The Black Keys Rock the House, Literally

The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan, Nov. 8

The Black Keys at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV

Photo by Erik Kabik

The Chelsea’s floor didn’t cave in when the sold-out audience jumped along to Patrick Carney’s thunderous kick drum during “Gold on the Ceiling” and “Howlin’ For You.” But the floor was bouncing so much that it seemed like it just might.

For this show, the Nashville-based duo had doubled to a quartet, adding depth and volume to their gritty blues-rock sound, but the spotlight shined on Carney and guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach. The latter used enough fuzz effects on his guitar to make Kurt Cobain jealous.

Although the duo has produced eight studio albums, their chemistry wasn’t apparent. You’d think they would rally off each other’s energy during the psychedelic breakdown in “Tighten Up” or on the sharp upbeats of “Nova Baby,” but that didn’t happen. In fact, they barely made eye contact throughout the night. Distance between members didn’t seem to phase the audience as the room filled with voices during the band’s ender, “Little Black Submarines.” ★★★✩✩

Photos by Erk Kabik /

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