Saturday, 17 March 2012

BLOG -- The Black Keys Concert @ ACC (March 14, 2012)

Note: This entry may not be interesting to you. It'll just be about my thoughts and experience at The Black Keys concert -- my first English concert experience (AKA my second concert ever). When I say "concert" here, I'm talking about a concert that features a professional music group or artist. I've been to other concerts (high school music concerts, symphonies, etc.) many, many times before.

Me and The Black Keys
I got exposed to The Black Keys through a co-worker. It pretty much went like this:

One day in January 2012:
Me: What are you listening to?
Co-worker: The Black Keys.
Me: I've never heard of them. Can I listen to a bit of it?
Co-worker: Sure.

Not sure what to expect, I kept an open mind (and ears). Guitar chords and drum beats slowly flowed in -- then flooded -- my eardrums. Rockish... slightly heavy... but light at the same time. I smiled. I liked it.

A week later, I borrowed my co-worker's iPod (yeah, we can listen to music while working) and listened to The Black Keys' latest album (El Camino). Very short album (about 36 minutes long), but very enjoyable. (For those curious, the first song I was exposed to that day in January was 'Hell of a Season', one of my favourite songs on that album).

The Little Details
Date of Concert: Wednesday March 14, 2012
Venue: Air Canada Centre (Toronto, Ontario)
Time: 7:30 PM
Ticket Price Total: $80.50
Seating: Section 116, Row 25, Seat 20

Before 7:00 PM -- First English Concert Jitters
Before getting to the Air Canada Centre (ACC), I was really nervous. One reason was that this was my first English concert -- another was that I was going by myself. Some thoughts that ran through my mind: How long do concerts usually last? What usually happens at a concert (besides the artist performing their songs)? Where do I show my ticket? Will things get really rowdy? Will somebody spill beer on me (the seat I got allowed alcohol consumption)? Etc., etc., etc. I had a lot of "worries" and nobody to share those "worries" with, haha.

7:00 PM-ish -- @ ACC
This was my first time at the ACC. Once inside, it was pretty easy to figure out who to show my ticket to, and where to get to my seat. I ignored all the places selling food and booze. I just wanted to get to my seat and wait.

The crowd at 7:00 PM

7:30 PM came around, and people were still trickling in. And the show didn't start. It kinda made me think, So concerts usually start late... It didn't bother me much. I was quite glad that nobody was sitting beside me (so I didn't have to worry about beer being spilled on me).

The crowd at 7:30 PM

8:00 PM -- Pre-show (Arctic Monkeys)

The Arctic Monkeys

This is a little embarrassing to say, but since this was my first English concert, and because I was sitting so far away from the stage, I couldn't tell if those guys were The Black Keys or another band. All I thought as they performed were, I don't recognize these songs at all... but they're playing for a long time. A pre-show wouldn't last this long, would it? An hour later, my questions were answered when the vocalist shouted, "ARE YOU READY FOR THE BLACK KEYS?!"

The Arctic Monkeys were okay. From where I was sitting, I couldn't make out much of what they were singing. They changed guitars a lot.

9:00 PM -- Intermission
My one comment about the ACC is that it needs more washroom stalls! By this time, the place was getting more and more packed. It was like they knew exactly when the pre-show would end. A rowdy group of audience members carrying beer were also seated in the row above me (*cringe*).

The crowd at 9:28 PM

9:30-ish PM -- The Black Keys

The Black Keys (yeah, my cell phone camera really sucks)

As soon as The Black Keys walked on stage, almost everybody who was sitting immediately stood up and cheered. I didn't stand up, but I was amazed. Wow, they must love The Black Keys to show this much respect. They can sit down, but they choose to stand... (remember, this is my first English concert. I don't know what kind of etiquette/ritual that goes on). The change in energy/excitement between the pre-show and the main show was very... strong. The audience continued standing as The Black Keys played their first number (don't remember what it was).

They played a lot of numbers from their previous albums (almost expected since El Camino is only about 36 minutes long), and each one was greeted with cheers and joy. It was really cool. The lighting was also very spectacular and engaging.

One number that I really enjoyed was 'Little Black Submarine'. When they started, the whole place went dark, except for two spotlights that shone on the vocalist (Dan Auerbach). The most coolest thing was that many audience members then held up their glowsticks, glowing cell phones, glowing iPods, whatever that would glow. It looked like the whole place was bathed in starlight -- so awesome.

'Little Black Submarine'

Sea of starlight -- so cool!

When The Black Keys said they only had a few more songs to sing, that's when I finally stood up (and took off my jacket). I tried dancing a bit to their last numbers, but found it difficult since I was wearing a purse. The last number, 'Lonely Boy', had the largest response and energy from the audience.

Once that song ended, the stage went completely dark. The Black Keys said their thanks and walked off the stage. Still completely dark, everybody cheered and clapped (me included). This went on for maybe 5-10 minutes. For a moment, I was wondering if they might not do an encore at all. Then I noticed a huge disco ball slowly coming down from the ceiling. Eventually, audience members around me noticed the same thing and were getting more excited.

10:45-ish PM -- Encore


The encore lasted for about 15 minutes. And they were an awesome 15 minutes! They were old songs, but high energy. The show ended around 11 PM.

Overall Experience
I really enjoyed The Black Keys concert. I was sad that they didn't perform 'Hell of a Season' (since it was that song that got me interested in them). If I can, I'll definitely check them out the next time they're back -- and I'll finally buy their El Camino album (so far I've been borrowing my co-worker's iPod and listening to Youtube videos whenever the "urge" hit me).

The only non-enjoyable thing that night was finding out that beer was spilled on my hair (by the crowd sitting one row above me). I didn't even know it happened until I randomly touched my hair at one point and felt... wetness. Thank goodness I was still wearing my jacket at that time. Fortunately later in the night, the security guards kicked them out (for doing what? I don't know).


Even though you're not really allowed to record performances, some people did anyway. Here are a few Youtube videos from that night:

'Little Black Submarine'

'Lonely Boy'

'Everlasting Light'

Thanks for reading! :)

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