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Black blues: The Black Keys rock in Columbus tour stop

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

For The Black Keys, volume is not an issue.

The duo produced deafening sound in the Schottenstein Center Sunday.

The night ended with two hefty disco balls illuminating the stage and the audience in multicolored light, but it began with two lively, percussion-heavy bands.

English indie band The Arctic Monkeys warmed up the audience for The Black Keys, which consists of Akron natives Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach.

Head-bobbing and heel-stomping kept the stands shaking throughout The Black Keys’ set, with many of the songs regarding women and relationships.

The ensemble took a moment to compose itself. Auerbach said he and Carney made a stop in their hometown earlier in the day.

“It feels so good to be in Ohio,” Auerbach said.

The Black Keys were also accompanied by various backdrops and lighting elements that flickered over the crowd. Auerbach and Carney emphasized their skills in “Chop and Change,” during which Auerbach played lead guitar, maracas and sang. The Black Keys built up crescendos in individual songs coming from lows to highs and back down again. The same was true throughout their performance, which ended with thunderous volume and a cut to darkness.

The duo returned and closed with “Everlasting Light,” “She’s Long Gone” and “I Got Mine.”

They played more than 20 songs with and without accompaniment from a bassist and a keyboard player. Some of the songs included “Lonely Boy,” “Next Girl,” “Ten Cent Pistol,” “Girl Is On My Mind” and “I’ll Be Your Man.”

The Arctic Monkeys played up their English charm with Alex Turner singing lead vocals. Their full-bodied sound was complemented with strobing drumbeats and strobing light.

The Arctic Monkeys’ performances of “Still Take You Home,” “When The Sun Goes Down” and “Brick by Brick” got the audience revved up for a stirring performance from the Keys.

Chris Aldana, a second-year in political science and economics, said this was her second time seeing The Arctic Monkeys in concert and she thought they paired well with The Black Keys.

“I think it was a really good pairing, they both have very drum-heavy music,” Aldana said. “The thing that makes them so different is the way that their frontmen sound. … (The) Arctic Monkeys seem more kind of grungy and The Black Keys sound more rock ‘n’ roll.”  

The concert left Colleen Miracle, a first-year in new media communication technology, impressed and wanting more from The Black Keys.

“Honestly, I just wish they had played more,” Miracle said. “I love those two. They did such a good job. I really like (Auerbach’s) voice. The fact that they’re from Ohio is a cool thing.”

The two bands drew a mixed crowd of various age groups. Miracle said she enjoyed the positive energy of the other audience members.

“This one guy was probably like 40-something (and) he was just dancing so crazily behind us,” Miracle said. “We just like danced with him though, I mean why not?”

Alyssa Rushman, a first-year in English and Arctic Monkeys fan, agreed that the audience members were actively involved with the performance.

“All the visual effects used, I feel like it really engages the audience really well,” Rushman said. “The audience was really cool. All their fans seemed really chill … (and) really wanted to be there.”

There were 10,644 people in attendance, said Brett Scarbrough, senior director of ticketing at OSU, in an email.

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