Tag Archives: the Black Keys


Boy Entertain Webster Hall with a Winning Mix of Folk and Pop

October 7th, 2013

Boy – Webster Hall – October 4, 2013

If you google boy and band, you’re bound to get links for ’N Sync or the Backstreet Boys. So searching for the Swiss-German duo called Boy can be challenging. First off, neither member is male. However their music does offer bubblegum pop sensibilities. Swiss miss Valeska Steiner and German Sonja Glass met in Hamburg at (no joke) a pop-music course almost a decade ago. They found success in Germany, and their full-length debut, Mutual Friends, released earlier this year, has them primed to enchant America.

On a summerlike Friday evening, the twosome brought their folk-tinged harmonies to Webster Hall. Opening with fan favorite “Drive Darling,” Steiner’s chirpy vocals appropriately welcomed the crowd: “You close the door and start the motor.” The group’s engine was revved with two drummers and a keyboardist. “Waitress” incited claps, and the audience was encouraged to dance during the toe-tapping “Oh Boy.” Steiner debunked the myth of Swiss manners, offering “Boris” as an example in which a fellow bar patron offers: “Come back, don’t bore me, you can’t just ignore me.” The cowbell and the melodica were brought out for “Skin.” Onlookers joined in to sing “la la la” on “Silver Streets” before the pair ended the main set with their hit single, “Little Numbers.”

Returning to the stage promptly for an encore, they unveiled the yet-to-be released “Into the Wild,” followed by a rousing cover of the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy.” To cap off the night, opener Greg Holden joined in on “Waltz for Pony,” which he’d practiced for the first time earlier that day. He had one last listen onstage via smartphone, then chimed in on background doo-wop vocals with the drummers. Contrary to the nursery rhyme, Boy were sugar, spice and everything nice. —Sharlene Chiu



A Party Not to Miss Tomorrow at Terminal 5

April 12th, 2013

NOLA-based instrumental-funk outfit Galactic (above, doing “Hey Na Na” with Corey Glover for KEXP FM) are bringing their shake-your-hips music our way this weekend. They began as an eight-piece with Theryl DeClouet (House Man) as their singer. But over the years, they’ve paired down to five and parted ways with DeClouet. But no doubt, they’re still bringing the funk: Witness their most recent album, the Mardi Gras-themed Carnivale Eletricos. Of course, when they come to play it’s rarely alone, and this visit is no different. Expect plenty of special guests, like vocals from the Revivalists’ frontman, David Shaw, and Nigel Hall, whose band opens the show. That in itself would be a pretty great weekend lineup. But wait, there’s more! Because Galactic—about whom Esquire wrote last year: “In a perfect world, Galactic would be 2012’s Black Keys, consistently underrated veterans who get belatedly huge”—are sharing the bill with none other than ska and rocksteady legends Toots and the Maytals. This is something not to miss. So do yourself a favor and don’t. Instead, head to Terminal 5 tomorrow night.


See the Rubens, a Band on the Rise, Tonight at Mercury Lounge

March 11th, 2013

With this rock quartet out of New South Wales, Australia, it’s (mainly) a family affair. Brothers Sam (vocals and guitar), Elliott (keys and vocals) and Zaac (guitar) Margin, and Scott Baldwin (drums) have only been making soulful blues rock as the Rubens since 2011, but the swiftly rising band has already managed to win touring slots with Bruce Springsteen in Australia and the Black Keys in New Zealand. Their debut self-titled album, which was recorded in New York City, came out last fall, and now the Rubens are coming our way. Watch the official video for “Lay It Down,” above, and then go see them play Mercury Lounge tonight.

Congratulations to the Winners

February 11th, 2013

The Bowery Presents extends warm congratulations to every 2013 Grammy winner (and nominee). And if you take a look at those who took home awards, it’s like a who’s who list of acts that have recently played our venues, including:

the Black Keys: Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Album
Gotye: Record of the Year (featuring Kimbra), Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (featuring Kimbra), Best Alternative Music Album
fun.: Song of the Year (featuring Janelle Monáe), Best New Artist
Skrillex (featuring Sirah): Best Dance Recording, Best Dance/Electronica Album
Frank Ocean: Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (Kanye West and Jay-Z featuring Frank Ocean and the-Dream)
Mumford & Sons
: Album of the Year
Adele: Best Solo Pop Performance
Bonnie Raitt: Best Americana Album
Dan Auerbach: Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Miguel: Best R&B Song
Kelly Clarkson: Best Pop Vocal Album
the Civil Wars (and Taylor Swift): Best Song Written for Visual Media
Halestorm: Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance



