DVD Review: The Black Keys – Live At The Crystal Ballroom (2008)

The Black Keys - Live at the Crystal Ballroom DVD (2008)

The Black Keys - Live at the Crystal Ballroom DVD (2008)Some dudes just want to rock, and that’s exactly what a couple of guys that make up The Black Keys do.

In support of their fifth full-length LP Attack & Release, The Black Keys recorded their April 4, 2008 concert performance at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon. Produced and directed by Lance Bangs (R.E.M.’s Road Movie, Nirvana: With The Lights Out), Live At The Crystal Ballroom captures the gritty blues flavor the band (Dan Auerbach – vocals, guitar; Patrick Carney – drums) is known for.

Attack & Release is the byproduct of a collaboration between the Akron, Ohio duo and Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) while the three worked with Ike Turner on a separate album. The combination of using an actual studio, working with Danger Mouse, and being able to run amok cultivated enormous creativity to which fans can now see up-close in the live set. The DVD also includes a short video of the recording sessions for A&R.

There’s nothing like experiencing a band live, and The Black Keys give it all to their audience, as seen in the very personal camera angles and shots of the duo. Auerbach and Carney exude so much energy on stage, and it’s apparent in the music as well. Seeing them perform adds a whole new dimension to the band because of how much focus and oomph they put into their music.

They appear exhausted near the midpoint but seeing as how they cram seventeen songs into a scant hour-long set would be draining. That said, there isn’t much dialogue to the audience by Auerbach or Carney, unfortunately, who jam through each song one by one with barely a pause.

Among the set’s highlights are “Girl Is On My Mind” and “Your Touch” which both showcase the band’s blues rock sensibilities at their finest. Among the DVD’s highlights are the three little-seen but still cool music videos for “Your Touch” (with accompanying behind-the-scenes making-of video that includes many fake bullet charges), “Just Got To Be,” and “Strange Times.” The latter video has the backdrop of a friendly game of laser tag.

NOTE: Article originally published on Blogcritics.


Track list

  1. Same Old Thing
  2. Girl Is On My Mind
  3. Set You Free
  4. ThickFreakness
  5. Stack Shot Billy
  6. Busted
  7. You’re The One
  8. Remember When (Side B)
  9. Your Touch
  10. Oceans And Streams
  11. Strange Times
  12. Psychotic Girl
  13. 10 AM Automatic
  14. No Trust
  15. I Got Mine
  16. All You Ever Wanted
  17. Till I Get My Way

Music Videos

  1. Your Touch
  2. Just Got To Be
  3. Strange Times

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