Last night my two friends and I took the Metro North train from Fairfield to Grand Central Terminal in New York City for an evening of great tunes and gorgeous weather.
We arrived just in time to double fist beers and find our seats when opening act, British alternative rock band, Arctic Monkeys, warmed up the crowd. Playing hits like “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” and “Crying Lightning,” the crowd was totally feeling them. You know how opening acts sometimes go, people just sitting and waiting for the main show. Oh no, no! Arctic Monkeys were full of energy and even as the masses continued to pour in, they managed to keep people at the very least, moving in their seats and head nodding- all the signs to a feel good song.
The Black Keys took the stage around 9:30 p.m., and opened with “Howlin’ for You”, a song that can linger in your head for a day without pissing you off. The crowd was instantly up and moving. The Ohio born duo, Patrick Carney (drummer) and Dan Auerbach (guitar and vocals), showed plenty a’sign of their bluesy ways, busting out old tunes pre-“Lonely Boy” like “I’ll Be Your Man”, making a tipsy girl like me feel all types of good! The playing was intense, and when the three-piece encore came about, MSG was shaking.
I was able to get a ticket-checker to get me down closer. A little flattery and some intermission conversation was key. We moved from way up to stage right nosebleed to on the side (a wee bit behind them) where they walked off stage. I met some great people, continued to drink my beers and grooved to their semi-backside without a complaint. Besides, I got to see all of MSG, at the head of the ship in a sea of people.
The massive disco ball fell and the crowd roared for the two to re-grace us with their presence. With deafening affirmation, the Keys returned, playing my favorite of their songs, “Everlasting Light”, which led into “She’s Long Gone” and finally ending with the fan favorite, “I Got Mine.”
A great night indeed for alt music lovers. As I told my friends on more than one rambling occassion, there is no place like Madison Square Garden to see a concert, and between the two of them, and a young boy I met whose first concert was the Black Keys that very night, I firmly stand by that statement.
Full Setlist 3/22/12:
Howlin’ For You
Run Right Back
Same Old Thing
Dead and Gone
Gold on the Ceiling
Girl Is On My Mind
I’ll Be Your Man
Little Black Submarines
Chop and Change
Ten Cent Pistol
Encore Everlasting Light She's Long Gone I Got Mine
“It’s like we’ve got the whole city in here with us.” Dan Auerbach