Dr. Dog and Delta Spirit Play Central Park Tonight

September 20th, 2012

Dr. Dog, a pop-rock quintet based in Philadelphia, openly embrace lo-fi production and the upbeat, late-’60s sounds of the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Two frontmen, bassist Toby Leaman and lead guitarist Scott McMicken, lead them—although the whole band harmonizes throughout their shows. The group formed in 1999 and has toured extensively over the years, earning wider acclaim opening for the Raconteurs, the Black Keys and My Morning Jacket. And although the lineup has changed over the years, Dr. Dog (above, playing “These Days” for WFUV) have still put out seven top-notch albums since 2001. Their most recent effort, the bluesy (and perhaps a little bit psychedelic) Be the Void came out this past February.

That Delta Spirit have also toured with My Morning Jacket is just one of the things they have in common with Dr. Dog. The main one, of course, is that while each band clearly focuses on doing the best recorded work they can, their live performances are equally as important. And so while Delta Spirit’s sound has boldly moved in a new direction with their self-titled album, leaving behind gritty roots rock in favor of the bigger, ethereal-sounding music that could fill arenas, they still cut loose onstage every night. Delta Spirit recently did a stripped-down take of “California,” below, and talked about  what they would do if they weren’t making music for The Bowery Presents Live. It’s the last Thursday of summer—and it’s gonna be a beautiful night—spend it outside at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park with Dr. Dog and Delta Spirit.


The Wind and Rain Are No Match for the Soulful Michael Kiwanuka

September 19th, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka – Webster Hall – September 18, 2012

Throwback is the perfect definition for British soul artist Michael Kiwanuka, who has cited influences from Bill Withers to Otis Redding. His delicate guitar strums brightened a rather stormy Tuesday evening and for the Webster Hall crowd that braved the rain and wind, Kiwanuka was in fine form. Stepping onstage, he welcomed the audience with “I’ll Get Along” and followed up with “Tell Me a Tale,” which he described “as a tune you might know.” Taking up his acoustic guitar for the latter, the rhythm section came in with a percussion-heavy interlude. Kiwanuka played largely from his debut album, Home Again, enamoring his fans with “Bones.” The single is a gospel-y, upbeat tune with underhanded morose lyrics—truly a sad-song-makes-me-happy tune.

At the middle of his set, Kiwanuka drew attention to the night’s date, the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death. As a dedication, he covered “May This Be Love (Waterfall)” with his guitarist in character, donning a feather necklace and fringed guitar strap. Trading in the electric for the acoustic, the singer-songwriter played recent single “I’m Getting Ready” and stripped down the band to just his bassist, Pete Randall, for “Rest,” a country-twinged, heartache-y song showcasing Kiwanuka’s vocals. And although “Home Again” had some ringing feedback, he mollified it with soothing lyrics: “Movin’ on / So I’ll close my eyes / Won’t look behind.”

The end of the evening really brought out Kiwanuka’s gems with a new song, “If You Dare,” reminiscent of the Temptations’ downtempo swagger mixed with the first few chords of Redding’s “Sittin’ On (The Dock of the Bay).” Coincidentally (or not), he continued with a cover of Redding’s “I Don’t Know.” The audience joined in, clapping and singing along, “I just don’t know oh oh.” For the encore, Kiwanuka and Randall concluded the evening with “Lasan,” originally a collaboration with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Kiwanuka hoped it would send the onlookers “softly and soulfully into the night.” It certainly did. —Sharlene Chiu

(Michael Kiwanuka plays Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday.)


See the Maccabees Play Webster Hall Tomorrow Night

June 12th, 2012

They’re all from South London, but the Maccabees have roots in Brighton. Originally Orlando Weeks (vocals) and Robert Dylan Thomas (drums) began making music together prior to meeting Hugo White (guitar). And just as quickly as the duo became a trio, the three-piece grew into a five-piece with the addition of Rupert Jarvis (bass) and Felix White (guitar and vocals). So when Weeks decamped to Brighton for art school, his bandmates followed suit. The school didn’t take, but the Maccabees (above, playing “Child” for 360 Sessions and, below, covering the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” for BBC Radio 1) did. Upon the release of Colour It In, with its catchy melodies, thick harmonies and heavy doses of guitar, the quintet began touring regularly with the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Bombay Bicycle Club. Somewhere along the way Sam Doyle replaced Thomas as drummer, but that didn’t change the band’s musical output. In fact the Maccabees’ third disc, Given to the Wild, came out this past winter. See them play Webster Hall tomorrow night.

