Photo by Dana (distortion) Yavin for Brooklyn Vegan
The Black Keys
put on the second of their sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden last night. Along with their opener The Arctic Monkeys, a high watermark in rock shows was achieved. You can jump over to our friends at the Brooklyn Vegan for the nasty, snarky-comment-fueled points of view, but none truly reflect the moment. The Arctic Monkeys had an adoring group of fans as the crowd filled in, but the main attraction was staggering. The Black Key's performance was what we have come to expect from these guys-- big blues inflected rock that sucks the crowd in and has everyone in the place up out of their seats and feeling it.
Part of the fun of an evening like this is the mix of people that attend the event, and the various states and poses they arrive in, prepared for the evening. A slice of humanity was not only present, but thoroughly enjoying themselves. Here are a few moments.
During the Arctic Monkeys, our section filled in with characters. A couple of bros dancing in front of us knew every word to every song and fist pumped their way through the set. It was a pure act of will and magic that they could stand or see with their dark shades. Halfway through the set a 6'5", blonde she-viking settled in next to them. The bros barely came up to her shoulder and we could barely see over her head. There was also a woman channeling Bowie from the 70s and a couple behind us who made the section bounce with their enthusiasm.
There was a changing of the guard for Black Keys. We got three new bros and a couple of single ladies down in front. There was also a lingerer in the aisle. You know the guy- a worn shoulder satchel from The Strand, cord jacket, loose pants, Tevas, gnarly hair and beard hanging around trying to look invisible. The moment the lights went down he moved in next to the single ladies. Halfway through the set the bros realized there were single ladies in adjacency and tried their best to engage them with, via the tried-and-true white-boy dance moves, while the lingerer bobbed his head to the music. It was a sight. As the set came to its very satisfying conclusion-- who doesn't like a disco ball in the Garden?-- the lingerer evaporated and the single ladies started purposefully working their smart phones. The bros took the hint. All this as the clamor of The Black Keys was still reverberating off the ceilings.
We all hit the overcrowded exits, exhilarated by moment. Another awesome night in NYC-- a combination of entertainment both onstage and off.