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Dan Auerbach Rocks Webster Hall

November 12th, 2009

Dan Auerbach – Webster Hall – November 11, 2009

Dan Auerbach - Webster Hall - November 11, 2009
Just as Jack White has done work outside of the White Stripes, first with the Raconteurs and now the Dead Weather, Dan Auerbach, one half of the power-blues machine that is the Black Keys, also fronts a second band with a bigger sound. His backing band, the Fast Five, is made up of the San Antonio rock group Hacienda—Antonio Abraham Villanueva on keys, Dante Schwebel on guitar, Jaime Villanueva on drums and Rene Villanueva on bass—plus My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan on drums and percussion. (Hallahan, eyes closed and mouth open, played the maracas and the triangle with the unrestrained mirth of a small child.)

Last night at a crowded Webster Hall, Auerbach and Co. made their way through Auerbach’s solo album, Keep It Hid, released in February, plus a few other songs, including a cover of Rocking Horse’s “Oh Carol.” The show began with some relatively quiet harmonizing before kicking into a higher, louder gear. They played more than an hour of a winning combo of gritty blues and dirty rock and roll, including “My Last Mistake,” “Money and Trouble” and “When the Night Comes.”

The encore began with Rene Villanueva, whose bass thumped ferociously all night, laying down a dancing bassline. As the audience enthusiastically clapped along, the band shifted into a tight blues riff that blew up into raging mayhem. When the song ended, just Auerbach remained onstage. “Thank you for coming out tonight,” he said before launching into the last song, “Goin’ Home.” The line “be thankful for all you got” drew cheers and applause. And then he finished with “So long/ I’m going/ I’m going home,” and then the crowd went wild and the stage went dark. —R. Zizmor

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com