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The Black Keys Give a Lesson on Rock and Roll at Van Andel Arena

After months of anticipation, The Black Keys made their headlining Van Andel Arena debut last night (March 18) in Grand Rapids. The Akron, OH-turned-Nashville residents blasted through an 80+ minute set of their blues-heavy catalog to close to 9,000 people. View our photo gallery to see what you missed or re-live the night if you were at the show.

The Black Keys displayed their raw energy from the get go, opening the night with “Howlin’ For You”, from their 2010 album Brothers. The band has come a long way since their dingy bar days ten years ago. They even added to their numbers in recent years with bassist Gus Seyffert and keyboardist/guitarist joining frontman Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney at live shows.

The stage set for The Black Keys was given quite the upgrade now that they’re filling arenas across the country. The light and film display complemented the group’s performance without being too overbearing. The focus was clearly on the music and only that.

Auerbach didn’t try to humor the crowd like Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, although it would have been appropriate seeing that it was the last night of LaughFest. There were no flashy kicks or wardrobes. Auerbach and Carney went back to their roots as a duo, playing classics like “Thickfreakness” and “Girl Is On My Mind.”

The Black Keys may have catapulted themselves to the top of the rock food chain, but they’re still two guys from Ohio who love making music.

Follow Dave Kim on Twitter and Tumblr.

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