The Bowery Presents Live Features Hacienda

June 5th, 2012

Hacienda—three Villanueva brothers (Rene, on bass and vocals, Abraham, on piano and vocals, and Jaime, on drums and vocals) and one Schwebel cousin (Dante, on guitar and vocals)—caught an early break when Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys got a hold of their six-song demo. One thing led to another and eventually the band finished an album at his studio. Auerbach enjoyed working with them so much that he had them (along with My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan) back him on his Keep It Hid tour. As the four-piece has gained wider exposure, they’ve opened for the likes of the Black Keys, My Morning Jacket and Dr. Dog. And now Hacienda and Auerbach have again combined forces. He produced and cowrote their upcoming album, Shakedown. And as today’s featured band on The Bowery Presents Live, they perform one of the new disc’s tracks, “Savage,” in the kitchen at Terminal 5, and discuss nonstop touring and making music with Auerbach. For more videos like this and live-streamed shows, cool performances and intimate interviews, make sure you subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live.

Watch SPIN’s 25th-Anniversary Concert Series Again

November 30th, 2010

It was such a great week, you get to relive it again! This past July SPIN magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary with amazing shows—the Smashing Pumpkins, the Flaming Lips, the Black Keys and the National at Terminal 5 and Spiritualized at Radio City Music Hall. Each show was streamed live, so if you couldn’t be there in person, you could still get a taste. And now you can have the whole meal because Fuse presents the concert series this Friday, 12/3, at 9 p.m. Don’t know what channel Fuse is? No problem, just go here.

(Encore presentations will follow at 3 a.m. and 11 a.m. on 12/4, 5 p.m. on 12/7, 4 p.m. on 12/9 and 2 a.m. on 12/10.)

SPIN25: One More Time with Feeling

August 3rd, 2010


Last week SPIN magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary with an epic five-night run of shows: the Smashing Pumpkins, the Flaming Lips, the Black Keys and the National at Terminal 5 and then Spiritualized closed out the week with a choir and an orchestra at Radio City Music Hall. If you weren’t there in person you still had the opportunity to check out what went down because each show streamed live on SPIN.com. But that is so last week. And since the music was extra stellar—thanks to ZYNC from American Express—you’ve got another chance to see these shows: The headlining act from each date will be rebroadcast at 9 p.m. ET every night this week here.


The Black Keys Sell Out

July 29th, 2010

The Black Keys – Terminal 5 – July 28, 2010

The Black Keys - Terminal 5 - July 28, 2010
Historically any musical innovation has come from a hybridization of styles. In the case of the Black Keys, they’ve taken their love of the bare-bones sound of drums and an electric guitar and traced its origins all the way back to the Delta blues, then combined it with a variety of influences like Link Wray and Wu-Tang among others, eventually collaborating with Mos Def and Q-Tip on the rap-rock album Blakroc. Longtime friends since high school, guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney didn’t necessarily set out to pioneer a unique sound. They took elements from the music they grew up with and added tried-and-true classic-rock screaming distortion.

The Black Keys played three sold-out show in two days, and they headlined Terminal 5 last night, having just left Central Park’s SummerStage a few hours before, not that it showed in their performance. The stage show was as stripped down as the duo—although they played their new material as a foursome, adding keys and bass to the mix—no lasers or elaborate lights, just a huge drum kit stage right, a stack of amps behind Auerbach and a huge banner of two black hands clasped together inside a tire, a reference to their recent album, Brothers, and even Auerbach and Carney’s personal connection, at the back of the stage.

The Keys played their Zeppelin-referenced blues with big crunchy distortion guitar that became another voice alongside Auerbach’s eerie Hendrix-like vocals, which are as equally at home delivering hushed falsetto on “The Lengths” as getting the Led out on “10 A.M. Automatic.” Hardly pausing between songs, they seemed to be taking their Ohio Midwestern work ethic to heart onstage, delivering on the promise of two friends getting to do what they sincerely love: Brothers in riff-heavy blues rock. —Jason Dean

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | www.gregggreenwood.com

New Grub at SummerStage

March 26th, 2010
(Photo: Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times)

(Photo: Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times)

Seeing a cool show on a beautiful night at Central Park’s SummerStage can be one of the great joys of living in NYC. But the food there? Not so much. Good news, though, because when you head to the park this summer to see bands like John Butler Trio and State Radio (6/15), the Flaming Lips (7/26), the Black Keys (7/27) and Hot Chip (8/4), new culinary treats will await you. According to The New York Times, the Brooklyn Flea will be curating the food this summer. So you can ditch the lame chicken sandwiches and not-so-soft pretzels and embrace the warm offerings of Asia Dog, Pizza Moto and the Red Hook Lobster Pound. A good thing just got better.


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