article about The Black Keys several weeks ago. They were freaking out about their huge tour because they didn't know what to do about their stage concept. A big tour like this is a totally new concept for them. In the article, they had mentioned that they finally decided on putting some big lights on stage and getting a big disco ball. During the show, they definitely had some big lights and nothing more. During the encore, they definitely had a big disco ball. And the surprise ending for the finale? A big light up sign reading The Black Keys.

There are songs in which Dan Auerbach, the guitarist in the duo, switches from acoustic to electric guitar. All fine and dandy when you can edit tracks and make it seamless on an album. When playing live, there is literally a 30 second gap in the middle of the song while he leaves stage, swaps guitars, and starts back into the song. Things like this make the music true to what it is-- stripped down and naked. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

While they played the songs that everyone wanted to hear, they also dug back to some of their original records. My favorite part of the show was when they played as just the two--drums and guitar--without their touring musicians. The sound dynamics from hushed, quiet notes to loud, raucous, crunchy guitars was great. Some might be disappointed in a show like The Black Keys because it isn't by any means a spectacle. But those are the kinds of concerts that I love the most and last night was by no means an exception.

(Oh yeah, and the Arctic Monkeys were pretty raucous and fun too!)

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